Starting in March 2017, the War Museum will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge with five principal initiatives: a presentation by Dr. Tim Cook on the history behind the commemoration of Vimy, a special exhibition on Vimy and the nature of commemoration titled Vimy – Beyond the Battle, a renewal of the Vimy section in the Museum’s First World War gallery and two exhibitions that will travel nationally and internationally. These initiatives will enhance public understanding of this iconic event and how it has shaped our perception of history.
At the Museum
Why Vimy Matters: The History of an Idea
A presentation by Dr. Tim Cook, C.M.
Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre
In English with simultaneous French translation.
In April 1917, Canadians distinguished themselves at the battle of Vimy Ridge. Join us as Canadian War Museum historian and author Tim Cook discusses Vimy as an idea, including its birth, evolution, near-death and renaissance, while also exploring commemoration, remembrance and the Vimy Memorial in France.
Tickets: $10, $7 for students and seniors
Presented in conjunction with the World at War – International Speaker Series, an annual series of academic events, presented by the Canadian War Museum, to mark the centenary of the First World War. The events, presented in a variety of formats, provide an opportunity for the public to learn from leading Canadian and international experts about the war’s national and global reach, its cost and its legacies.
Special Exhibition: Vimy – Beyond the Battle
April 6 to November 12, 2017
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae Gallery
Remembered as a victory, the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9–12, 1917) in France was also one of Canada’s costliest engagements during the First World War. Over the past century, Canadians have remembered and commemorated this battle in many different ways and for many different reasons. Vimy – Beyond the Battle sheds light on how and why we commemorate by exploring private and collective memories of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the First World War and more recent conflicts. The exhibition is a potent reminder that acts of commemoration help us construct our past and shape our present.
Renewal of the Vimy Section
Opening April 6, 2017
Canadian Experience Gallery 2: The South African and First World Wars.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Canadian War Museum will revamp the Vimy section of Canadian Experience Gallery 2: The South African and First World Wars. The new section will help visitors better understand this iconic battle. New artifacts, moving Canadian stories and new audio, video and interactive content will provide insight into many aspects of the battle — from strategic planning and field preparations to the experience of combat, as well as Vimy’s enduring legacy.
Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes
March 18 to June 11, 2017
Musée des beaux-arts in Arras, France
As part of the joint Canada–France Vimy commemorations, the Musée des beaux-arts in Arras, which is near the site of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, will host the Canadian War Museum’s exhibition Witness – Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes. This exhibition presents the experience of the First World War in France and Belgium as witnessed by Canadian soldiers and commissioned war artists, including A. Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer and Frank Johnston, who later became members of the Group of Seven.
This important cultural offering will provide French residents and Canadian visitors with a new perspective on the formative role the First World War played in their shared history.
Vimy – Battle. Memorial. Icon.
A travelling exhibition from the Canadian War Museum
For Canadians, Vimy Ridge is layered with multiple meanings: a bloody battlefield victory at the height of the First World War in France, the site of Canada’s best-known memorial to the conflict and a symbol of evolving nationhood. This new graphic presentation richly illustrates these three themes on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation.
Official Partners of the Centenary of the First World War: John and Pattie Cleghorn and Family; H.Col (Ret’d) John C. Eaton, O.Ont., K.St.J., D.Com. and H.Col Sally Horsfall Eaton, S.S.St.J., C.D., R.N., LL.D.; The Friends of the Canadian War Museum; TD Bank Group; VISITFLANDERS and the R. Howard Webster Foundation.