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Joyous angels set to again welcome visitors to Penetanguishene

'The town is excited for this opportunity to re-establish (the Angels of Good Intentions) as the town’s gateway and restore that sense of arrival,' says official

Angels will soon offer a divine entrance to Penetanguishene.

The town plans to re-establish its famous Angels of Good Intentions statues as the gateway to the municipality.

The move comes after the town announced it has been awarded $272,913 from the federal government’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage - Legacy Fund component to help fund the project.

“Penetanguishene has long been known for its angels,” says Penetanguishene recreation and community services director Sherry Desjardins. “The town is excited for this opportunity to re-establish them as the town’s gateway and restore that sense of arrival."

The initiative also marks the 100th anniversary of the installation and dedication of the Penetanguishene Angels. They were erected at the town’s gateway in commemoration of the tercentenary anniversary (300 years) of the arrival of French explorer Samuel de Champlain to Penetanguishene in 1615.

“The project will keep their story alive while serving to educate our youth and visitors about their significance in Penetanguishene’s unique history,” Desjardins says.

In recent years, the angels have become lost as the town has been built up around them. But after consultation with the town’s heritage advisory committee as well as the public, a recommendation was made to move the angels to the true municipal border and reestablish the angels as the town’s gateway.

The project includes the creation of a small park where the angels will be relocated, and installing signage to educate and commemorate the historical and cultural significance of the monuments.

Nicole Jackson, curator of the Penetanguishene Centennial Museum and Archives, says her organization’s pleased the town plans to move the Angels of Good Intentions statues to ensure they’re given greater visibility.

“The statues at the time and today represent the strong camaraderie in our town,” Jackson says. “With the enhancements planned at the new location, I hope more people can learn about the varied history of our town.”

In a release, Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez says the government’s happy to help the town in such an important endeavour.

"It is through projects like this one that communities learn more about their heritage and the cultural legacy of important monuments,” Rodriguez explains.

“We are proud to support the re-establishment of the angels as the Town of Penetanguishene’s gateway. I am confident that this new park will encourage community members to come together and learn more about their rich history.”

The federal government’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage - Legacy Fund component provides funding for community-initiated capital projects, intended for community use. Recipients may receive up to 50 per cent of eligible project expenses up to a maximum of $500,000.

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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