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.

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
  • 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 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 or 416.595.1917

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

Vimy 2017 Committee

Honorary Patrons
The Right Honourable Kim Campbell, P.C., C.C., O.B.C., Q.C. His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins
The Honourable Judith Guichon, O.B.C. Major-General (Ret’d) Lewis MacKenzie U.E., C.M., C.M.M., M.S.C., O.Ont, C.D.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin, P.C., C.C. The Honourable Stephen McNeil, M.L.A.
The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, P.C., M.P. Vice- Admiral Mark Norman, C.M.M., C.D.
The Honourable Doug Phillips The Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M.
The Honourable Brad Wall, M.L.A. The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, M.P.P.
Campaign Co-Chairs
Dr. Helen Vari, Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur of France General (Ret’d) Rick Hillier, O.C., C.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Education Patron
John and Pattie Cleghorn
The Honourable Christopher Alexander, P.C., M.P. Niki Ashton, M.P.
Leon Benoit, M.P. Lois Brown, M.P.
The Honourable Jean Charest The Honourable Senator Marie-P. Charette-Poulin
Don Cherry The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.
Irwin Cotler, M.P. Pat Davidson, M.P.
John Duncan, M.P. Wayne Easter, M.P.
The Honourable Senator Art Eggleton Christine Elliott, M.P.P.
The Honourable Ernie Eves, Q.C. The Honourable Julian Fantino, P.C., C.O.M., O.Ont., M.P.
The Honourable Myra A. Freeman, C.M., O.N.S., M.S.M. David Frum
Parm Gill, M.P. Paul Godfrey, C.M., O.Ont.
Paul W. Gooch Rudyard Griffiths
Paul Gross Michael Harris, M.P.P.
The Honourable Laurie D. Hawn, P.C., C.D., M.P. Senator Serge Joyal, P.C., O.C., O.Q.
The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie C.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D. Wladyslaw Lizon, M.P.
Ben Lobb, M.P. Phil McColeman, M.P.
John McDermott The Honourable Michael A. Meighen, Q.C.
Rick Mercer Larry Miller, M.P.
Christine Moore, M.P. Erin O’Toole, M.P.
Gary & Joanne Reamey Gary Schellenberger, M.P.
Kyle Seeback, M.P.D. Ken Shaw
Peter Stoffer, M.P. David Sweet, M.P.
Glenn Thibeault, M.P. William Thorsell
John H. Tory, Q.C., O.Ont. The Honourable Tim Uppal, P.C., M.P.
Dr. Jonathan Vance Mike Wallace, M.P.
Rodney H. Weston, M.P. Jason Wilson
Campaign Cabinet
Casey Adam Antolak William Arvanitis
Don Cranston Ferg Devins
Andrew Hamblin Christopher Hilkene
Michael Hyatt Raymond Joseph
Doug Kelly Nigel Kettle
Jim Love Will Lymer
Ross Magnaldo Robert McFarlane
Greg Owen Charles Pachter
Tim Patriquin, C.D. Walter P.F. Shanly
Michael G. Sherrard Jamie Watt
Regan P. Watts John Wright
Peter Wright

Vimy Oaks

After the Battle at Vimy Ridge was won, many soldiers realized that they had been part of something truly great. Leslie Miller, born in 1889 in Milliken, ON, 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.

The Vimy Oaks Team is working, in partnership with the Vimy Foundation, to repatriate these Vimy Oaks of Scarborough-Agincourt back to Vimy, France, to help preserve Canada’s WWI legacy through the creation of a living memorial, planted in France for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

In January 2015, the process began with professional arborists taking cuttings (scions) from the crowns of the oaks which will be grafted onto base root stock – quercus robur. Like Ice Wine this process must be done in the cold weather. The saplings will be grown at Connon NVK nurseries using an accelerated method.

Representing Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Peter Kent, Member of Parliament for Thornhill stated: “I applaud the Vimy Oaks team for preserving the legacy of First World War Veteran Leslie Miller. These trees stand as a symbol of the strength and determination of those who gave so much nearly 100 years ago, and it is truly an honour to be here to witness the beginning of what will become a lasting reminder of the Canadian sacrifice on Vimy Ridge.”

Vimy Foundation Executive Director, Jeremy Diamond stated: “To commemorate the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 2017, the Vimy Foundation, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is spearheading the building of the Vimy Education Centre, which will be located at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. We are thrilled to partner with the Vimy Oaks project, the trees from which will make a fitting complement to the Centre and site. Congratulations on this wonderful initiative.”

For more information, please contact: Patricia Sinclair (416) 498-8199 /

These Vimy Oaks are available for sponsorship – click here to find out more about our Centennial Trees.

Click here for a photo album of the process.

