Ontario Heritage Trust celebrates Heritage Week 2021

TORONTO – February 15-21 marks Ontario Heritage Week 2021, an opportunity for communities across the province to celebrate Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage. This is the 37th year that Heritage Week has been commemorated in Ontario. While celebrations will look different this year, the digital and virtual programs at Ontario museums, galleries, historical sites as well as libraries and archives provide an opportunity for Ontarians to reconnect safely with, and to celebrate, their local history and community.

The Trust kicks off Heritage Week 2021 on February 15 with the virtual forum: Beyond the Underground Railroad – Black History in Chatham-Kent. Discover how communities across the province are also celebrating Heritage Week by visiting the Trust’s Heritage Week community events calendar for a list of virtual programs and events.

On February 18, the Trust will present, along with the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards in a virtual ceremony. This year, four individuals and nine projects will receive these prestigious awards for their dedication and leadership in conserving the many varied aspects of Ontario’s heritage.

Also, beginning February 25, join us for a free, pre-recorded virtual lecture, Heritage Matters Live with Esi Edugyan, that will continue through the month of March.

“Our government is proud to support the Ontario Heritage Trust and its work to preserve our province’s heritage, including protecting cultural and natural heritage properties around the province,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “This year, I encourage all Ontarians to celebrate Heritage Week online through the many virtual programs and events available on the Trust’s website. Our rich cultural and natural heritage is yours to rediscover – right from your own home.”

The Ontario Heritage Trust launches its annual theme during Heritage Week each year. In 2021, the Trust will explore the importance of Ontario’s environment by delving into its historical and cultural significance for Ontarians, the richness and breadth of biodiversity, and the distinct features that make up the province’s geographical landscape (such as the Niagara Escarpment and Canadian Shield). This theme will be explored on the Trust’s social media through daily mini-themes during Heritage Week. Follow along and join the conversation using the #ONheritageweek hashtag.

Many of the Trust’s trails and natural sites are open for the public to use. Heritage Week offers an opportunity for Ontarians to get outside and enjoy some physical exercise while following COVID-19 safety protocols pertaining to their region.

“Whether you participate in an online lecture, view a virtual exhibition or enjoy our natural environment, I encourage everyone to celebrate Heritage Week this year,” said John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “From taking a self-guided walking tour of the historic Allandale neighbourhood in Barrie, to watching Ottawa’s genealogy enthusiast Tom Barber’s virtual presentation about his heroic ancestor, Paul Barber, a former Kentucky slave, to exploring a trail in your area, to sharing a favourite artifact or historical photograph at the virtual St. Mary’s Heritage Fair, there are lots of ways to celebrate and recognize Ontario’s rich and diverse heritage.”

Heritage Week is also a great opportunity for communities to express their appreciation for the many volunteers and organizations that are protecting, conserving and promoting local heritage. To learn about upcoming virtual programs happening across Ontario, check out the Trust’s Heritage Week calendar of events.

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For more information about Heritage Week and the Ontario Heritage Trust, contact Patricia Njovu at 437-248-1439 or

About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust conserves, interprets and shares Ontario’s heritage. We conserve provincially significant cultural and natural, tangible and intangible heritage, interprets Ontario’s history, celebrate its diversity and educates Ontarians of its importance in our society. The Trust envisions an Ontario where we conserve, value and share the places and landscapes, histories, traditions and stories that embody our heritage, now and for future generations.