Montreal Standard, 2 August 1919, page 33
The Cartier Centenary Fair
The Cartier Centenary Fair which is to be held in this city from August 9th to 17th inclusive on a 12 acre portion of Fletcher’s Field, is of great importance to all of the citizens of Montreal from a commercial and advertising standpoint.
The foremost aim of the promoters of the Cartier Centenary fair is to raise the required sum of money that is necessary to complete the approaches of the Cartier Memorial, which has been erected by the people of Canada to commemorate the memory of Sir George Etienne Cartier.
Canadian history contains the records of many men who have done much for the Dominion, but no man mentioned in those historical chronicles who was more steadfast in his ideals for his native land, than Cartier.
It was at St Antoine on the Richelieu river on September 6th, 1814, that Cartier first saw the light of day. He did not enter public life until 1848 when he was thirty-four years of age, but the subsequent twenty-five years of his life he devoted entirely to the public welfare of the Dominion, and was active in the affairs of this nation as minister of militia and defence at the time of his death in London, England, in 1873.
Cartier was one of the fathers of Confederation, and during his career succeeded in having many important laws passed.
Confederation originally consisted only of four provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was Cartier’s desire to see Canada established as a united country stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With the maritime as well as land power of the east and west connected by a great transcontinental railway system.
In a letter to Cartier complimenting him on his achievement, Lord Dufferin wrote as follows:
“The distinction you have won has not been merely personal, for your name is incorporated with the most eventful and most glorious epoch of your country’s history, commencing as it does with your entrance into political life, and culminating in that consolidation of the provinces to which your genius, courage and ability so materially contributed.”
Largely through the efforts of Cartier, the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were secured from the Hudson Bay Company on very advantageous terms and added to the Dominion. Finally in 1871 Cartier succeeded in passing a bill in Parliament which made British Columbia the only remaining province needed to round out the link, a portion of the Dominion.
With the admission of British Columbia, Cartier’s dream of a united Canada from sea to sea became a reality. But a trans-continental railway was necessary to bind the provinces closely together. Cartier was the strongest advocate of this immense undertaking and to him belongs the glory of having secured in 1872 the first charter for the Canadian Pacific Railway. This was the last great triumph of his career.
The first Canadian line of ships that plyed the seas was also another invaluable adjunct to commerce established by Cartier for the Dominion.
From 1861 to 1872, Cartier was one of the representatives of Montreal, first in the parliament of United Canada, and later in the House of Commons. He represented during a portion of that period, Montreal-East in the Quebec Legislature under the system of dual representation which existed for some time after the establishment of the Confederation.
The interests of Montreal were always dear to the heart of Cartier and throughout his public career he strove to promote greater welfare and development for this city.
One concrete example of this was his promotion of the Grand Trunk Railway which has done much for the development of Eastern Canada and of Montreal in particular.
It is particularly fitting that the celebration, which was to have taken place originally in 1914, should be given at this time, because Cartier took advantage of every public utterance to impress upon his fellow countrymen the necessity of loyalty to Great Britain.
In a speech delivered in London, England, in 1869 he stated the following: “Canadians know, that if they wish to become really great they have only to continue their union with the Mother Country so as to share in her power, her prestige and glory.” What could have been a more prophetic warning than this?
The future too, when Canadians share with Great Britain in the power and prestige, of peace, will prove to the citizens of the Dominion that they owe undying gratitude to the memory of the great patriot of the early days, Sir George Etienne Cartier.
Miss Hortense Cartier, daughter of this illustrious statesman, who is shortly to be guest of the Dominon, is expected to arrive on the SS La France on August 9th the opening day of the celebration that is given in memory of her father.
A day, the date of which has not yet been decided upon is to be set aside in honor Miss Cartier.
No expense was spared in the erection of the magnificent fair grounds, which have been laid out in avenues that are named after the famous heads of the five allied nations. King George, President Poincare, President Wilson, King Victor Emmanuel, King Albert.
Moorish design has been followed in the construction of the five score buildings which will contain the various exhibits of leading manufacturers.
While the first object of the Cartier Centenary Fair is to secure money for the completion of the Memorial it is also hoped that the exhibition will demonstrate the advantage of our annual exhibition for the city of Montreal.
A project of this sort would be of inestimable value to the city from an advertising angle, a fact the citizens of Montreal should bear in mind. As a yearly attraction of this nature would be of untold benefit to the whole population.
Business, big business in the future for Montreal is the fundamental principle of the Cartier Centenary Fair but amusement of the highest order, also forms a portion of the exhibition.
Nothing has been spared in the constructing of an enchanting white city with many thousands of twinkling lights for the enjoyment of the people of Montreal. Likewise with the entertainment features, they are the best that can be procured from the wide selection that is offered by New York, Chicago and New Orleans.
A huge midway, which will contain every sort of laughter-provoking device that ingenious minds can create is one of the leading features. There will be booths along its wide avenues and where refreshments can be procured, two bands with well-known able directors will render the best music and a dancing pavilion has been erected. In fact, nothing that can possibly add to the pleasure of a visitor has been omitted.