Vimy Oaks Poetry

100 years ago poetry was an integral part of Canadian life. Everyone read poetry, most wrote it, you had to learn some in school, and poems are found in almost all the war diaries and letters. Of course, the most famous being In Flanders Fields…

The Vimy Oaks Team is reaching out to Canada’s poets for a poem to be read at the planting of the ‘repatriated’ Vimy Oaks in 2017 in France for the 100th Anniversary of the battle, and Canada’s 150th birthday. The trees represent our fallen soldiers and present Canadians who are standing on guard for democracy and freedom. They ‘say’ to the French (and other allies) that Canada answers the call. 100 years later the acorn has returned. We have not forgotten.

The theme is “Standing on Guard”.  The poem could be in English, French, or English and French. Deadline: March 15, 2016. For more info, email Patricia Sinclair of the Vimy Oaks Team at


Vimy Ridge, We Stand on Guard for Thee, Katheryn Bezaire, Windsor ON
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, Jim Dyer

Our Vimy Ridge Heroes – Connie Lee Fehr, Kingsville, ON

We Live Their Lives – Lynn Hilborn, Grafton, ON
Architects of Liberty – Candice James, New Westminster, BC
The Stand of Oak – Penn Kemp, London ON
The Vimy Oaks – Bruce Meyer, Barrie ON
The Vimy Oaks – Michael Shain, Little Current, ON
Remembrance Day – Douglas Sinclair, Toronto

Vimy Donors

Harry Wylie Abel
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Brave Canadians
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Merl Brown
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John Bucsi
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Morley Burton
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In memory of William Thompson Calderwood
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Tom & Jane Callen
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Gordon J Campbell
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Gary M Diamond
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Gareth Evans
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Robert Gerald Fenech
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Noelle Fisher
Gary Fishlock
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Alexandra F Fokine
Komstantin Fokins
Jordan Robert Fraser
Sean Fraser
James I Freeman
Dudley Bertram Fryer (Vimy Ridge Veteran)
Lawrence Fuaco
Keary Brooks Galley, 2nd Cdn Division
Susan L. Gardener
Lorraine Garneau
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Harry Giles
Greg Godbeer
Charles Godwin
David B Godwin
Gerald I. Goldlist
Megan Goodwin
David Green
Vimy Veteran Francis Green
Kurt Hahn
Spencer Halickman
William Hall
Donald C Hallam
Sandra and Steve Halpenny
Captain Edwin Harewood
F/Lt Basil J. Harford RCAF
Pte.Basil Harford, 27th Batt. CEF
Emelia Harker
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Valerie Harker
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In memory of the brave young soldiers who laid down their lives for our freedom.
Derek Irons
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Harold Livingstone
Jim Livingstone
Robert Livingstone
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John Middleton
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Frederick Bertram Milley
Harold Mills
Howard F. Mitchell
Jon Mitchell
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Marco « Mike » Montagano,Grandfather
Geray Moore
Barbara Morgan
Harvey L Morrison
Kelly Morrison
Ernie E Mowat
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George M. Myatte
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May Newman
Fred Nichol
Nienhuis Family
Julie Normandeau
Michael O’Keefe
Marie Olney (daughter of Andrew Olney WWII veteran))
Bob O’Neil
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William J. Orr
Our Grandfathers
Captain David Owen
Robert D M Owen
Brett Padget
Andrea Page
Daniel Parenteau
Zachary J Parrott
Robert Paterson
Silvano Patrignani
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Raymond Perkins
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Randy Plemel
F/S Cyrille E. Poissant
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Lance Cpl.Peter Robson
PTE James Robson ww 1
Lynn Robson-Brick
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Noel Ryan
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Murray Stephens
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Captain Charles F Stevenson
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Susan Stone
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Grant Stuart
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Tony Sykora
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Harold Thorsteinson
Those who made the ultimate sacrifice
Charles Cecil Tilbury
Mary Tod
Richard Topham
Valerie Torck
Barry R Towson
Jonathon & Stacey Trenchard
Alfred Ernest Tucker
Ray Turenne
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Robert R Turner
Guy Turpin
Tanya Tygesen
Neil Unwin
Paul Valentine
Roger Van Dorne
Evert Van Ginkel
Lieut. Desmond Vicars
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John Wadey
Aly Wakif
C/Sgt A. Wakif
David Henry Waldron
David Sterling Waldron
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Lawrence Wareing
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Richard Wilson
Jim Windsor
William Wirth
Joe Womersley
Warren Wood
Gary Woodward
Jonathan Christopher Wright
Lieut. Douglas Christie Wright, RFC, 18th Bn
Peter Young
Sergeant Percy Young
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Denise Ziebart
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