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September 28, 2009
Centennial College's Culture and Heritage Institute Symposium October 7 to 9 at Toronto's Fort York National Historic Site
Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culture will present its third annual symposium on culture and heritage tourism October 7 to 9 at Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site.

"Sense of Place and Heritage Trails" featuring "Realizing the War of 1812 Bicentennial" is a symposium presented in association with the City of Toronto that will gather a multi-disciplinary group - academics, film directors and producers, public and private sector tourism industry professionals and respected career politicians from different parts of the world - to discuss and debate important issues in the culture, heritage and tourism fields.

Symposium speakers and panelists will offer compelling perspectives and inspiring insights on their experiences exposing and promoting cultural heritage. Topics range from establishing a sense of place in cultural and personal terms to the value of heritage trails. Featured speakers include:

- Rodolfo Ogarrio, lawyer and philanthropist from Mexico City. A leading figure in the Mexican environmental movement, he played a pivotal role in creating the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve as well as obtaining its status as a National Park and as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

- Ric Burns, writer and co-director of the PBS film We Shall Remain: Tecumseh. Burns has written, directed and produced documentaries for 20 years, including the Emmy Award winning PBS series The Civil War, which he produced with his brother Ken, and wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward.

- Ivo Dawnay, respected journalist for the Financial Times, BBC Radio and the Sunday Telegraph and Director of Communications for The National Trust UK. His campaign History Matters: Pass It On is a powerful example of how to engage the public to value cultural heritage.

The symposium also focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities of the War of 1812 bicentennial, with a panel discussion featuring Anthony Pitch (journalist and author who provides anecdotal history tours of Washington), Jim Hill (manager of heritage operations, Niagara Parks Commission), Bill Pencek (head of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission) and Doug Stewart (of Parks Canada, where he is responsible for formulating Canada’s national strategy for the commemoration).

The panel will be moderated by Sandra Shaul (administrator for the City of Toronto Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812).

For more information about the symposium, visit

Centennial College is Ontario’s first community college, educating 12,000 full-time students and 28,000 Continuing Education students at four campuses and seven satellite locations. The college has an international reputation for exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. Centennial College is recognized as one of Canada’s most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions.

Fort York National Historic Site is where the British founded urban Toronto in 1793 and where the battle of York came to its violent climax in 1813 during the War of 1812. Fort York was the city's primary harbour defence between the 1790s and the 1880s, and was the home of a military garrison until the 1930s. Today, its defensive walls enclose Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Fort York is located at 100 Garrison Road in Toronto.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator, SDF&A Communications Unit, 416-397-5711,
Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, 416-289-5000, ext. 7142,



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