Canada remembers the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Canadian National Vimy Memorial
Photo: Master Corporal Shilo Adamson

The Embassy of Canada’s gallery exhibit was put together to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917. Regiments from coast to coast saw action together in a distinctly Canadian triumph, helping create a new and stronger sense of Canadian identity. Canada’s military achievements during the war raised Canada’s international stature and helped earn our nation a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War.

The Embassy of Canada’s gallery exhibit features components from the following collections:

Souterrain Impressions is a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring full-scale, 3D reproductions of carvings and images created by First World War Canadian soldiers who were sheltered in underground chalk caves in France while awaiting orders to join the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The exhibit was created by an all-volunteer, London-Ontario-based group known as CANADIGM. Led by Executive Director Zenon Andrusyszyn, members of the CANADIGM team made two working trips to France at their own expense and on their own time. They used the latest in high-resolution photographic and 3D scanning equipment, without touching the original carvings, to record and later recreate such images as regimental badges, hearts, farm animals back home, and an elaborate mailbox, some of which is on display at the Embassy. CANADIGM also partnered with Western University, which researched the soldiers’ histories: where they came from, what they did before the war, and whether they survived or died in battle.

Excerpts from: From Vimy to Juno, a bilingual travelling exhibit that examines Canada’s role in the First and Second World Wars. The portion we are displaying focuses on the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The exhibit tells the personal stories of the men and women who experienced firsthand this nation-defining moment in Canadian history, while at the same time examining Canada as a nation. Developed by the Juno Beach Centre in partnership with the Vimy Foundation, this program was made possible through the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

An Interactive 3D Vimy Ridge Map from the Canadian Military Communications & Electronics Museum. The map was developed in partnership with the Computer Science and Mathematics departments at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. This portion of the exhibit focuses on the role of the Canadian Signal Corps during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, using period trench maps, unit war diaries and other documentation to create an interactive, 3-dimensional computerized model of the battlefield. The map allows users to experience the landscape and terrain just as the Signal Corps would have experienced them in 1917.

The Embassy will host this exhibit from March 27th to June 9th, 2017.
The Embassy of Canada art gallery is located at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Open to the public: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.