FREDERICTON (CNB) – New Brunswickers are being encouraged to celebrate their diverse heritage during Heritage Week 2011, Feb. 14 -21. In recognition of the International Year of Forests, the theme will be Celebrating Forests for People.

“This is a special time in February each year, when heritage groups, communities, schools, access centres and libraries host special activities throughout the province to recognize New Brunswick's diverse past,” said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Trevor Holder. "Our province's history is vibrant, and our forest environment is particularly beautiful.

"Nationally, New Brunswick leads the way in celebrating Heritage Week. This theme is particularly fitting for 2011 because it also marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Parks Canada as the world's first parks service."

A goal of Heritage Week is to give New Brunswickers opportunities to celebrate their shared past. The Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport has promoted Heritage Week since 1994.

As part of a provincial heritage education and promotion initiative, the department sets aside seven days each year to foster partnerships and raise awareness of heritage in all sectors. Heritage Week includes National Flag Day (Feb. 15) and National Heritage Day (Feb. 21).

Organizing partners for Heritage Week 2011 include:

●    Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat;
●    Canada's National History Society;
●    Department of Canadian Heritage;
●    Council of Archives New Brunswick;
●    Heritage Canada Foundation;
●    New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women;
●    New Brunswick Labour History Project;
●    New Brunswick Museum;
●    New Brunswick Provincial Capital Commission;
●    New Brunswick Public Library Service;
●    New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame; and
●    Parks Canada.

Heritage Week 2011 planning kits will be available by mid-December. Individuals and groups wishing to order one may contact the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch by telephone, 506-453-2324, or by e-mail, kim.wuhr@gnb.ca.

"Now is the time to do your part in planning a Heritage Week event," said Holder. "There are 111 suggestions on how to celebrate Heritage Week that can be found on the Heritage Week 2011 website."

LINK:

●    Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport: www.gnb.ca/heritage