Vimy 100

The Vimy Foundation is leading the charge to commemorate the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge – the First World War battle that paved the way to an Allied victory, and solidified Canada as a sovereign nation. Please check out how you can get involved by attending events in your community, giving a VIMY for Vimy, and see the latest plans for the new Vimy Visitor Education Centre, set to open on April 9, 2017.

Overview
In 2017, Canada will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a seminal event in Canada’s history. The crowning achievement of the Centennial celebrations will be the unveiling of the state-of-the-art Vimy Visitor Education Centre ($5 million was committed by the Government of Canada in 2013) near the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France – a project being spearheaded by the Vimy Foundation.

While the Vimy monument itself is of course stunningly beautiful, currently visitors are given little context at the existing information booth as to why Canadians fought and died there; why Vimy remains special to the Canadian soul; and how Vimy, and other First World War battles at which Canadians fought, forever altered Canada’s status on the world stage. The Vimy Visitor Education Centre will answer these questions. The Centre will feature an Education Room, Museum Hall, Exhibit spaces, Resource Centre, and a Wall of Remembrance.

In addition to these rooms, we are also offering Centennial Plaque and Centennial Tree dedication opportunities.

A number of key Canadians have lent their support to this important project, becoming part of the Vimy Visitor Education Centre Committee, including current and former heads of state, federal and provincial politicians, military leaders, and supporters from the business, arts, academic, and philanthropic communities in Canada.

Contact Jeremy Diamond, Vimy Foundation Executive Director, to discuss ways you can get involved!

Purchase Centennial Tree

The Vimy Centennial Park will be a collection of 100 trees dedicated to Canadians and will be located outside of the new Vimy Visitors Education Centre in a garden area near the Vimy Memorial in France.

Each Centennial Tree is available for purchase by the public for $10,000 and will feature the donor’s name on the Centennial Park plaque. Proceeds will support the design and construction of the new Vimy Visitors Education Centre.

The design and setting of the Vimy Centennial Park will complement the ground’s surrounding and be a reflective and emotional element of the site. Naming recognition will be on Sponsor Recognition Plaque in Foyer and on top of the Centennial Park plaque.

Each tree will be a descendant of a ‘Vimy Oak’ acorn which fell from a European Oak during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and was subsequently planted in Scarborough, ON.

“After the Vimy battle was won, many soldiers realized that they had been part of something truly great. Leslie Miller looked around for a souvenir on the Ridge, which was completely devoid of structures or vegetation due to shell fire but he did find a half buried oak tree. He gathered up a handful of acorns. Those acorns were subsequently planted by him on farm land which is now home to the Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church. He called his farm the ‘Vimy Oaks Farm’. Today, several of the original oaks survive. However, there are no original oaks on the Vimy Ridge site.”

Click here to watch a news segment on the story with City News reporter Audra Brown, and click here for the video update. For additional photos of the Vimy Oaks, please click here.

Centennial Trees

  • The Carpenter’s Union – Local 12
  • The Order of St. George
  • PPCLI
  • Robert Quartermain
  • The Royal Canadian Dragoons
  • The Royal Canadian Navy
  • Toronto Scottish Regiment

To purchase a Centennial Tree and support the Vimy Visitors Education Centre,
please contact Jeremy Diamond, Vimy Foundation Executive Director, at jdiamond@vimyfoundation.ca or 416.595.1917

For additional Dedication Opportunities, please download the sponsorship package here.

Purchase Centennial Plaques

Centennial Plaques are available for purchase for $25,000 to support the design and construction of the new Vimy Visitors Education Centre and to honour a family member, friend, veteran, or community member.

These plaques will be mounted on the Remembrance Wall located in the Main Foyer of the Vimy Visitors Education Centre in Vimy, France.

Each Centennial Plaque will remain on the wall in perpetuity to be read by visitors who enter the Visitors Education Centre and demonstrate the national significance of the building. Veterans’ family members, communities, regiments, Legion branches or schools can purchase an individual plaque for $25,000.

Centennial Plaques

  • Shaun Francis
  • David Houghton
  • Jamie Massie
  • Robert Quartermain
  • Gary & Joanne Reamey Family
  • Mike Stollery
  • Joanne Sutherland & Robert Douglas

To purchase a Centennial Plaque and support the Vimy Visitors Education Centre,
please contact Jeremy Diamond, Vimy Foundation Executive Director, at jdiamond@vimyfoundation.ca or 416.595.1917

For additional Dedication Opportunities, please download the sponsorship package here.

Centennial News Coverage

JUNE 2015

June 3 2015, David Frum, “What if the Allies had lost World War I“, The Atlantic.

MARCH 2015

March 20, 2015, Randy Richmond, “Soldiers’ last messages go on tour” London Free Press.

DECEMBER 2014

December 24 2014, Richard Ruben, “In France, Vestiges of the Great War’s Bloody End“, The New York Times

December 28 2014, Mark Brown, “Blood-swept lands: the story behind the Tower of London poppies tribute“, The Guardian

NOVEMBER 2014

November 2014, Alex Browne, “The Art of World War One in 52 Paintings“, Made from History

November 8, 2014, Kevin Rollason, “Letters from the Trenches: Pencils, paper and abiding love of fiancee sustained soldier through the First World War” Winnipeg Free Press

November 11 2014, Peter Mansbridge, “Why I Remember on November 11: Peter Mansbridge“, CBC

November 21 2014, Chris White, “Counterfeit Paris & other fake cities built in the name of espionage“, Atlas Obscura

November 30, 2014, Angus Skene, “Working to honour the dead,” The Toronto Star

OCTOBER 2014

October 2014, Josh Aden, “How World War I Technology Made the 20th Century“.

October 17 2014, Mark Stachiew, “Images: Forgotten fronts of the First World War,” Canada.com.

October 20, 2014, Conrad Black and Brian Stewart, “Stewart and Black: Canada’s Extraordinary War“, The National Post

AUGUST 2014

August 1 2014, “Canadian Great War Stories: Globe readers share distant family memories“, The Globe and Mail

August 1 2014, Sarah Hampson, “First World War: How do we remember it meaningfully, a century later?” The Globe and Mail

JULY 2014

July 2 2014, Andrew Coyne, “A history distinguished by both war-making and peacekeeping“, Edmonton Journal

July 28 2014, Adam Hochschild, “Colonial Folly, European Suicide: Why World War I was such a blood bath“, New York Times

July 29 2014, Sylvie Kauffmann, “All Quiet on the Western Front: France remembers World War I” New York Times

July 30, 2014, Brian Stewart, “The 100 year conflict that is the First World War,” CBC News

July 31, 2014, Andrew Cohen, “Examining Canada’s Role in First World War“, The Times Colonist

JUNE 2014

June 26 2014, Steven Erlanger, “The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever.” New York Times

June 29 2014, “World War I in Photos: A Century Later“, The Atlantic:

June/July 2014, Jim Flaherty, “On Sacrifice” Convivium.

FEBRUARY 2014

February 25 2014, Dan Snow, “Viewpoint: 10 big myths about World War One debunked,” BBC News Magazine

HISTORICAL ARTICLES

August 5, 1914 “England Declares War on Germany,” The New York Times