Government of Canada to mark 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

News Release

Minister of Veterans Affairs announces Government of Canada delegation to attend ceremonies in France to mark Vimy 100

March 24, 2017 – Ottawa – Veterans Affairs Canada

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced plans for an official Government of Canada delegation to travel to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The delegation includes Veterans representing Veterans’ and Indigenous organizations, and regimental associations; youth from across Canada; special guests who have direct family ties to soldiers who fought in the First World War; and parliamentarians.

Key events will include a signature commemorative ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France on April 9. The delegation will also participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery; and attend a Last Post commemorative ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial, in Ypres, Belgium.

In Canada, commemorative events will be held on April 8 and 9 at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. An official delegation of Veterans, youth and government representatives will gather in Ottawa to participate in programming between April 6 and 9. The Government of Canada is also working closely with provincial and territorial governments to organize events across Canada.


Quotes

“A century later, we continue to honour the service and sacrifice of the brave young men and women, at home and abroad, during the First World War. The four-day Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began early on April 9, 1917, was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together as one formation. The Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge is considered a historic moment that helped define Canada and the people we are today.”

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick Facts

  • As there are no longer any First World War Veterans alive, Veterans Affairs Canada invited each of the 40 military regimental associations whose regiments carry the Vimy 1917 Battle Honour to nominate one Veteran who has a personal connection to Vimy or the First World War.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada asked Encounters with Canada to nominate 26 youth to participate in the Government of Canada delegation. These youth, aged 16-19, represent all provinces and territories, have strong leadership skills and a keen sense of military history, and most have participated in Encounters with Canada’s Canada Remembers or Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age theme week in the past two years.

  • Government of Canada partners, including members of the Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will also travel to France to participate in commemorative events.

  • Approximately 10,000 Canadian youth travelling with tour groups are expected to attend the signature event on April 9.

  • More than 650,000 Canadians would serve in uniform by the end of the First World War. The conflict took a huge toll: more than 66,000 Canadians sacrificed their lives and 170,000 were wounded.

  • Canadians unable to travel to France are invited to experience the ceremony by watching the live broadcast on CBC Television, CBC News Network, Radio-Canada and RDI on April 9 (please visit Canada.ca/Vimy-100 for updates).

  • A number of other events will take place in France to mark the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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Associated Links

Contacts

Sarah McMaster
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
613-996-4649

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468
vac.media-medias.acc@vac-acc.gc.ca


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