More Canadians join National Public Vigil of Rememberance

                 ---VIGIL 1914-1918 PROJECT UNVEILS WEBSITE,

    WINNIPEG, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - From sunset to sunrise, from November 4 until
November 11, Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil will project the names of the 68,000
Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War onto the National War
Memorial in Ottawa, as well as feature the broadcast live online.
    "I am pleased to announce that Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil has now expanded
from one site in Ottawa to include six other public vigils in the cities of
Fredericton, Halifax, Toronto, Regina, Edmonton and in Trafalgar Square,
London, England," confirmed Deborah Morrison, President and CEO of Canada's
National History Society, presenter of the Vigil Project. "We had always hoped
other cities would join in the project, but we knew the local financial and
volunteer commitment was significant. We are delighted with such a strong
response and there may be others still to come in the remaining weeks leading
up to the Vigil. These additional locations could not have been confirmed
without the dedicated efforts of the project's creators, R.H. Thomson and
Martin Conboy, who have spearheaded private fundraising efforts to support
these additional locations."
    "This is the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War," noted
Martin Conboy, co-producer for the Vigils. "We thought it important to pay
special tribute to the Canadian soldiers who died in that awful time. But the
technical and logistic challenges of this project were daunting. It would not
have happened but for the enthusiasm and hard work of hundreds of people."
    "Canada House's participation in facilitating a Vigil presentation in
Trafalgar Square in London reinforces the historic link between the Canadian
Expeditionary Forces and the British Forces that was so much of Canada's
identity in the Great War," explained R.H. Thomson. "Families were forbidden
from repatriating the bodies of their war dead however much they wanted to. It
will be an important moment for the names of the 68,000 to first appear in
Trafalgar Square and then travel home across the time zones. In essence, they
travel back to Canada and across our country."
    Veterans Affairs Canada has contributed $340,000 for the production of
the Vigil on the National War Memorial in Ottawa, the simultaneous webcast of
the event, and support for the coordination of other Vigil sites.
    "For my students this will be the experience of a lifetime to honour and
remember our veterans through the Vigil Project," affirmed Curtis Kleisinger,
a teacher working with organizers to project names onto the Provincial
Legislature in Regina. "The students will discover the stories behind each
name, so many of them their own age when they went to war, and make a
connection that will stay with them forever."
    With today's announcement, the project partners also launched the virtual
Vigil website. "Starting Oct. 20th, Canadians can go to to
look up the names of loved ones and confirm the night and the minute when
their name will appear in this innovative tribute to remember the individual
men and women who were lost during the First World War," explained Michel
Blondeau, CEO of ecentricarts inc., developers of both the digital
presentations and the website.
    The website will enable Canadians to join in and participate in the
Vigil, wherever they are, watching the live broadcast from Ottawa, or via the
virtual Vigil that will be keyed to broadcast using local times. It will also
enable them to leave comments and personal reflections about their Vigil
experience, or post pictures from other Vigil sites across the country to
share with the rest of us.
    Legions, community groups, local heritage groups and others interested in
participating in Vigil activities being organized at the five locations and
online, or those interested in hosting smaller, parallel vigils using our
projection software package are invited to contact the History Society at

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Morrison, President and CEO, Canada's
History Society,, (204) 988-9300 ext 22; R.H.

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