- Week-long Vigil 1914-1918 Project receives
$300,000 to organize November 4-11th ceremony -
WINNIPEG, June 12 /CNW/ - Canada's National History Society is pleased to
announce its partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada to
present Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil, a national bilingual public initiative to
remember the fallen soldiers of World War One.
The original concept, created by project producers R.H. Thomson and
Martin Conboy, will feature a week-long tribute to honour the soldiers.
Beginning at sunset on November 4, the names of Canadians who lost their lives
in the First World War will be projected one by one onto the National War
Memorial each night. The last name will appear just before sunrise on November
11. Canadians will have the opportunity to watch the event live via the
"Since Remembrance Day November 1919, the commemoration of the 68,000
Canadians who were killed in WWI has been conducted in their names, but never
with their names," stated R.H. Thomson, speaking on behalf of the project.
"For 89 years, the dead have been honourably and respectfully remembered as a
collective. But when the book of the living history of WWI closes forever, it
seems fitting to honour the name of each and every man individually," he
The Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund has
generously contributed $300,000 to ensure that the national Vigil on the War
Memorial in Ottawa and the simultaneous webcast of the event takes place.
"There are many great monuments dedicated to the participation of
Canadian soldiers in WW1. They all speak in metaphor of the valour, courage
and sacrifice of these young men; none can speak of the individual. With the
Vigil light we will attempt to personalize valour and put a name on courage;
return the emphasis of these monuments to the individuals, one by one, that
they were meant to commemorate," added project producer Martin Conboy.
The History Society and its partners continue to seek additional private
funding to expand opportunities for Canadians outside of Ottawa to actively
participate in ceremonies to be held concurrently in provincial capitals. An
effort to organize a simultaneous public Vigil in Trafalgar Square in London,
England is also underway.
"We believe this is a rare and poignant opportunity to engage all
Canadians - young and old - in a personal journey toward understanding the
enormity of our loss during World War I," explained Deborah Morrison,
president and CEO of Canada's National History Society. "Each year it becomes
a greater challenge to demonstrate to Canadians why it is so important we take
the time and effort to remember these men and women. This project has the
potential to bridge generations as well as two continents and give new and
enduring meaning to our acts of remembrance."
The History Society will work with its network of teachers and educators
to develop educational resources that will help teachers involve their
students in research assignments related to World War I. They will also be
encouraging schools and community youth groups to participate in daily sunset
and sunrise ceremonies planned at each of the Vigil sites.
For more information about Vigile 1914-1918 Vigil or to make a donation,
visit www.historysociety.ca/vigil or contact the History Society at
For further information:
For further information: Deborah Morrison, (204) 293-1867,
firstname.lastname@example.org; R.H. Thomson, email@example.com; Martin Conboy,
(613) 569-4845, firstname.lastname@example.org