Veterans Affairs Canada Assistant Deputy Minister Michel Doiron and Mayor Brian Bowman joined residents, youth and Veterans to announce the completion of the newly restored Vimy Ridge Memorial Park monument and plaza in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG, Nov. 8, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices of those who served Canada, past and present. We continue to preserve their legacy and pay tribute to their selfless service and contributions as a way to pass the torch of remembrance to future generations.
Today, Michel Doiron, Assistant Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, joined Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman to unveil the newly restored Vimy Ridge Memorial Park 44th Battalion monument and plaza in Winnipeg.
The refurbished monument is now set on a new platform in a distinguished grey stone parade plaza adorned with expanded flower beds, lighting and banner poles. Other improvements to the park include new walkways, additional benches and new landscaping. The site will provide a place for Canadians to attend memorial services.
Dedicated in June 1926, the monument in Vimy Ridge Memorial Park has been restored a number of times. This year, the third and most comprehensive renovation was completed. Veterans Affairs Canada, through its Commemorative Partnership Program, has approved up to $50,000 to support the restoration in conjunction with another $300,000 of City of Winnipeg capital funding.
"I applaud Winnipeg for providing a place to honour Veterans and inspire remembrance in the community. For years to come, future generations will be able to visit and reflect on the courage and bravery of those who served Canada and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Our government is proud to support initiatives that provide opportunities for Canadians to commemorate and honour the achievements and sacrifices of Canada's Veterans."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"It is an honour to gather today with Veterans, dignitaries and residents of the City of Winnipeg to see first-hand the finished work of the Vimy Ridge Memorial Park 44th Battalion monument plaza. Monuments, like this one, represent sacrifice and honour. With the completion of this project, the community now has a dedicated space to gather and express their gratitude to Canada's Veterans
Michel Doiron, Assistant Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada
"It is heartwarming to see such a comprehensive renovation for the monument at Vimy Ridge Memorial Park come to fruition during the same year as the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge," said Mayor Brian Bowman. "This monument is incredibly important because it will serve as a continuing reminder of the sacrifices made by the thousands of Canadians who served at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifices."
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman
- Victory in the Battle of Vimy Ridge came at a great cost. Of the 100,000 members of the Canadian Corps who served in the battle, approximately 3,600 lost their lives and over 7,000 more were wounded.
- Improvements to Vimy Ridge Memorial Park in Winnipeg include the following:
- The refurbished namesake monument, with the memorial cross that was originally placed on the battlefield, was repositioned deeper into the park onto a new raised platform with four guard posts.
- New expanded gardens and grey stone parade plaza, now extending to the northeast corner of the park, create a welcoming processional entrance flanked by new park lighting and banner poles.
- A circular raised garden bed made of concrete with rough limestone facing to symbolize "the Pimple", which is the raised point of land secured by Canadian armed forces on their drive to capture Vimy Ridge in the First World War.
- Since Confederation, more than 2.3 million Canadians have served in uniform to defend freedom and democracy—with more than 118,000 giving their lives.
- The Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP) provides funding to organizations undertaking remembrance initiatives. Through the CPP, Veterans Affairs Canada has approved up to $50,000 to assist in restoring the Vimy Ridge Memorial Park in Winnipeg. An additional $300,000 was contributed by the City of Winnipeg to this project.
- For more information about the CPP, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
- 2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, and Canada 150.
- Visit the Commemorative Partnership Program page for more information.
- Battle of Vimy Ridge
- Canadian National Vimy Memorial
- City of Winnipeg
- Canada Remembers – Official Veterans' Week webpage
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Contacts: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]; Alex Wellstead, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; City of Winnipeg Media Line, 204-986-6000, [email protected]