Strong communities are built on the stories that define us, and Peterborough-Kawartha is filled with remarkable stories and story-tellers alike.
Earlier this year, at the Lakefield Legion, a group of community members gathered together with individuals from Trent University, Community Care Peterborough, and the Trent Centre for Aging & Society to spend an afternoon sharing such stories. They reminisced about old friends, learned important lessons from one other, and celebrated the everyday heroes of our communities – like author Margaret Lawrence, World War II fighter pilot Art Kingdon, and award-winning teacher Elsie Kidd. This was just one of seven “Sharing Stories, Bridging Generations” events held across the Peterborough and Kawarthas region, each exploring and sharing stories about our local history, while recognizing the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada.
These events were moving experiences for all involved because they brought together many generations, all in search of knowledge about ourselves as individuals and as Canadians. I am especially grateful to the teacher candidates from the Trent School of Education who went out into our local towns to meet with archivists, historians and community members, and then share their research at these events.
This year, I hope we all take a moment to follow the path of Sharing Stories, Bridging Generations. The 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada provides us with a great opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian, to acknowledge the strength of our diversity from coast to coast to coast, and to come together in order to work towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren.
In particular, as we collectively move towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, it is more important than ever to learn about the history of this land before 1867, and our shared history since then. We all need to work together to ensure that the next 150 years is an era of true equality across all peoples, cultures, generations, and genders.
As we take some time for these reflections, there is also a lot to celebrate across the country and here in Peterborough-Kawartha. In fact, there is no end to the ways you can spend your summer days celebrating all that makes us ‘Canadian’. From the delicious food and diverse entertainment at the Multicultural Canada Day celebrations on July 1st, to a relaxing boat trip down the Trent-Severn Waterway, learning about local Indigenous culture at the 60th annual Curve Lake Pow Wow, dancing in the street during Peterborough Pulse and the Hunter Street Hootenanny, exploring the best of the written word at the Lakefield Literary Festival, supporting community members at the Warsaw Benefit Cruise Night, and of course, digging in to a great locally-produced dinner at the annual Peterborough Cattleman’s BBQ, our region offers endless sights and sounds all season long. The list goes on and on, and I encourage everyone to get out and experience it.
For my part, I will be spending Canada Day and this summer re-connecting with constituents from Apsley to Havelock, and I’m hopeful that I’ll hear some of your stories about what it means to be Canadian.
Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Canada Day,
Member of Parliament, Peterborough-Kawartha