Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

March 19, 2015 10:00 ET

Canadian Soldiers' Vimy Ridge Cave Carvings and Drawings to Tour Canada

Harper Government supports exhibition set to open at Museum London April 18

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 19, 2015) - Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadians across the country will have a chance to see and experience the First World War in a unique and very personal way thanks to funding from the Government of Canada for the Souterrain Impressions Exhibit, which will tour the country from April 2015 until June 2018.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Member of Parliament (London West), on behalf of The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that $250,000 has been given to the London-based Canadian Historical Documentation and Imaging Group (CANADIGM) for the Souterrain Impressions Exhibit, which will commemorate the First World War.

Quick Facts

  • The "graffiti" and carvings were created in 1917 by the more than 200 Canadian troops taking refuge in a souterrain (cave) near Vimy Ridge.
  • The soldiers made the drawings and carvings while they were waiting to go into battle. In some cases, these were the final testimonials of those who did not survive.
  • CANADIGM has captured the images from the caves using 3D laser and high-resolution photography.
  • The images will tour selected art galleries and historical museums across Canada beginning in April 2015 at Museum London.
  • The federal government's commemorative period for the First and Second World Wars began in 2014 and will continue until 2020.

Quotes

"This deeply moving exhibition of evocative images and messages, carved on the walls of the caves or souterrain near Vimy Ridge by our Canadian soldiers, brings a truly human and personal dimension to the First World War. As we prepare to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017, marking the people, events and battles of the First and Second World Wars will contribute to a deeper understanding of these wars and how they made Canada the strong, proud and free country it is today."

-The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

"As Canadians, we will not forget the service of brave men and women who served our country during the First World War. CANADIGM's national exhibition is an excellent way to bring greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of the brave men and women who fought at Vimy Ridge, a defining battle for the war and Canada as a nation."

-The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Member of Parliament (London West)

"Our dedicated CANADIGM volunteers have been working tirelessly and with passion for the past three years to capture this invaluable part of our Canadian heritage. The Souterrain Impressions Exhibition will reveal to the Canadian public for the first time reproductions of these poignant and personal carvings-in some cases, these soldiers' last expressions to the world. This exhibition would not have been possible without the financial support provided by Canadian Heritage, for which the CANADIGM group is truly grateful."

-Zenon Andrusyszyn, Executive Director, CANADIGM

Associated Links

Canada.ca/150

CANADIGM

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Contact Information

  • Marisa Monnin
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    819-997-7788

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca