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Ottawa, May 15, 2001

The National Archives of Canada has acquired, for the first time, a Web site that it will maintain for future enjoyment by Canadians. The formal donation of the Web site, and the opening of an exhibition showcasing Our Millennium projects, will take place Wednesday, May 16 at the National Archives, 395 Wellington Street at 5:00 p.m.

The media are invited to meet with Ian E. Wilson, National Archivist of Canada, and preview the Web site and exhibition earlier in the day, at 12:30 p.m.

“The Web site is an appropriate first for the institution because it provides a tremendous snapshot of Canada in the millennium year. The National Archives keeps the national memory. While archivists are occupied in marking the past, we are also deeply conscious of our present and our future. This acquisition represents our commitment to document the 21st century realities of the virtual environment,” said Ian E. Wilson, National Archivist.

Our Millennium was a grass roots program that invited Canadians to get together and give a gift to their community to mark the new millennium. More than 4.6 million volunteers from cities, towns and rural areas all across Canada participated, and thousands of millennium projects were recorded in the Our Millennium Web site registry, which forms the basis of the National Archives exhibition.

The Our Millennium program was coordinated by Canada’s network of community foundations and supported by the Government of Canada’s Millennium Partnership Program. The Our Millennium program also underscores the importance of volunteers’ work, which is being celebrated this year during the International Year of Volunteers.

“This Web site will ensure that Canadians have access to a permanent record of the gifts they gave to their communities at the turn of the century,” said the Honourable Herb Gray, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the Government of Canada’s millennium initiative.

Distinguished guests will include Peter Aykroyd, whose idea inspired Our Millennium. The exhibition runs until January 2, 2002, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.

For further information, please contact:
Louisa Coates
Media Relations Officer
National Archives of Canada