Video – Colonel By Statue – Decoding ART – Heritage Monuments


Transcript of Colonel By Statue

Narrator: “This capsule is presented by Canadian Heritage”

[Canadian Heritage signature]

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

[The statue of Colonel John By]

Narrator: “This statue, created by Canadian sculptor Joseph-Emile Brunet was erected in 1971 to commemorate Lieutenant-Colonel John By a British military engineer who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal, and, in the process, founded the town that would later become Ottawa, the capital of Canada.”

[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: “Brunet built over 200 monuments in his lifetime and was almost 80 when he created the statue of Colonel By. He came from a family of tombstones carvers where he learned the basics of sculpture. He began his career as an assistant decorator for the Parliament of Canada in 1917.”

[Close-up of the monument]

Narrator: “Born and raised in England, John By served in that country and in several of Britain’s North American colonies. These experiences made him the ideal candidate to build the canal that was needed to protect British ships from American attack as they travelled between the vital ports of Montreal and Kingston.”

[Close-up of the monument]

Narrator: “It proved to be a daunting task. The proposed route was largely wilderness. The plan was to create a waterway some 200 kilometres long that steamboats could navigate, between Kingston, Ontario, and Ottawa. It required the construction of some 47 masonry locks and took six years to build. More than a thousand workers died mostly from malaria contracted in the many swamps along the route.”

[Boats on the Rideau Canal in summer]

Narrator: “Opened in 1832, it quickly became a commercial artery from Montreal to the Great Lakes. Today, recreational crafts travel through the oldest continuously operated canal in North America. It turns into a highlight in winter as the world’s largest skating rink.”

[Skaters on the Rideau Canal in winter]

Narrator: “The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

[Canada Wordmark]

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