Bell salutes Canadian service men and women past and present

  • Poppy, a new television spot marks Veterans' Week Nov 5-11 and Remembrance Day
  • Today's veterans are finding civilian employment opportunities at Bell
  • We honour the memory of 184 Bell employees who gave their lives for Canada


MONTRÉAL, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - As Canada prepares to observe Remembrance Day, Bell is proud to join with all Canadians to observe Veteran's Week, November 5 to Remembrance Day November 11, recognizing the achievements and sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

"Throughout our history, Bell has been proud to support Canada's military service people and Veterans and we continue to do so today through the federal Hire a Vet program and military-focused Bell Let's Talk programs," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. "We hope Canadians find our new television message, created as part of Bell's 135-year anniversary in 2015, to be a fitting tribute to all the military men and women who've served Canada, many of whom gave their lives for our country – including 184 Bell employees."

Bell is part of the Hire a Veteran program that gives qualified veterans priority in hiring in partnership with Canada Company's Military Employment Transition (MET) program. Bell has hired 64 more veterans and reservists since 2013 and was recently recognized by Canada Company and the Canadian Armed Forces as a Top 5 MET Employer.

Bell Let's Talk and True Patriot Love created the $1-million Bell True Patriot Love Fund in 2013 to improve access to mental health care for Canadian military families. The fund has provided 32 grants to date to programs delivered through Military Family Resource Centres and veteran's groups nationwide, supporting more than 1,000 families. The True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner on November 4 in Toronto also raises funds for other support programs for military members, veterans and their families. To learn more, please visit

Bell's new Remembrance Day TV spot
As part of the 135th anniversary of Bell Canada's founding in 1880, the company has created a new Remembrance Day television advertisement called Poppy, airing through Veterans' Week to Remembrance Day November 11. The spot features Canadian veterans Norman Cash and Aida Gabriel as well as young actress Ella Querin.

Norman Cash, 96, grew up in Toronto after immigrating to Canada from Romania at age 3. He enlisted in the Canadian Army during World War II and served with the 12th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. After landing at Normandy just after D Day with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Gunner Cash took part in the liberation of France, Belgium and Holland, ending the war helping to free concentration camp survivors. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion General Wingate Branch in Toronto.

Aida Gabriel is a retired Captain and 23-year veteran of The Royal Regiment of Canada, a reserve infantry regiment. Born in Moscow to a Russian mother and Eritrean father, her family immigrated to Canada in 1981. In 1997, Captain Gabriel deployed to Bosnia as part of Canada's contribution to the NATO Stabilization Force, and served in Afghanistan 10 years later as part of the National Command Element in Kandahar.

Ella Querin has appeared in several national TV commercials, the movie Stage Fright, and the TV series Remedy, Reign and Murdoch Mysteries. Poppy was created by the Bell Brand team with Leo Burnett Toronto and director Miles Jay.

Poppy began airing last night on CTV and will also appear on Bell Media specialty channels in English and French as well as on Radio Canada and V Télé. To watch Poppy online, please visit

Remembering our fellow Bell employees
During the First World War, Bell technicians, linesmen, clerks and managers joined the war effort, many using their civilian skills to maintain essential lines of communications as part of the nascent Canadian Signals Corps. A total of 833 Bell employees enlisted in the armed forces during the war; 89 lost their lives.

13 of them have no known grave. The names of Charles Corke, Frederick Dobell, Arthur Gardiner, George Hockridge, Henry Irwin, William Keenan, John MacFarlane, Percy Mills, James Piper, Harry Priddell, William Rumsey, Hector Seguin and W.S.J Tripp are among the more than 11,000 names of Canadians with no known grave that are inscribed on the Vimy Memorial in France. Bell is a supporter of the construction of the Vimy Education Centre, opening on the 100th anniversary of the battle in 2017.

When Canada went to war again in 1939, 2,543 Bell employees enlisted in the armed forces or were seconded to the government for technical work; 95 Bell employees gave their lives during World War II.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home, and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit

The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk and Bell Let's Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace programs. On September 22, Bell announced the extension of the national mental health initiative for a further 5 years and an increase in total funding commitment for Canadian mental health to at least $100 million. To learn more, please visit

Media inquiries

Murray MacDonald
1 888 482-0809


SOURCE Bell Canada

Video with caption: "Video: Poppy, Bell's new Remembrance Day television ad". Video available at:


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