Grave marker maintenance

We honour Canada’s fallen and preserve their legacy. One way we do this is by maintaining their gravesites and grave markers, at home and abroad.

About this program

Veterans Affairs Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintain the gravesites and grave markers, that were provided and installed by the Government of Canada, of more than 300,000 fallen Canadian Armed Forces members here and throughout the world.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for the graves of the 110,355 Canadians who died for the periods of:

  • the First World War - August 4, 1914 to August 31, 1921, and
  • the Second World War - September 3, 1939 to December 31, 1947.

Veterans Affairs Canada directly maintains the more than 200,000 graves of Canadian Armed Forces members who died outside these dates.

Additional information

Find out more

Over the last fifteen years, Veteran Affairs Canada has inspected gravesites and gravemarkers across Canada. A databank containing pictures, GPS readings and conditions of the markers has been established from these inspections and is used to develop the annual cemetery maintenance plan.

In the 2018 budget, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $24.4 million over the next five years to address urgently needed repairs.

Track the progress of this project

We created a map to track the progress of this project. Click on a province to see how the project is doing.

Total number of repairs that will be completed 2018-2023: 57,179

Total number of repairs completed from April 2018 - March 2019: 12,141

Total number of repairs completed from April 2019 - March 2020: 13,569

Total number of repairs planned for 2020-2021: 12,100*


*Given the current situation with COVID-19, these numbers may vary. Data on actual number of repairs completed from April 2020 to March 2021 will be inputted by May 31, 2021.

You can help

If you know of a gravesite that requires maintenance or is unmarked, or you require additional information about this program, please contact Cemetery Maintenance at or call 902-626-2440.

Related programs

Funeral and burial assistance: A reimbursement of costs to ensure Veterans have a dignified funeral and burial.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial – an online registry that honours Canadians who have given their lives in service to their country.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Cemetery/Grave Maintenance Program five-year project?

In the 2018 budget, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $24.4 million over the next five years to address repairs and to ensure that the graves of those who served are well maintained. The work began in 2018 and will continue into 2023. The new funding will be used for cleaning, restoring or replacing grave markers, and fixing foundation issues.

Where are repairs being done?

Of the total estimated 57, 000 repairs over 5 years, approximately 12,300 repairs are planned to take place in year 1 at cemeteries in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Québec
  • Saskatchewan

How does VAC determine if a grave site needs repairs?

Veteran grave markers were visited and inspected over the last fifteen years. We have a databank that contains pictures, GPS readings and conditions of the markers. This information is used to prepare the annual cemetery maintenance plan used by VAC program officers who prepare contracts for repairs.

Articles for Veterans and families

Canadian military

Preserving Canadian military gravesites

A retired Technician with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Nick Hébert now works with Commemoration Division’s Cemetery Maintenance team at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Veterans’ graves

Cleaning Veterans’ graves without damaging the stone

As a masonry and restoration expert, Lee Labas of Labas Construction had the task of cleaning the headstones of 4,000 fallen Canadian soldiers and Veterans in Edmonton. The delicate job involved removing decades of algae and moss from the granite surfaces.

Corporal (Retired) Alexandra Shaw

Women Veterans profiled: Corporal (Retired) Alexandra Shaw

Corporal (Retired) Alexandra Shaw is really happy with where she has ended up. She works as a policy advisor at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. But it certainly is not where she expected to be a decade ago.

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