In 1985 the Historic Sites Association commissioned twelve of Canada’s outstanding landscape print-makers, one from each province and territory, to create original prints in a variety of mediums; silkscreen, etching, lithograph, serigraph, and woodblock. Each artist chose a subject reflecting a national park or historic site in the artistic medium they felt best suited the image.
These twelve prints became a limited edition of 100 portfolios, whose common element celebrates Canadians’ affection for our wilderness, cultural and historic heritage. 1985 marked Parks Canada’s centenary, and the portfolio became the legacy project that commemorated this event.
The Canadian Art Print Portfolio was launched in October 1985 at a ceremony at Rideau Hall. The first portfolio was presented to Governor General of Canada Madame Jeanne Sauvé.
The collection of prints is as richly varied as the artists that produced them. It ranges from abstracts to high realism and traditional Dorset style, and the brooding Norse spirit of the Blackwood and the luminous surrealism of the Eyre.
The portfolios were sold by the Historic Sites Association. The profits were placed in a trust fund to support the Signal Hill Tattoo, a living history program at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada.
The Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated the 500th Anniversary of Cabot’s arrival at Cape Bonavista by purchasing a collection of 30 unique clay sculptures by Joan Parsons Woods.
Woods, a Newfoundland-born artist, created these colourful vignettes as a way to show her children and grandchildren aspects of life in Newfoundland. Each sculpture is approximately 1 foot to 2 feet square in size, and depicts memories from her family’s experiences.
Sea Captains, mummers, the old grocery store, the Garden Party at Government House, blueberry picking and family boil-ups are all depicted.
The collection, called Newfoundland – A Place Called Home; Special Memories of Joan Parsons Woods, has travelled across the province.
Held in 2000, the Viking Millennium International Symposium attracted over 300 historians, archaeologists, and enthusiasts from around the world. The conference started in St. John’s, moved to L’Anse aux Meadows, over to the Labrador Straits, and ended in Corner Brook. Selections from the papers presented were later published in Vinland Revisited, the Norse World at the Turn of the First Millennium.
In 2009 the Historic Sites Association, in partnership with many organizations, hosted Celebrating Bartlett to commemorate the life of the remarkable explorer and Newfoundlander Captain Robert Bartlett. Marking Bartlett’s role in Admiral Robert Peary’s famous “dash to the north” in 1909 the celebrations included shows, lectures, exhibits, and more and travelled across Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Heart's Content Cable Conference was held in September 2016 as part of the extended celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the successful landing of the transatlantic telegraph cable. The two day conference explored the legacy of the cable and it's impact on world communications and on the community of Heart's Content. The conference featured guest speakers from Canada and the United States, a theatrical reenactment of the cable landing, and numerous folk and social activities.