Defence Minister The Honourable Jason Kenney to join the Vimy Foundation at special event at the Embassy of France in Canada

Event hosted under high patronage of French Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis and The Vimy Foundation

OTTAWA, March 31, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Minister of Multiculturalism will join more than 250 dignitaries, business leaders, elected officials, members of the Canadian Forces and students tonight under the high patronage and in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Canada and Mrs. Nicolas Chapuis for the fifth annual Vimy Reception, hosted by the Vimy Foundation. With only two years until the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Canada's defining moment of the First World War, supporters will be on hand to help raise awareness of the Foundation's work and announce plans for the centennial commemorations set for 2017.

"We are thrilled that Canadians continue to embrace the Vimy Foundation's education and awareness programs. This event is no ordinary fundraiser. It will ensure that the Vimy legacy of national unity, sacrifice, innovation, and victory are never lost. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Embassy of France and honoured to co-host this unique event with Ambassador to France to Canada and Mrs. Nicolas Chapuis" said Bruce Burrow, Chair of the Vimy Reception Committee.

Other special guests, including the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Erin O'Toole, and Helen Vari, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur of France, as well as Second World War veterans and currently serving members of the Canadian Forces, will help celebrate the work of the Vimy Foundation and unveil plans for the new Education Centre, which will open in Vimy, France in 2017.  The Government of Canada, through Veterans Affairs Canada, contributed $5 million to the project, while the Vimy Foundation has raised $5 million of its intended $10 million fundraising goal.

At Vimy Ridge, 98 years ago, 100,000 Canadians soldiers gathered for the first time as a united fighting force. Commanded in part by Canadian officers, they achieved the unachievable and took one of the most heavily defended German positions of the entire Western front. It is said by many historians that at Vimy Ridge Canada emerged from a colony to become a nation. It was not simply a battle – it was Canada's coming of age.

The Vimy Foundation is a registered charity founded in 2006. The mission of the Vimy Foundation is to preserve and promote Canada's First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 - a milestone when Canada earned its place on the world stage. To learn more, visit



For further information: For media inquiries: Jennifer Jones, Communications Coordinator, The Vimy Foundation, 647.504.2220 (cell),; Stéphane Schorderet, Press and Communication Counsellor, French Embassy in Canada, Tel : 613.562.3740,


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