Video – Colonel By Statue (Youth version) – Decoding ART – Heritage Monuments


Transcript of Colonel By Statue (Youth version)

Narrator: “This capsule is presented by Canadian Heritage”

[Background audio: music—military march, interspersed with appropriate sounds]

Narrator: “The man shown in this statue is Lieutenant Colonel John By, the man who built the Rideau Canal and in many ways, is responsible for the City of Ottawa.”

[Close-up of the pedestal, with the inscription:  “John By, Lt. Colonel Royal Eng., 1779-1836.  Builder of the Rideau Canal, 1826-1832; Founder of By-Town, 1827, now Ottawa, Capital of Canada.” There is a map on the side of the pedestal]

[The monument]

Narrator: “The canal was built almost two hundred years ago and it was an incredibly difficult job. There were no power tools or heavy construction equipment in those days—everything had to be done by hand.”

[Close-up of the monument]

Narrator: “Colonel By hired thousands of men to dig the canal and build the locks and dams needed to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario which is about 200 kilometres away. That’s a two-hour drive from here.

“The workers needed a place to sleep. Back then, here were no houses or parks where you are standing. It was just trees and nature. So Colonel By built a camp for them not far from here. Originally called Bytown, the camp became Ottawa which later became Canada’s Capital.”

[The statue, slowly zooming in]

Narrator: “Look carefully at his bronze statue created by Canadian sculptor Joseph-Emile Brunet and imagine Colonel By standing next to you, in full colour. His coat is red like the British army uniforms, the buttons and epaulettes are gold. His pants are dark blue with a red stripe. His hat is made of black felt. It even has feathers on it.”

[Close-up of the torso]

Narrator: “He also has a sword attached to his waist belt. See, he is holding the plan of the Rideau Canal in his hand. He looks proud and confident. Don’t you think?”

[Boats on the Rideau Canal in summer]

Narrator: “Today, lots of people take their boats out on the canal; and in the winter, it’s turned into the world’s largest skating rink.”

[Skaters on the Rideau Canal in winter]

Narrator: “Do you think Colonel By would have imagined skating on his canal?”

[Canada wordmark]

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