2021 Vimy Pilgrimage Award recipients

2 November 2021

The Vimy Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Vimy Pilgrimage Award, sponsored by Scotiabank. This award recognizes the actions of young people who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to volunteer work through positive contributions, notable deeds, or bravery that benefits their peers, school, community, province, or country.

The Vimy Pilgrimage Award consists of a fully funded educational program to study Canada’s tremendous First World War effort. The program, scheduled for November 8-12, 2021 features daily visits to important sites including memorials and museums and a series of conferences and discussions, as well as participation in Remembrance ceremonies. Exceptionally, this year, recipients will meet in Ottawa.

20 students were selected from across Canada. We are so thankful to everyone who applied and appreciate your dedication to community service and your interest in Canadian history.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Praneet Singh Arora – Surrey, British Columbia
Kevin Butchart – Vancouver, British Columbia
Vera Chen  – Fredericton, New Brunswick
Madeleina Daigneault  – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Jill Dobbin  –  Kindersley, Saskatchewan
Roshni Dwivedi – Edmonton, Alberta
Saara Hisham – Toronto, Ontario
Isla Hupé – Whitehorse, Yukon
Maya Huynh – Toronto, Ontario
Liam Jones – Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan
Kyah Kang –  Langley, British Columbia
Hyunjun Lee – Cochrane, Alberta
Enrique Mena – Barrie, Ontario
Nolan Muller – Oakville, Ontario
Sung Park – Regina, Saskatchewan
Manuel Sauvé Chevalier – Prévost, Québec
Melody Schmidt – Cambridge, Ontario
Heena Singla – Edmonton, Alberta
Jackson Taylor – Washington, D.C.
Sera Tulk – Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you to our lead sponsor Scotiabank for their generous support of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award. Scotiabank aims to support organizations that are committed to helping young people reach their infinite potential.

This program is also sponsored by Air Canada: The First World War is an important, strategic moment in Canadian history and Air Canada is proud to support our youth and tomorrow’s leaders by sponsoring the 2021 Vimy Pilgrimage Award, allowing 20 exceptional teenagers from across Canada to learn and remember.

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Vimy Foundation announces Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Peace Circle at its Centennial Park, in France

22 June 2021, Montréal.


The Vimy Foundation is proud to announce that the visitors to the Centennial Park in Vimy, France, may enjoy the tranquility of the Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Peace Circle as soon as next fall. The Stéphan Crétier Foundation recently confirmed the funding of this new landscape development.


The Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Peace Circle will be situated at the heart of the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park. It will embody both core missions of the Park; creating a reflective space for remembrance of those Canadians who served and were killed at Vimy Ridge (and other sites during the First World War), and as a symbol of Peace and Reconciliation.


‘The Foundation has excellent partners in Mr. Crétier, Mrs. Maillery and the Stéphan Crétier Foundation. They have been important contributors to our efforts to build the Vimy Visitors Education Centre at the Vimy Monument in 2017 and we are extremely pleased to be able to continue to support their vision of peace and dialogue within the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park.’

– Christopher Sweeney, Chair, Board of Directors, The Vimy Foundation


‘The sacrifice that Canadian soldiers made at Vimy in 1917 was certainly not in vain; their decisive victory greatly contributed to Canada being recognized on the world stage and marked a turning point in the development of our national identity. It is a privilege for us to support the Vimy Foundation in preserving the memories of our troops, and promoting peace and harmony for future generations.’

– Stéphan Crétier & Stéphany Maillery


Visitors to the Park will be able to use the seating area to view the National Canadian Vimy Memorial, within a grove of oak trees, and contemplate the cost of the war and the peace that is now part of the experience of the Vimy site.


About the Stéphan Crétier Foundation

The Stéphan Crétier Foundation is a Canadian charitable organization established in 2006 by Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery. Global citizens residing in Dubai since 2010, Mr. Crétier and Ms. Maillery have not forgotten their Canadian roots. The Foundation’s mission is to give back to the community by supporting various Canadian not-for-profit organizations. Furthermore, the Foundation operates the Bolo Program, an innovative and results-driven project focusing on public safety awareness as well as the public’s assistance in locating Canada’s most wanted fugitives. Stéphan Crétier is the Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of GardaWorld, one of the world’s leading private security corporations, with over 122,000 dedicated professionals active in 45 countries. For more information, visit: https://fondationcretier.org/en/


Read our complete PDF press release here.


The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, Vimy, France.

The Vimy Foundation receives funding from Veterans Affairs Canada for a new digital project

We are very happy to announce that Veterans Affairs Canada confirmed, on March 30th, funding of $400,000 over three years for our new digital initiative, ‘Vimy: A Living Memorial’, developed in partnership with several national partners, including the NFB. The project will be launched in April 2022, coinciding with the 105th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. 

Vimy: A Living Memorial is a bilingual and innovative project that uses digital media storytelling and platforms to bring the Vimy national historic site in France to all Canadians; online, onsite and to a worldwide audience. Read our news release here.


March 30th, 2021.

United Against Racism

We look to history to remember, to learn, and to mature. The “War to End All Wars” was survived by a generation of individuals who pioneered many of the social support systems we take for granted. They took their fight to the streets, during their own pandemic, and they fought for labour laws, for healthcare, for the right to vote, and for human rights.

There are no remaining survivors of the First World War to attest to the tragedy and senselessness of hate, intolerance, and violence against innocent people, as we witness times of change and unrest within our country and across the world once again. 

