Third annual Vimy Foundation Gala Dinner to raise awareness for key moment in Canadian history

Margaret Atwood, Paul Gross and Canadian Armed Forces personnel among guests

TORONTO, April 27, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 500 business leaders, elected officials, members of the Canadian Forces, celebrities and students will gather tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the third annual Vimy Gala, hosted by the Vimy Foundation and presented by Bell. 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 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. The proceeds from tonight's gala will go towards the construction of the new Vimy Visitors Education Centre in Vimy, and I am confident that the gala will ignite pride and support for this initiative," said Jeremy Diamond, Executive Director of the Vimy Foundation.

Master of Ceremonies Kevin Newman will be joined by other special guests, including Paul Gross, Margaret Atwood, General Richard Rohmer, former Senator Michael Meighen, and Helen Vari, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur of France, as well as currently serving members of the Canadian Forces, will help celebrate the work of the Vimy Foundation and unveil architectural renderings for the new Vimy Visitors Education Centre, which will open in Vimy, France in 2017.  The Foundation has raised $5 million towards its goal of $8 million. The Government of Canada has committed $5 million to the project.

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: Jennifer Jones, Communications Coordinator, 416.595.1917 (office), 647.504.2220 (cell),


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