Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site opens for the visitor season

Posted On Thursday May 10, 2018
News Release
For Immediate Release
Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site opens for the visitor season
Parks Canada invites visitors to celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism in Gravenhurst
May 10, 2018 Gravenhurst, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
Parks Canada’s places represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are. Starting on May 16th, Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site will begin welcoming visitors for the 2018 season during the Canada-China Year of Tourism – a time for our two countries to strengthen the people-to-people ties that connect our nations.
The charming Victorian home and modern visitor centre at Bethune Memorial House reveal Dr. Norman Bethune’s amazing story through contemporary exhibits, personal journals, multi-media content, and much more.
Visitors can also upgrade their journey through history with an enhanced program led by a guide. This experience features the screening of a biographical video and a new exhibit showcasing Bethune’s artwork, personal belongings, and family heirlooms as well as instruments used in surgery. Visitors can even take a “selfie” with Dr. Bethune in surgery and experience a new hands-on Victorian artifact display.
100 years ago, during the First World War, Bethune served in all three branches of the military – Army, Navy, and Air Force. To reflect this aspect of his story, an outdoor space offers a child-friendly snapshot of the work that medics and stretcher bearers would have experienced during the War. Featuring a wooden and sand-bagged trench flanked by a “training area”, with climbing apparatus, balance beams, a bridge and tunnels, families can have an active and memorable experience with this replica medical station. Children can also become Parks Canada’s Xplorers and earn a reward by completing a series of challenges.
The Government is celebrating families and the importance of protected areas with free admission for youth aged 17 and under, starting in 2018 and beyond.
To have a memorable time and make the most of their Parks Canada experience, visitors are encouraged to plan their trip and order their Discovery Pass in advance. Visitors are also encouraged to consult the website, download the incredibly popular Parks Canada’s mobile application, and follow us on social media for more information about the breathtaking locations, and hidden gems at national parks, marine conservation areas, and historic sites.
“Starting this year, we are celebrating families with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth aged 17 and under. We are also celebrating in 2018 the Canada-China Year of Tourism, and what better way for families to connect with our diverse history than to explore the birthplace of a Canadian and Chinese hero, Dr. Norman Bethune. Bethune Memorial House presents the incredible legacy of Dr. Bethune that, to this day, still strengthens the bond between Canada and China.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“The Canada-China Year of Tourism is a tremendous opportunity for our countries to showcase the best that we have to offer, and also for Canada to grow its tourism sector which supports many middle-class jobs from coast to coast to coast. Parks Canada looks forward to welcoming visitors in 2018 to experience the outdoors and learn more about our rich and varied history, including the inspiring story of Dr. Norman Bethune.”
The Honourable Bardish Chagger,
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Quick Facts
? Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site is located in Gravenhurst, Ontario, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day from May 16th until October 15th, then Thursdays through Mondays to the end of October.
? Bethune Memorial House proudly welcomes the most visitors from China of any National Historic
Site operated by Parks Canada.
? Dr. Norman Bethune offered free medical care to impoverished patients in 1925, more than 20 years before Medicare first became legal in Canada, and he then petitioned for its legalization in Quebec in 1935.
? Bethune is commemorated today in Montreal, Toronto, and Gravenhurst, Canada, as well as in Spain and in over a dozen locations in China.
? 2018 marks the Centennial of the end of the First World War. Dr. Norman Bethune was reputedly the 8th person in Toronto to volunteer on August 4th, 1914. Bethune Memorial House features a children’s outdoor activity area honouring Canadians who served during the First World War.
Associated Links
? Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site
? Parks Canada mobile application
? Parks Canada Website
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Leslie MacPherson
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Georgian Bay Ontario East Field Unit
613-923-5261, ext. 114
Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency