The British Are Coming!

Wasaga is about to be taken under siege again! From July 22-24, you will be able to see how the story of the British Schooner Nancy and her plight during the War of 1812 unfolded right here in Wasaga Beach.

Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” is an annual living history festival commemorating the War of 1812 battle between Americans, British and First Nations which resulted in an American victory with the sinking of the Nancy. Although that was a blow to the war effort, the British did manage to win the war and this historic event eventually led to the creation of Nancy Island Historic Site. It is hard to believe that this is the 9th annual re-enactment where the numbers of re-enactors can range from 300-500! It is presented by the Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada in concert with the Town, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park and Friends of Nancy Island.

Amazingly, this heritage festival is managed and operated entirely by volunteers, and features authentic War of 1812 tactics, historical battles, marine assault landings, artillery, and much more. A public address announcer narrates each battle event as a series of fictional and historical battle scenarios are presented to the public. The Grand Encampment at Nancy Island Historic Site features over 300 re-enactors opening their living history encampments to the public along with 19th century merchants, artisans, demonstrators, entertainers, and live period musical entertainment. Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” allows residents and visitors the chance commemorate Wasaga’s rich local history.

Battle events will take place in Beach Area 2. You will also see American gunboats working their way up the river in an attempt to find the Nancy and you will hear rifle and cannon fire as the British fight back.

Another exciting event will be the re-enactment of a convoy of voyageur canoes and longboats navigating the Nottawasaga River from Glengarry Landing in Edenvale to Nancy Island Historic Site. Local residents and spectators alike will have an opportunity to watch hearty re-enactors experience the hardships that original natives, voyageurs, sailors and soldiers experienced firsthand as they paddled and rowed down this historic waterway. Spectators and Wasaga residents, especially those who live along the river, who show their loyalty to King George III by flying the British colours or showing their loyalty in other ways, will be given a token of the King’s appreciation in the form of a musket or cannon salute.

As always, volunteers are needed to help with admissions, refreshment booth, shuttle service, parking and so on. If you are interested, please contact: Marilyn Beecroft at: or (705) 429-2516.