The Vimy Foundation and the Canadian War Museum announce Allward: An Innovative Digital Initiative Celebrating Canadian Art and Heritage

March 21, 2024


Ottawa, Ontario, March 21, 2024 — Situated atop historic Vimy Ridge in France, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial stands as a poignant testament to sacrifices made during the First World War. As Canada’s largest memorial to its fallen soldiers, it bears the names of more than 11,000 Canadians who went missing in France during the conflict.

Allward: Bringing Stone to Life is the Vimy Foundation’s latest initiative, presented in partnership with the Canadian War Museum and Canadigm. Celebrating the enduring legacy of the Vimy Memorial and its sculptor, it delves into the intricate design and construction of the iconic monument through 3D digitizations of the maquettes for figures on the Memorial.

Over a span of 15 years, Canadian sculptor Walter S. Allward worked on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. A revered piece of Canadian heritage, the monument draws thousands of visitors annually, serving as a site of pilgrimage and remembrance.

Allward focuses on the maquettes produced as models for the final figures on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Capturing Allward’s intricate vision, each of the 15 scale models — housed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, and at the Military Communications & Electronics Museum in Kingston — embodies Allward’s meticulous attention to detail and symbolism. Together, they offer insights into his creative process, while reflecting themes of sacrifice and remembrance.

As part of its commitment to accessibility and engagement with Canadian history and art, the Vimy Foundation has also partnered with Canadigm — an organization dedicated to preserving Canadian heritage through state-of-the-art digital technology. Canadigm scanned the works in three dimensions and digitized the results, making these fragile works of art accessible to the public in a single place for the first time since they were created.

Together, these partnerships have been instrumental in bringing this project to life, allowing broader access to these valuable objects. This innovative approach will provide immersive digital experiences, allowing users to explore the intricate details and symbolism of Allward’s sculptures as never before.

The Vimy Foundation extends its deepest gratitude to Veterans Affairs Canada and Canada Company, whose financial support has been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.

To access Allward, please visit


 “I am thrilled to see the Allward project come to life, which is one initiative we have proudly supported through our Commemorative Partnership Program. It is through innovative ideas such as this that we can bring the battlefields of France, and the stories of those who fought there, that much closer to home. I congratulate The Vimy Foundation, the Canadian War Museum, Canadigm, and the Military Communications and Electronics Museum for partnering on this project and for finding new ways to bring history to Canadians.”

— The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“The Vimy Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of our latest project: Allward. This initiative underscores our dedication to accessibility and engagement with our shared history. In collaboration with our partners, we aim to showcase the intricate details of Walter Allward’s sculptures, through 3D technology, to audiences worldwide.”

— Carolyn Patton, Chair of the Vimy Foundation

 “The Canadian War Museum is pleased to partner with the Vimy Foundation and Canadigm to leverage a technology that enables the maquettes in our collection to be seen in new ways by more Canadians. The meticulous details add an additional layer of human connection to the legacy of one of Canada’s most important monuments to First World War sacrifice.”

— James Whitham, Director General, Canadian War Museum

“Canadigm and its volunteers firmly believe in the value of making Canadian history more accessible to a wide audience. We are honoured to have provided the latest 3D laser-scanning technology to this project, to help highlight and celebrate the legacy and contributions of Walter Allward to homes and classrooms across Canada and beyond.”

   — Zenon Andrusyszyn, Artistic and Executive Director of Canadigm

“When approached by the Vimy Foundation about this project and potential partnerships, the Military Communications & Electronics Museum was eager and honoured to participate. To share Allward’s work on this innovative new technological platform — and work with Canadigm — was a pleasure. Being able to share and make accessible such an important part of Canadian history and art beyond the Museum was an opportunity not to be missed!”

— Annette Gillis, Curator at the Military Communications & Electronics Museum

About the Vimy Foundation

Founded in 2006, the Vimy Foundation is dedicated to preserving and promoting Canada’s First World War legacy, with a particular focus on the iconic Battle of Vimy Ridge. Its work extends beyond the battlefield to inspire and engage Canadians — particularly youth — in the exploration of our country’s history during the First World War, and its enduring impact on our nation’s identity.

About the Canadian War Museum

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

About Canadigm

The Canadian Historical Documentation and Imaging Group is a not-for-profit research group dedicated to advancing public education and awareness of events, artifacts and sites of historical significance, as well as to preserving their legacies through advanced documentation technologies and media.

About the Military Communications & Electronics Museum

Founded in 1961, the Military Communications & Electronics Museum is dedicated to collecting, interpreting, and sharing the stories of the Communications and Electronics Branch of Canada’s Armed Forces. “The Troops, The Times and The Technology” are the focus both within the walls of the Museum and in its virtual content, to engage and educate. This work is not possible without the financial support of the Military Communications & Electronics Museum Foundation, the Directorate of History and Heritage of the Department of National Defence, and the Government of Canada.


Media contacts

For statements and interview requests for the Vimy Foundation, Canadigm and the Military Communications & Electronics Museum, or to learn more about this project, please contact:

Kevin McGaw
Communications Coordinator, Vimy Foundation
For media inquires related to the Canadian War Museum, please contact:

Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer, Canadian War Museum