November 2016 Media roundup

Catch up on some Vimy Foundation news from the last few weeks:

Our students in the news:

Recent poll comparing Canada and international attitudes about First World War commemoration:

Our new First World War in Colour program:

Other links of interest:

Click here to read the French language media.


Survey of Six “Western Front” Nations Shows Canadians Most Likely to Have Attended War Remembrance Ceremony in Past Year

But Canadians are Among the Least Likely to Remember Learning about First World War in School; All Countries, including Canada, Over-Estimate Canadian Soldier Deaths in First World War

Toronto, ON – November 10 2016– A survey of six countries whose soldiers fought on the Western Front in the First World War has revealed that Canadians are the most likely to have attended a war remembrance ceremony in the past 12 months, but they’re among the least likely to say that they remember learning about the First World War in school. The survey was conducted for the Vimy Foundation, and comprised 1,000 interviews in each of Canada, the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany, and 500 interviews in Belgium.

Fully one quarter (25%) of Canadians say they’ve attended a war remembrance ceremony in the past 12 months, while fewer residents of Great Britain (18%), the US (16%), Belgium (14%), France (11%) and Germany (4%) say the same.

Doing Enough to Mark the Occasion

For the last two years, and for two more upcoming, countries around the world have been commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War. But only one half (52%) of Canadians agree that Canada is doing enough to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War, meaning that the other half (48%) of Canadians disagree that enough is being done. While only Americans (33%) lag Canadians in believing their country has done enough to mark the occasion, Canadians are less likely than those in Germany (58%), France (60%), Great Britain (63%) and Belgium (70%) to say so.

Moreover, Canadians trail most of the European countries in saying that they remember learning about the First World War in school. Two thirds (66%) of Canadians and those in Great Britain (64%) remember learning about the First World War in school, behind those in Germany (70%), the US (72%), France (78%) and Belgium (80%).

Personally Remembering those who Served

Nearly one half (46%) of those in Great Britain say that they are a descendant of someone who served in the First World War, meaning that they’re the most likely to have a personal connection to the Great War. Fewer residents of France (36%), Germany (34%), the US (31%), Belgium (30%) and Canada (29%) have this type of connection.

In an effort to stay connected to the First World War, many intend to visit a First World War battlefield, cemetery or historic site before the end of 2018, led by those in Belgium (25%), followed by those in the US (19%), France (17%), Canada (11%), Great Britain (10%) or Germany (7%).

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

The year 2017 marks the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge – the famous victory that Canadian Brigadier-General A.E. Ross remarked, “In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation.” The victory not only changed how other countries saw Canada, but how Canadians saw themselves. Given its significance to Canada, it’s not surprising that Canadians are by far the most likely to have heard of the battle (61%). However, surprisingly only 17% of those in France have heard of it, despite it being the located in that country. Moreover, only two in ten (20%) Germans have heard of the battle, despite being the opposing force to Canada.

Remembering those Who Died

Respondents of each country were asked to identify, unaided, the number of soldiers that died while serving in the First World War, not only those serving for their own country, but for other countries as well.

The numbers reveal some interesting findings:

– Average error puts France as the most accurate; Canada and USA as the least accurate

– Canada, USA, Belgium, UK over-estimate their own losses; France and Germany under-estimate their own losses

– Canada over-estimates own losses, US and Belgium, under-estimates, UK, France (massively) and Germany (under by more than a million people!)

– Everyone over-estimates Canadian losses

– Everyone grossly under-estimates French and German losses

– Only people in the UK have a reasonably clear understanding of their own losses; everyone else under-estimates UK loses by at least a quarter million, with the Americans being the furthest off.

Download full results here.



For more information:

Jennifer Blake
416.595.1917 x2 (office)
647.504.2220 (cell) займ на карту

The Vimy Foundation to Bring First World War to Life with Unique Project

The Vimy Foundation to Bring First World War to Life with Unique Project

Initiative to colourize First World War images first of its kind in Canada

November 7 – Toronto – Today, in honour of Remembrance Week and with the help of funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Vimy Foundation is launching a unique and innovative project to colourize rarely seen images of the First World War, a project aimed at reengaging young Canadians on defining moments in our history.

The First World War in Colour Education Program will consist of colourizing 150 images from Library and Archives Canada and other sources, and video archives from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB); youth workshops across Canada; a travelling photo gallery to be hosted by museums and galleries; and a new book (and e-book) published by Dundurn Press. The images featured within this project will not only highlight the important battles in Canada’s history, but also life on the home front, wartime industries, the contributions of women, and advances in medical and communications technologies.

This project is made possible thanks to support from the Government of Canada. The Vimy Foundation is receiving $404,000 over two years from the Celebration and Commemoration Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage for this project.

“Thanks to this initiative, the youth of Canada will be able to better connect with the soldiers, nurses and citizens who sacrificed everything during the First World War.  The Vimy Foundation continues to be an important and valuable partner in educating Canadians about not just the Battle of Vimy Ridge, but also of the First World War.  Commemorations such as these, and the upcoming 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge next year, honour the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are thrilled to work with Canadian Heritage to bring this program to Canadians across the country. These colourized images will help bridge the gap between Canadians today and those that contributed to the war effort one hundred years ago. The Battle of Vimy Ridge has remained such a key part of our collective understanding as a country not only because it was a military victory, but because many of the core Canadian values were a contributing factor to its success: leadership, innovation, and teamwork. The First World War in Colour Education Program will highlight the legacy of the war for Canadians today.”
—  Jeremy Diamond, Executive Director, The Vimy Foundation

“Since 1939, the NFB has chronicled the enormous contributions and sacrifices of Canadians during wartime, on the front lines and on the home front―a vital legacy that we’re committed to safeguarding for future generations, and sharing with all Canadians. We’re proud to stand alongside the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Vimy Foundation on this innovative program, one that will provide young Canadians with a deeper understanding of a pivotal moment in the history of their nation.”
― Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada

“Today, most people are used to seeing photos in colour and black and white photos can seem distant and flat. Adding colour enables a whole new audience to become interested in these photos and the history behind them.”
—  Mark Truelove, Digital Colourist, Canadian Colour

Quick Facts

  • The products and activities that will feature the colourized images include educational material, a photo exhibition, workshops, book publication and a webpage.
  • The photo exhibit will visit small and large communities across Canada, and the educational material, which includes the colourized audiovisual archives from the National Film Board of Canada — will be distributed to schools across the country.
  • The project has the potential to reach 1 million Canadians.
  • Project partners include National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Library and Archives Canada, Postmedia, Dundurn Press Ltd.

At Vimy Ridge, 99 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

Click here to view our First World War in Colour page!

Associated Links

First World War in Colour

World War Commemorations in Canada



For media inquiries:

Jennifer Blake
Communications Coordinator

416.595.1917 x2 (office)
647.504.2220 (cell)

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