OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2010) - "Come celebrate Canada's birthday and the 125th birthday of our national parks by spending some time in the unforgettable places that showcase Canada at its best ― for free!," is the message to Canadians from The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
On both Canada Day (July 1) and Canada's Parks Day (July 17), Parks Canada is welcoming Canadians to their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas with doors open and free entry.
"I invite you, your friends and family to take advantage of these free entry days and experience the fun and exciting activities planned by Parks Canada across the country," said Minister Prentice.
The free entry days, or Doors Open Parks Canada, are part of the national celebrations to recognize two significant milestones in natural and cultural conservation in Canada: the 125th anniversary this year of the birth of Canada's national park system in Banff and the 100th anniversary in 2011 of Canada's national park service ― the first in the world. In honour of these anniversaries, Parks Canada is offering exciting new initiatives and a variety of anniversary-themed activities at Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
As a way of engaging young Canadians in these anniversary years, earlier this year Minister Prentice announced the "My Parks Pass", a Parks Canada program partnering initiative with Nature Canada and The Historica-Dominion Institute that will allow close to 400,000 Grade 8/Secondary 2 students to enter national parks and Parks Canada-administered national historic sites for free.
Parks Canada has also frozen its entry fees, as well as fees for camping at national parks, lockage and mooring at historic canals and several other national fees for basic services. The fee freeze makes some of Canada's major tourism destinations more affordable to the millions of Canadians and international visitors who visit Canada's national parks and national historic sites each year, as well as to support local communities and Canada's tourism industry lasts until April 2011.
For additional information on Parks Canada's anniversary celebrations over the next two years and 125 great things to do at national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, please see the accompanying backgrounders at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room. You can also visit www.parksday.ca for additional information on Parks Day events in your area.