Monday, April 23, 2007
Last month, the Canadian federal government approved $5 million in seed money (to be given over the next two years) to officially establish a National Trust. Rather alarming that they didn't already have one, but we'll focus on the positive.
The newly formed trust will be based on Britain's model, and protect heritage lands, buildings and national treasures. It is the most significant arts initiative to take place in decades, and the trust is expected to work closely with the Heritage Canada Foundation, the country's main preservation charity, established in 1973. In the words of its founder, the Honourable Jean Chrétien, "Maturity may be recognized in a nation when its people take thought for their past: take thought... in the dynamic sense of knowing the past as a key to understanding the present and future."
The Canadian National Trust will need to rely heavily upon donations and contributions, but its establishment alone is already a major victory. With its national holiday, Canada Day, fast approaching on July 1st, Canadians should rightly feel a surge of national pride. And open their chequebooks, accordingly.