OTTAWA, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today joined representatives of the Vimy Foundation, local students and special guests at the Canadian War Museum on the first official day of Veterans' Week 2013 to help launch the Give a Vimy for Vimy campaign. The campaign, run by the Vimy Foundation, is a national initiative to raise awareness for the upcoming Vimy centennial in 2017 and encourage Canadians to contribute to the construction of a permanent visitor education centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.
"I am very pleased today to be part of the official launch of the Give a Vimy for Vimy campaign," stated Minister Fantino. "Our Government is extremely proud to have committed $5 million toward building the new Vimy education centre, and we are so pleased to work in partnership with the Vimy Foundation to help make this important project a reality."
Education First (EF) Tours was also recognized at the event as the first multi-year supporter of the visitor education centre. EF Tours provides educational travel opportunities to students and kicked off the fundraising campaign with a donation of $100,000 to the initiative.
"The Give a Vimy for Vimy campaign will engage Canadians from coast to coast to coast, helping to ignite pride and support for this important legacy project—the building of a new Vimy education centre," said Christopher Sweeney, Chair of the Vimy 2017 Committee. "The work of the Vimy Foundation continues to ensure that the Vimy legacy of national unity, sacrifice, innovation and victory is never lost and we look forward to building momentum with Canadians, toward the centennial in 2017."
In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada committed $5 million for a new permanent visitor centre at the Canadian Vimy National Memorial and announced a partnership with the Vimy Foundation for them to leverage additional funds for the centre through donations from the private sector and from individual Canadians.
The Give a Vimy for Vimy campaign encourages Canadians to donate to help support the new education centre. Canada's new polymer $20 bill features the National Vimy Ridge Memorial, commemorating a key moment in Canadian history. The Vimy Foundation is encouraging Canadians to donate a "Vimy" to help support this education centre project.
The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is part of the "Road to 2017," a Government of Canada initiative that begins in 2014. The aim of the initiative is to commemorate significant milestones that helped shape Canada leading up to our nation's 150th birthday in 2017. One of these milestones was the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.
This Veterans' Week, your challenge is to show you remember. Wearing a poppy, attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony and changing your Facebook profile picture to a poppy are all ways to remember and honour Veterans. Visit veterans.gc.ca/iremember to get interactive and share your thoughts or to find commemorative events in your community.
For more information on the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, as well as on Veterans Affairs Canada's programs and services, visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
The Vimy foundation