Saturday, April 12, 2008

Heraldry is alive and well in Canada...

Personal experience gained from comments and questions received while putting on a heraldry display by the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada or RHSC, at the Royal Ontario Museum or ROM this past March during their March Break clearly indicates that most people are quite surprised that heraldry continues to be practiced in Canada. Most people think that heraldry died out with the medieval period and the second common perception noted was that heraldry is only available in the realm of nobles.

It is quite clear, that heraldry did NOT die out, and is quite alive, not only in Canada, but in the USA and most countries in Europe and even Russia and other Eastern European countries. It should also be known that heraldry is available to ALL Canadians, simply by petitioning to the Canadian Heraldic Authority in Ottawa for a personal coat of arms. What is extremely fascinating of this practice is that it has been an integral part of human history for the past 1,000 years. There is no need to put it to bed so to speak, and it is up to people today to continue this practice and ensure that it continues to remain viable into the future.

The Society has a number of Branches including the Toronto Branch which has periodic social events and dinners, including an annual Christmas Dinner. Other activities include a heraldic presentation at the Royal Ontario Museum, and organizing an event displaying bookplates designed and created by Canada's leading and long time heraldic artist Gordon Macpherson.

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