Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

December 11, 2006 12:41 ET

Canada's New Government Releases Details Surrounding 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 11, 2006) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced plans to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the dedication of the newly restored Canadian National Vimy Memorial. On April 9, 2007, thousands of Canadians and French are expected to gather at the Vimy Memorial in France to celebrate and remember the sacrifices and achievements of Canadians during this critical battle of the First World War.

"Thousands of Canadians are expected to travel to France to mark this significant anniversary next year and they need to make their travel arrangements as soon as possible," said Minister Thompson. "For Canadians who are not able to travel overseas, a national ceremony will take place in Ottawa. These events will be an opportunity for all of us to remember and honour the brave Canadians who helped shape our nation."

Official Government of Canada public events in France will include a commemorative event on April 7; a Freedom of the City ceremony in Arras on April 8; and a signature anniversary and dedication event on Easter Monday April 9. In addition to overseas events, a national Vimy ceremony will take place on April 9 in Ottawa at the National War Memorial.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on April 9, 1917, and marked the first time all four Divisions of the Canadian Corps went into battle together. It was there, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras, France, that the Canadians accomplished what other allied forces could not - they captured Vimy Ridge. The Canadian success earned Canada a separate signature on the Versailles Peace treaty. This success came at a great cost - more than 10,000 casualties, of which 3,598 were fatal.

The restoration of the Vimy Memorial was announced in 2001 as part of the Canadian Battlefield Memorials Restoration Project, a $30-million initiative to restore and rehabilitate Canada's First World War memorial sites in Europe. The Vimy Memorial was restored at a cost of $20-million.

For more information on Vimy events, visit or call toll-free 1 800 443-0394.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Gerald A. Lefebvre
    Director of Communications