Kingston Insight: Fort Henry Opens its Gates for Summer Events

e-Veritas typically covers ex-cadet and college-based occurrences, but a crucial part of every military unit’s operation is its relationship within the community.The Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario is blessed to be part of a fascinating community that bolsters creativity, active-lifestyles, and all around excitement. Whether you are a current cadet away on training, an ex-cadet from the peninsula who misses this beautiful city, or an ex-cadet who would like to get a taste of Canada’s first capital, we will provide you with an interesting insight to the happenings of Kingston. If you are in Kingston during the Summer months, you can use this as your chance to try something new, expand your horizons, or just release a bit of stress throughout the week.

~OCdt 26069 C. W. Kunkel

Rising skyward to the East of the La Salle Causeway and Royal Military College of Canada lies a crucial part of Canada’s history: Fort Henry. The fort has been a standing stone in Kingston’s history for years, and the team behind its upkeep aims to maintain – and improve – its relevance in a constantly advancing society.

The latest addition to the landmark’s facilities is its Discovery Center. After the building’s initial planning that began in 2009, the first shovel was planted in the ground in August of 2011 to erect the modern addition to the landmark. After a fateful Winter, the Discovery Center was completed on time and opened its doors in June. It has been received well by the community and continues to meet its aim of complimenting Fort Henry with a new dimension of historical presentation.

The core of the Discovery Center is a gilded hall with dynamic videos showing a 360-degree view of a simulated fort. One is greeted by men cleaning their rifles as soldiers shout words of discipline. Students being taught proper etiquette are suddenly disrupted from their teachings by a bell signalling an enemy attack. An exciting and death-defying fight atop the battlement pursues. Once the situation is contained, the soldiers recover their breath and return to regular duties. Interactive exhibits can be found even further in the building – as well as a calm dining area to retreat to once the excitement becomes overwhelming.

Fort Henry’s co-ordinators are thrilled by the inclusion of the Discover Center to the fort’s attractions, but they are also proud about the several events that they hold to keep Fort Henry true to its roots. Beginning July 4th, they will be commencing their Sunset Ceremony twice a week. The ceremony combines drum and squad performances; the squads perform weapons and tactic drills, and a miniature tattoo is performed by the band. The two conjoin for an impressive, penultimate display before the final show with fireworks. The ceremony can be witnessed every Wednesday and Saturday at 7:30.

Fort Henry is an impressive landmark that has been beautifully maintained and kept true to its rich past. There are enough attractions to interest any person of any age. Apart from the entertaining and fascinating shows, even the fort itself is surprisingly intricate. Many come simply to admire the strategic design of the fort and the surrounding Martello towers – which are thick on the lake-facing layers to provide optimal defence from attacks but thin on the inner layer as a failsafe for Fort Henry to exploit if it was ever taken. Together with the impersonated 1867 military tactics of its active community, Fort Henry is a remarkable insight into Canada’s military past.

Should you ever have a free Wednesday or Saturday evening, or are feeling curious at any time during the day, Fort Henry is certainly worth the trip. Plus, your ticket for Fort Henry allows you to visit Upper Canada Village with no extra charge – and vice versa. It is also noteworthy that military personnel receive 50% off. The area is quite beautiful, and the scenic view even more so; so why not delight the senses and indulge in some of Kingston’s rich history?

 

The Discovery Center is also open for rental for meetings, weddings, conferences, and more! Several events are planned to be held here – such as the already-passed Beer Fest.