Canada's oldest English colony turns 400 on Aug 17, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is likely to join descendants of the colonists and Aboriginal leaders in the town for the party. Called Cupids 400, it celebrates the establishment of the Newfoundland fishing community in 1610 by British colonists. The celebration will include a genealogy program that will help local families trace their family roots and hold 2010 family reunions.
Thirty-nine people, led by merchant John Guy, spent the first winter in Cupids, and by 1612, the population numbered 62. In the same year, Guy made contact with the Aboriginal people of Newfoundland, the Beothuk. On 27 Mar 1613, the first English child in what is now Canada was born at Cupids to Guy and his wife. Although Cupids remained a small colony, it established the seeds of permanent English settlement in what would become Canada. By 1675, there were some 30 English settlements along the Newfoundland coast. The cultural events include a Creative Arts Festival, Theatre Festival, Buskers Festival, Folk Festival, and several historical re-enactments featuring professional performers. The Cupids 400 organizers also plan special events with Aboriginal leaders as part of the so-called Indeavour Project, which will mark what is regarded as an important chapter in Newfoundland history. (Last updated Jul 2010)
Date written/update: 2010-08-17