At the Vimy Foundation, we are committed to doing our part to ensure that history serves as an educational tool for awareness, inclusion, and growth in the fight against anti-Black racism. Examining our own organisational structure and processes, we recognize that we too have work to do in order to embrace anti-racism as a part of our mandate. We are committed to continue working hard to foster a safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour within our organization and programming. 

We will lend our voice and share knowledge to join in the fight against anti-Black racism. We will provide resources examining the historic roots of systemic racism and include discussions of these issues in our programming. As we support the Black community, we must also educate ourselves about the entrenchment of racism in Canada in order to make a lasting change.


Researching the History of Black Canadians

Government of Canada List of Black history organizations and educational resources

Africville Museum in Halifax, NS

Amherstburg Freedom Museum formerly the North American Black Historical Museum

BC Black History Places of Interest

The Canadian Encyclopedia: Black Volunteers in the First World War, No.2 Construction Battalion, Black Voting Rights, Stanley G. Grizzle, Black Female Freedom Fighters

Nova Scotia Museum on African Nova Scotians 

Veterans Affairs’ History of Black Canadians in Uniform

Library Archives Canada resources about Black History in Canada

The National Film Board of Canada’s playlist celebrating Black Communities in Canada

Ontario Black History Society

The Secret Life of Canada a CBC podcast, look for the episodes on blackface, Black Nurses, Uncle Tom, the province of Jamaica, John Ware, Eleanor Collins, and Jackie Shane займы на карту

The Nation Born at Vimy Can Handle Any Challenge
- a Vimy Ridge Day message from Vimy Foundation Chair Christopher Sweeney

On April 9, Vimy Ridge Day, we will celebrate and commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. At Vimy, as we all should know, 100,000 Canadian soldiers fought together for the first time and secured a rare and stunning victory for the Allied forces. Arguably, for the first time ever, the world paid attention to something that our young country had done, and on the largest stage on earth at the time- the Western Front in the First World War.

From Vimy, the  emboldened Canadian Corps went to a string of victories starting with Hill 70, followed by the taking of Passchendaele, finished by the never to be forgotten final “100 days” when Canadian forces became the spearhead of the entire British Imperial war effort in Europe.

We recall these momentous events to remind Canadians of what we can do as a nation when faced with enormous challenges, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic. In the four years of war between 1914 and 1918 Canada changed enormously; from a small regular force militia to Canadian Expeditionary Force totalling hundreds of thousands, from a pre-war budget of $185 million to a wartime budget of more than $740 million, with a quadrupled federal debt of $1.2 billion and an additional federal income tax, a totally new initiative, of 4% on all households with income over $2 000 per year.  

By the end of the war, over 600,000 citizens had served in the Canadian Armed forces out of a population of 8 million, or nearly one out of every 10 citizens! We had lost 60 000 soldiers, had another 170,000 physically injured and an untold and uncared number suffering from what we now call PTSD.

No one could have foreseen how our young, sparsely populated country could muster such an effort of blood and material – and yet we did.

We are again faced with an enormous challenge in the Covid-19 pandemic, but this too we have done before – the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1920, spread by soldiers returning from Europe after the war. The ‘flu’ raced across Canada, causing Canadians everywhere to wear a mask if they could secure one (does this sound familiar?), resulting in the loss of over 55,000 Canadians. Canadians once again mobilized their communities to fight the ‘flu’, converting public buildings into hospitals and creating the beginnings of a federal public health body to help create policy to manage the epidemic.  

Canada is in a new type of war now, where the fighting is done in our hospitals and our health care workers are the ones on the front lines, potentially sacrificing themselves for the greater good, for Canada. But like the two world wars, and other troubles that have beset us, we will weather this storm as we have weathered storms in the past, by being level-headed, organized, compassionate, united, and above all,  by rising to the challenge. The nation born at Vimy and during the First World War has untold strengths in its people and resources and is capable of anything required of it. The “Battle of the Pandemic” will be soon followed by the “Battle of Economic Recovery”, and Canada will emerge changed but unbowed by these challenges as we carve out our continuing grand destiny.

– Christopher Sweeney, Chair of the Vimy Foundation займ онлайн без отказа

New Water Feature Honours Legacy of Vimy Ridge

April 9, 2020

The Vimy Foundation and the Love Family Foundation are proud to announce a joint effort to commemorate the legacy of the Battle of Vimy Ridge- The Ridge: To Venerate A Buried History. The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park in France, an established living memorial, will soon be home to the water feature, which was commissioned after a competition with entrants from Canada’s leading design universities. 

The winning team combined the talents of three Thesis Level Masters of Architecture students: Scott Normand, Kevin Complido, and Brendan Dyck. In their proposal, the team states: 

The intention driving the project is for this theoretical interaction to be tranquil and thought-provoking and for it to reinforce the dialogue of peace and remembrance.

Jon and Nancy Love, selection committee members from the Love Family Foundation, felt strongly about selecting the design  as the competition winner: 

What made The Ridge stand out from other designs was its use of echo chambers and agitators below the surface which reverberate the sound of flowing water to create a contemplative environment in the Park.

The proposed design is to be realised this summer and unveiled in the fall.

The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, designed by Canadian landscape architect Linda Dicaire, opened in 2018 to mark the centennial of the end of the Great War. Funded by the Vimy Foundation, the park provides a space of reflection on Canadian achievement at Vimy Ridge.

The message of Vimy Ridge is one of bravery, sacrifice and strength in unity. The battle, which took place on April 9, 1917, is commonly highlighted as a turning point in Canadian history, where the four Canadian divisions fought together as a single fighting force for the first time. The event is often cited as the beginning of Canada’s evolution from dominion to independent nation.

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