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Articles

1812 - Parade
The Lion On The Lake
Author: Ian Bell
THE LION ON THE LAKE

For those of you who may have missed it, The Lion On The Lake was a participatory 1812 pageant and parade which we presented during a miraculous break in the weather on August 11, during the windiest, wettest, stormiest weekend of the summer. The pageant, produced by the Museum and Shadowland Theatre told the story of Isaac Brock’s journey to Dover on his way to the capture of Detroit in 1812. The production included over seventy volunteer performers, four 14 ft. puppets, a brass quartet, a ukulele/accordion/fiddle/saxophone marching band , Britannia, Uncle Sam, a tall ship and a Harley Davidson.

The project was funded with grants from Heritage Canada’s 1812 Commemorative Fund , The Ontario Arts Council and Theatre Ontario. Local sponsors included Stoney’s Hardware and Port Dover’s RBC branch.
Beginning in April, members of Shadowland Theatre conducted a series of two and three-day workshops in Port Dover and Waterford. At these sessions a core group of adult artists and local young people worked shoulder to shoulder on puppet design and construction, prop-building, outdoor performance skills, music and stilt-walking. Participants came from across Norfolk County and included a few from Brant and Haldimand as well. As the performance got closer more participants were recruited, including Port Dover and Simcoe Scout groups and even the local ukulele club!
The week of the pageant was spent at the museum in a final frenzy of painting, construction and rehearsal.

On the day of the performance we patiently waited out eight hours of high winds, pounding waves and horizontal rain for the two hours of perfect summer evening that we got for the performance in Powell Park and along the streets and pier.
There we were joined by the Cottonwood Brass Quartet, The British Isles folk group Tethera, and several hundred spectators who quickly became part of the action as it unfolded.
Bob Rennie , who played the part of Isaac Brock had spent the entire previous week in costume as part of a series of events collectively titled “Brock’s Walk”, which began in Toronto and included stops at Burlington, Hamilton, Brantford, Mount Pleasant, and Simcoe . These events retraced Brock ‘s journey to raise support in the settlements of this area before boarding a flotilla of schooners and boats near the present site of Port Dover.