Vimy Ridge Weekend at Fort York – Saturday, April 8, 2017 and Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 10 am to 5 pm

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Click here for previous posts about the First World War >

The following information is from the Events at Fort York page at the City of Toronto website.

The link in the previous sentence includes a detailed timetable of events.

Vimy Ridge Weekend at Fort York – Saturday, April 8, 2017 and Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 10 am to 5 pm

The City of Toronto honours the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 8 and 9, 2017 at Fort York National Historic Site. On April 8 the public will experience educational programming and First World War re-enactor displays of infantry, artillery, cavalry, medicine, music and food as well as Great War related exhibits and films.

Trench Warfare. Photo taken by an official British photographer during WWI, 1917. Source: History In Pictures ‏@HistoryInPics. Click on the image to enlarge it.

On April 9 a military remembrance parade and commemorative service by the Canadian Armed Forces will later be followed by the dedication of a Vimy oak tree within Garrison Common. The commemorative service will be attended by Mayor John Tory and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell as well as other dignitaries. VIMY 100 Toronto is part of the City’s Canada 150 TO Canada with Love program.

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Updates

A March 31, 2017 (or thereabouts) Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Vimy Ridge: Birthplace of a nation – or of a Canadian myth?: The battle, which marks its 100th anniversary this year, has long been touted as the defining event that unified Canada. Whether or not it did, its symbolism endures.”

An excerpt reads:

Naval guns fire during the battle at Vimy Ridge in April, 1917. NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA. The image is rom the Globe and Mail article highlighted at the post you are now reading.

Naval guns fire during the battle at Vimy Ridge in April, 1917. National Archives of Canada. The image is from the Globe and Mail article highlighted at the post you are now reading. Click on the image to enlarge it.

“Two recent books take up the quarrel from opposing sides, adding to a long shelf of Vimy literature. Military historian Tim Cook’s cautiously celebratory Vimy: the Battle and the Legend is the revised standard gospel, insisting on the resilience of the legend while acknowledging that the subject is ‘a layered skein of stories, myths, wishful thinking and conflicting narratives.’  Ian McKay and Jamie Swift’s The Vimy Trap, a finalist for this year’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, is an impatient piece of debunkery that sees Vimy as a propaganda tool used to justify more recent conflicts, including the war in Afghanistan.”

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An April 8, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Brockville-area soldier came home from Vimy honoured — but scarred: Thain Wendell MacDowell waged his own war against shell shock after the 1917 battle.”

Email from Geoff Kettel

By way of a further update, Geoff Kettel has shared the following news release. You will need to cut and paste the links, included in the news release, as I do not have time (being a volunteer blogger, as I am) to make them into live links.

News Release

April 3, 2017

City of Toronto to commemorate Battle of Vimy Ridge centennial anniversary

The City of Toronto will honour the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (VIMY 100 Toronto) at Fort York National Historic Site with a weekend of free events culminating in a commemorative ceremony on April 9 in collaboration with the Canadian Armed Forces.

At the April 9 ceremony, Mayor John Tory will be joined by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell; the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne and other dignitaries.

“I am proud to be part of this significant event that remembers the sacrifices of our soldiers. Vimy Ridge forged the character of our country and its historic importance continues to resonate a century later,” said Mayor Tory. “It is of utmost importance that we share the memories that have been passed down from generation to generation so that the children of the future understand the significance of Vimy Ridge and why so many made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in peace and freedom today. I encourage everyone to attend the events at Fort York this weekend.”

“The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for Canada – a turning point in our collective memory when we came into our own as a nation,” said Premier Wynne. “Thousands of young Canadians lost their lives. I encourage everyone to attend the events at Fort York this weekend as we mark the 100th anniversary of this historic battle. By joining together to honour the legacy of Vimy Ridge, we will remember the great courage and sacrifice of Canada’s soldiers in the First World War, and pay our respects to every serviceman and woman who has died protecting our freedom and our way of life.”

A military parade and commemorative service by the Canadian Armed Forces will take place on April 9 at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the dedication of a Vimy oak tree within Fort York’s Garrison Common. Fort York will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Multiple events will also take place on April 9 across Canada and in France to honour the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Visit http://www.canada.ca/vimy-100 for more information on the history and legacy of the battle.

On April 8, the public can experience First World War re-enactor displays of infantry, artillery, cavalry, medicine, music and food as well as Great War related exhibits and films. Fort York will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information on VIMY 100 Toronto events is available at http://www.toronto.ca/fortevents.

VIMY 100 Toronto is part of the City’s Canada 150 TO Canada with Love program and is presented by the City in partnership with the Ontario150 program to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Province of Ontario in 2017. Visit https://www.ontario.ca/150 more information.

As a National Historic Site, Fort York is a place for all Torontonians and Canadians to discover their common history and heritage. Since 1793, Fort York has been an important location militarily and is also known as Toronto’s founding landscape. Fort York National Historic Site is one of 10 historic sites operated by the City of Toronto. For more information visit http://www.toronto.ca/museums. Follow the City’s historic sites on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TOhistoricsites and Facebook at http://wwwfacebook.com/historictoronto.

Get information and updates about the TO Canada with Love program at http://www.toronto.ca/canada150 or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SpecialEventsTO, Twitter: http://twitter.com/SpecialEventsTO, Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/SpecialEventsTO and Snapchat: http://www.snapchat.com/add/specialeventsto. The program hashtag is #C150TO.

This news release is also available on the City of Toronto website at http://ow.ly/E97y30awqaq.

 

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