From Vimy to Juno presented at the Canadian War Museum

May 2, 2017


For immediate release

Ottawa, Ontario, May 2, 2017 — A new exhibition, created by the Juno Beach Centre and presented at the Canadian War Museum, highlights the legacy of two victories that brought both pride and sorrow to Canadians in the First and Second World Wars. From Vimy to Juno – Canada in France 1914–1945, an exhibition of photographs, historical materials and more, comes 100 years after Canadian forces captured Vimy Ridge, in April 1917, and 73 years after the D-Day landings on Juno Beach, in June 1944.

“We are proud to partner with the Juno Beach Centre Association in presenting From Vimy to Juno. This exhibition examines Canada’s role in the First and Second World Wars through the lens of two hard-won battles,” said Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canadian War Museum.

From Vimy to Juno is presented in four parts: the Canadian experience during the First and Second World Wars; the evolution of commemoration and remembrance in Canada and France from the First World War to the present day; the impetus for the creation of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, unveiled in 1936; and the creation of the Juno Beach Centre, which opened in 2003.

The two-dimensional exhibition is anchored by personal stories from Canadians who experienced both wars first-hand. Meet Major John Archibald MacNaughton, who fought with the 104th Battalion during the First World War and enlisted again, aged 42, to fight in the Second World War. Learn about Chief Joe Dreaver, who served in the First World War and enlisted again with his sons at the age of 48.

“The Juno Beach Centre is honoured to partner with the Canadian War Museum to showcase this special commemorative program in our nation’s capital. In two world wars, hundreds of thousands of Canadians fought in France, where their achievements helped shape our national identity,” said Don Cooper, President of the Juno Beach Centre Association. “We are proud to bring this legacy from the sacred grounds of Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach to all Canadians, coast to coast, through From Vimy to Juno, especially during Canada’s sesquicentennial year.”

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, from April 9 to 12, 1917, marked the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together. It took four days of fighting and 10,000 Canadian casualties to overcome the German enemy’s barbed wire, machine guns, deep dugouts and concrete bunkers. The victory was a much-needed morale booster for the Allies, and established the Canadians’ international reputation as a skilled fighting force.

The D-Day landings, on June 6, 1944, provided a similar opportunity for Canadian soldiers to show their mettle by storming Juno Beach. The Allies’ ensuing 10-week Normandy Campaign was successful in its goal of liberating France and the rest of Western Europe. This campaign cost Canada some 18,000 casualties, including 5,021 dead.

From Vimy to Juno, developed by the Juno Beach Centre in partnership with the Vimy Foundation, will be presented until July 2, 2017 at the Canadian War Museum. The exhibition is part of special programming commemorating the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It also supports the Juno Beach Centre’s From Vimy to Juno Educational Campaign, a multi-year national initiative exploring the connections between Canadian experiences in the First and Second World Wars.

The Juno Beach Centre Association is a Canadian non-profit charitable corporation that owns and operates the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France. The Centre is both a renowned museum and cultural centre, paying homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War. In addition to its overseas operations, the Juno Beach Centre Association develops exhibitions and educational programs for students in Canada.

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. Work of the Canadian War Museum is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

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Media contacts:
Yasmine Mingay
Director, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8608

Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer, Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8607