Canadian War Museum gala raises over $200,000 for Operation Veteran’s Supply Line and The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund

April 9, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario, April 8, 2014 Corporate patrons and private donors joined members of the military and government dignitaries tonight for the Canadian War Museum’s First World War Centenary Gala. Proceeds from the event, held on the eve of Vimy Ridge Day, will support the Museum’s Operation Veteran Supply Line program and The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund.

The event’s main sponsors — Distinction, BMO Financial Group, Ocean Capital Investments and Rx&D — together with many other sponsors and donors, donated over $200,000 for educational programs for youth and assistance for veterans and their families.

Operation Veteran, founded in 2009 by Dr. Paul Kavanagh in association with the Canadian War Museum, offers complimentary meals to veterans visiting the Museum. The program also builds bridges between generations by supporting innovative educational programs like Supply Line, which offers schools across the country the opportunity to borrow authentic and reproduction First World War artifacts for classroom activities.

The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund helps ensure that veterans and their families are cared for and treated with the respect they deserve. The program provides financial assistance for necessities such as shelter, food, fuel, clothing, prescription medicine, transportation and comforts for veterans and their surviving spouses who are hospitalized.

“Tonight, by commemorating the First World War centenary, we honour the extraordinary service of Canadians who fought in a historic and devastating struggle 100 years ago,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “At the same time, we are raising funds for two vital programs that will benefit today’s veterans and youth.”

Dignitaries in attendance at the Centenary Gala included the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Thomas Lawson. They were joined by 350 guests for a memorable evening of elegant dining and dancing in the Museum’s spectacular LeBreton Gallery.

“I am inspired and humbled to participate in this event that honours the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The First and Second World Wars were important events that contributed to the development of a distinct Canadian national identity,” said Minister Glover. “As we prepare to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, events and commemorations such as these will encourage Canadians to understand more about our history and reaffirm our pride in our achievements.”

The First World War-inspired menu was the creation of Distinction, Official Caterer for the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of History. Gala guests also enjoyed a riveting keynote address by Margaret MacMillan, internationally renowned historian and award-winning author of The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World.

After dinner, guests were treated to a performance of “Soldiers of Song – A Tribute to The Dumbells,” followed by dancing to the music of the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces. Guests were also offered exclusive previews of the Museum’s inaugural centenary exhibitions Transformations – A. Y. Jackson and Otto Dix and Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War. Opening to the public on April 10, both exhibitions are presented by National Presenting Sponsor and Official Centenary Partner, TD Bank Group.

The First World War Centenary Gala marks the official launch of the Canadian War Museum’s multi-year program of exhibitions and public activities devoted to deepening people’s understanding of this pivotal chapter in Canadian and world history. More than 425,000 Canadians served overseas between 1914 and 1918. They made a critical difference to the outcome of the war and contributed to Canada’s emergence as an independent nation. But their valour came at a high cost, as 66,000 Canadians died and 173,000 were wounded during the war.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.


Media contacts:

Yasmine Mingay
Manager, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Telephone:   819-776-8608
Avra Gibbs Lamey
Communications and Media Relations Officer
Canadian War Museum
Telephone:   819-776-8607

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