Something old, something new
Perhaps I should have said "something revered, something preserved," because the system of national parks in Canada, which was mandated by law to protect and preserve both the natural and cultural heritage of this natio, is, in essence, a collective recognition by the people of Canada and their governments that these prodigious natural areas are critical to a Canadian sense of place.
When I had a good look at the list, I admit to being somewhat surprised at how extensive, multidimensional and in the best interests of the history, heritage and culture of this nation the Parks Canada sites are.
In a nutshell, this federal government agency manages 42 National Parks, which include seven National Park Reserves, three National Marine Conservation Areas, one National Landmark, and 167 National Historic Sites of Canada.
Canada's National Parks: A Celebration
In terms of the agency's own history, it is important to note that it was established in 1911, in some senses just in the nick of time given the perspective we now have of population growth on this planet and such daunting challenges as climate change and the fact that more people on the Blue Planet now live in urban centres, as opposed to rural areas. The latter is a huge demographic shift that has many implications both nationally and internationally.
And, whereas we all now live in a world in which a digital revolution has occurred, that "something new" I have referred to is ... wait for it ... a book!
Also, this is far more than a coffee table book meant to lend a certain je ne sais quoi to the décor of Canadian homes; it is also tangible evidence of the importance we, as a nation, ascribe to our natural spaces.
For more information, please see the media release below and the links at the bottom of this page.
Parks Canada and Canopy team up to compile a breathtaking book showcasing Canada's national parks
Canada's finest photographers celebrate Canada's finest landscapes
Ottawa, Ontario, November 29, 2010 - Canada's Environment Minister John Baird and Canopy's Executive Director Nicole Rycroft today launched a beautiful commemorative book marking the 125th anniversary of national parks in Canada, Canada's National Parks: A Celebration. The large format 256-page hardcover showcases outstanding landscape photography of each of Canada's national parks - all 42 of them.
"This book celebrates our most treasured places and brings spectacular photos of these places into Canadian homes," said Minister Baird. "Through this book, Canadians will discover the magnificence of Canadian national parks; others will re-live moments of awe and inspiration they experienced during their stays."
A Map of Canada's National Parks. (Image courtesy of Parks Canada)
"To respect the stunning wild landscapes illustrated in Canada's National Parks:A Celebration and to facilitate the conservation of other rich ecosystems, this book is printed on environmentally friendly, 100% post-consumer recycled paper," said Canopy's Rycroft. "We hope this book inspires people to work to conserve more of this magnificent land's ecological richness for future generations - with a great national parks system as the backbone."
Canada's National Parks: A Celebration marks the 125th anniversary of national parks in Canada and the upcoming 2011 centennial of Parks Canada as the world's first national parks service. The colourful book captures the essence of the Canadian landscape, and brings together in one volume the work of some of the country's most respected contemporary photographers, accompanied by locator maps and concise descriptions for each park and some memorable historic images of park visitors over the last century.
This project also represents a unique partnership between Parks Canada and the leading environmental publishing advocates Canopy, who teamed up together to produce this superb example of environmentally responsible publishing by printing on papers that are 100% free of fibre from endangered forests.
"This commemorative book is a celebration of our national parks, which inspire us and move us emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually," said Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle.
Western Brook Pond Fjord, Newfoundland. (Image courtesy of Parks Canada)
"Our parks are not just ecological landscapes; they are part and parcel of our Canadian existence. Each of our national parks is part of Canada's collective soul, and a part of our nation's promise to future generations."
"We are delighted to be featuring this gorgeous new Canadian book in our stores in time for the holiday giving season," said Joel Silver, President, Indigo Books and Music Inc. "Printed in Canada on recycled paper, it is an outstanding value and gentle on the planet as well."
Canada's National Parks: A Celebration retails for $29.95 and is available at Indigo/Chapters/Coles, Archambault and other bookseller locations throughout Canada, and can be ordered online.
The first printing of the book also includes a detachable coupon that can be redeemed for a free family day pass at any Parks Canada national park, national historic site or national marine conservation area.
Bob Fisher is a Canadian travel journalist, editor, retired educator and a former Marketing Manager at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Travel Media Association of Canada, and is currently a member and contributor to the World Federation of Journalists and Travel Writers (FIJET). He produces conceptual, literate, in-depth... continue>>