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What's New

Library and Archives Canada Celebrates
the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival

For immediate release

OTTAWA, March 10, 2009 — Library and Archives Canada, in collaboration with the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, opened the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival with a Proclamation ceremony by His Worship Larry O'Brien, Mayor of Ottawa in the auditorium foyer of Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, in the presence of His Excellency Declan Kelly, Ambassador of Ireland and Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Library and Archives Canada.

"It is very exciting for us to work with the Irish Society of the National Capital Region to be part of the celebrations surrounding the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "This festival brings together Canadians claiming Irish heritage, but also Canadians from all origins, and gives them the opportunity to explore and understand their collective memory."

"The Irish Society is honoured and proud to have this opportunity to work with Library and Archives Canada in showcasing the rich heritage that the Irish community has helped create and maintain in Canada," said Brian Heaney, President of the Irish Society of the National Capital Region.

Other activities to be held at Library and Archives Canada during the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival include:

- On March 10 at 7:30 p.m., following the Proclamation ceremony, Irish Music Festival (tickets are $17.50)
- On March 12 at 5:30 p.m., Kaleidoscope: Exploring Irish-Canadian Heritage Online, followed by genealogy night in Room A at 7 p.m. Both events are free.
- On March 16, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Celtic music concert by Rosheen (tickets are $29.50)

With up to one fifth of Canadians sharing Irish ancestry, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to encourage dialogue on Canada's shared Irish and Irish-Canadian heritage. Since 2005, Library and Archives Canada has been actively involved in a multi-year partnership with the National Archives of Ireland to digitize and make accessible online the 1901 and 1911 Censuses of Ireland. Numerous counties from both years will be made available throughout 2009.

LAC has hosted two symposia on Irish studies and holds a rich collection of materials ranging from photographs to sound recordings on a number of Web exhibitions including The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf, William James Topley, and more recently In Quarantine: Life and Death on Grosse Île. LAC also holds materials on the photo-sharing community Flickr and plans to make a number of videos from the 2008 Irish Studies Symposium available on YouTube for tagging and commenting later this year. Upcoming resources also include two name-searchable databases housing records of Irish immigrants to Canada during the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century.

About Library and Archives Canada
The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

For more information on all activities, please visit: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

About the Irish Society of the National Capital Region
The Society's main objectives are the promotion of Irish and Irish-Canadian culture and heritage, and the strengthening and support of the Irish and Irish-Canadian community in the Ottawa region.

For more information on all activities, please visit: www.irishsocietyncr.com

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Provencher
Head, Media Relations
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: 819-994-6030