Armistice ’18 Program Announced

The First World War ended in 1918 with an Armistice and Cobourg will be commemorating this with many events this Fall in the several weeks up to November 11.  Director of Recreation and Culture Dean Hustwick, said that Cobourg’s commemoration will be the largest in Canada!  At the Council meeting on February 26, historian, playwright and organizer Hugh Brewster gave some of the history of Canada’s and Cobourg’s involvement in the War and listed all the planned events.  Canadian General Arthur Currie, who played a major role in the success of the Canadian army, was accused by the Port Hope Evening Guide of pursuing a last minute effort to capture Mons for his own glory.  He sued them for libel and the trial was held in Cobourg’s Old Bailey Courtroom.  The Centrepiece event will be a re-enactment play staged in the same venue.

Hugh Brewster
Hugh Brewster

The Northumberland Players assisted with finding all the required actors and others in Cobourg assisted in getting it organized and staged.  The official opening on September 29 and 30 will feature Peter Mansbridge and his wife actress Cynthia Dale – Hugh said that invitations will also be extended to the Prime Minister, the Governor General and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Seamus O’Regan.

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is expected to attend Cobourg’s traditional November 11 ceremony and in between will be 3 plays, 3 featured speakers, a musical event, exhibitions of Art and Photos and possibly public art, films and a documentary created of the whole program.

See links below to download the complete preliminary program and see the Cobourg Internet Calendar for details of dates and times. Here is a summary:


  • LAST DAY, LAST HOUR: Canada’s Great War On Trial, a new play by Hugh Brewster, recreates the charged atmosphere of this epic trial.  Presented in the historic courtroom in which it all took place, the play is directed by Michael Khashmanian of the Beech Street Theatre and produced by the Northumberland Players.   
  • World War I drama Mary’s Weddingby Stephen Massicotte with the Northumberland Players – highlights the last great cavalry charge of the war – in the Firehall Theatre.
  • A reading of a new play about Canadian nurses in World War 1. The Stars on Her Shoulders by Stephen Massicotte.


  • ARMISTICE: The Coming of Peace in 1918 Remembered in Words, Images and Song, a commemorative concert created by historian Hugh Brewster, features the celebrated Elora Singers conducted by Noel Edison, along with actor narrators, Hugh Brewster and Cynthia Dale, musicians and a multi-media screen show.  This will be the gala opening event of Armistice’18. In Trinity United Church.


Armistice LogoA series of talks by leading Canadian historians will be held on October Sunday afternoons at 2:00 at the Cobourg Public Library, 200 Ontario St.

  • October 14: Jack Granatstein is acclaimed as the dean of Canada’s war historians. And the author of over 60 books and a former head of Canada’s War Museum.
  • October 21:  Tim Cook is a historian at Canada’s War Museum and the author of many authoritative yet highly readable accounts of Canadians under fire.  
  • October 28: Charlotte Gray has been hailed as Canada’s best-loved historical writer.
  • TBC (no date/venue yet): Paul Gross is the well-known Canadian actor, director and producer and writer who achieved fame in the TV series Due South and went on to create the acclaimed war films Passchendaele and Hyena Road.


  • TBC (no date/venue yet): Passchendaele and Hyena Road, two films by Paul Gross about Canadians in war, will be presented prior to his talk in Cobourg.  

History & Art Exhibit

Throughout Armistice ’18, a multi-media exhibition on World War I will take place at Victoria Hall.

  • The Northumberland Art Gallery will feature a WW1 painting exhibition about WW1 by contemporary Canadian artist Charles Pachter
  • An exhibition on WWI will be on display in Victoria Hall’s Concert Hall, including The Great War in Colour photographs, an exhibition, book and documentary sponsored by the Vimy Foundation.

Public Art Installation

  • Plans are underway for a public art installation to run for the duration of the Armistice ’18 commemoration (under development). Banners will highlight the stories of local World War 1 veterans.

TV Documentary

  • Production of a TV documentary about the remarkable story of the Currie trial is in the planning stage.   

Official Closing

  • For the closing weekend of November 10 – 11, Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (TBC) and other dignitaries will be in Cobourg for the Town’s renowned Remembrance Day Parade and Service, followed by lunch, a viewing of the exhibitions and a final performance of LAST DAY, LAST HOUR on the afternoon of November 11th.

Cobourg Blog News will post on any news about updates to this program.  Stay tuned.


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6 years ago

Congratulations and many thanks for all the hard work in putting this event on the calendar. I wish we could get this kind of enthusiasm from all including the photo -op politicians when it comes to bringing new manufacturing business to Cobourg. We need new jobs for our young people…new vitality for Cobourg.

6 years ago

Hi John, I don’t believe your article id’s the champion for this effort. Kudo’s to them and whom ever organized it.

John Draper
Reply to  gerinator
6 years ago

I believe this was a joint effort between Hugh Brewster, Dean Hustwick and Jack Boyagian although probably others were also involved.

Reply to  John Draper
6 years ago

Thanks. Good work, good purpose. Congrats to all.

Bill Thompson
6 years ago

Great idea for WWI Remembrance.!
In the meantime ,let’s remember WWII as well, how about the HMCS Cobourg ship’s bell,its White Ensign being removed ffrom the mayor’s office as well as the photograph and other memorabilia which have apparently disappeared, being reinstalled in their original rightful place for public display in the town hall foyer.
That memorabilia was removed from the display case supposedly temporarily when renovation /painting was done.
That memorabilia display belongs to the people and should be displayed publicly in the foyer as was originally and not mounted in the mayor’s office out of sight of the general public.
Let’’s not forget Cobourg’s part in WWII as well .
Lest we forget .

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
6 years ago

Very good point. I think that Cobourg’s Poet Laureate should be reciting In Flander’s Field at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Cenotaph. It was done in 2014, but it should be a regular duty for a municipal poet laureate;

Wally Keeler
Reply to  John Draper
6 years ago

He resides in Brighton now. His term expires during the upcoming municipal election. No calls for nomination have gone out yet. The appointment is made by the incoming council. Until then, Ted is Poet Laureate, then he becomes Cobourg Poet Laureate Emeritus.