Frequently asked questions - Commemorative Events in Canada

General / Events

  • Q1. What has the Government of Canada planned to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy?

    A1. This year, the Government of Canada is marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy with commemorative ceremonies and events in towns and cities across Canada, and in Normandy, France. Veterans Affairs Canada is also offering free learning materials and web-based programming.

    Learning resources for educators were developed to engage students in learning about Canada’s role in the D-Day landing and the Battle of Normandy. In addition, an online Faces of Freedom feature presents the stories of Veterans from D-Day and the Battle of Normandy—some of whom volunteered to bravely defend our freedom in Europe. To order free, bilingual materials and learn more, visit veterans.gc.ca/d-day75.

  • Q2. What events are being planned in Canada?

    A2. In the months leading up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, Veterans Affairs Canada is partnering with the Canadian Armed Forces, VIA Rail Canada, Parks Canada and community organizations to hold events in communities across Canada.

    These events will follow the journey across Canada of combat boots on passenger trains, as symbols of the many Canadians who undertook a similar journey during the Second World War to serve our country. Accompanying ceremonies will commemorate the Canadians, from all walks of life, who sacrificed so much to defend peace and freedom during the Second World War. Visit our Journey across Canada page for all details on the various train stops.

    For information on commemorative events near you, or to add your community event, please visit our Community Events Calendar.

    On June 6, a signature commemorative event will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a wreath-laying ceremony will also take place in Ottawa.

  • Q3. What events are being planned overseas?

    A3. In France, the Canadian signature ceremony will take place at the Juno Beach Centre on June 6, and two other Canadian commemorations will be held on June 5 and 7, respectively at the Bény-sur-Mer and Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemeteries.

    Planning is ongoing and more details on Government of Canada initiatives will be posted as they become available.

  • Q4. Who is organizing the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy?

    A4. Veterans Affairs Canada is planning and delivering commemorative services and events related to the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in Canada and overseas with support from the Canadian Armed Forces and other partners both domestically and internationally.

    Many other organizations are also planning events to mark this special commemoration. Please refer to our Community Events Calendar for more details.

  • Q5. How can I get involved in my community?

    A5. Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to supporting events across the country to mark this important milestone. Through the Commemorative Partnership Program, the Department offers funding to not-for-profit groups and organizations for initiatives that recognize Canadian Veterans and those who died in service. For more information about commemorative funding programs, including program guidelines and application forms, please visit our Community Engagement page.

    If you are planning an event in your community, you are encouraged to add it to our Community Events Calendar.

  • Q6. Can I lay a wreath/flowers at commemorative events?

    A6. The public will be invited to lay their own wreaths at the end of ceremonies. The exception will be for the Canadian signature ceremony at the Juno Beach Centre on June 6, where members of the public will not be able to bring wreaths.

  • Q7. When do I wear my medals?

    A7. Medals are usually worn to parades and commemorative events and ceremonies. It is appropriate to wear your medals to commemorative events being hosted by Veterans Affairs Canada. For information on the wearing of medals at other events and ceremonies, please visit The Governor General of Canada website.

Delegations

  • Q8. Will the Government of Canada send an official delegation both to France and Halifax, Nova Scotia?

    A8. Yes. The Government of Canada is sending an official delegation to take part in ceremonies and events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in France, from June 4-8, 2019. The Government of Canada will also be sending an official delegation to Halifax, Nova Scotia from June 3-7.

  • Q9. Who are the members of the official Government of Canada delegation travelling overseas?

    A9. The Government of Canada will be represented by approximately 125 individuals, in addition to a Canadian Armed Forces contingent.

    The Government of Canada delegation will be led by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and include:

    • Approximately 40 Veterans
    • 6 representatives of Veterans organizations and Indigenous Veterans organizations
    • Departmental officials, including the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    • 4 Parliamentarians
    • 4 Canadian youth
    • Approximately 40 caregivers
    • Delegation support staff
  • Q10. Which Government of Canada officials will be part of the Government of Canada delegation going overseas?

    A10. Typically, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, three members of Parliament and a Senator are part of the official Veterans Affairs Canada delegation that would travel overseas to take part in commemorative events.

    Parliamentarians who join the delegation are nominated by their party’s whip. There are currently three parties with official party status in the House of Commons. Therefore three members of Parliament, one from each official party, would join the delegation travelling to Juno Beach and Normandy. The Speaker of the Senate will also be invited to nominate one senator.

  • Q11. Who are the members of the official Government of Canada delegation attending 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy events in Halifax?

    A11. The official delegation has not yet been completely identified. It will include Veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, representatives from Veterans organizations and Indigenous groups, and parliamentarians.

  • Q12. How did VAC select the Veterans in the delegations?

    A12. For this event, The Royal Canadian Legion, the National Council of Veteran Associations and the Army, Navy and Air Force Association of Canada worked collaboratively to compile a list of D-Day and Battle of Normandy Veterans who were interested in joining either the overseas or the in-Canada delegation. All interested Veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy were able to join the delegation of their choice.

  • Q13. Will Veterans Affairs Canada pay travel costs to Normandy or Halifax for Veterans who decide not to travel as  part of the official delegation?

    A13. In an effort to help as many Canadian D-Day and Battle of Normandy Veterans to attend as possible, Veterans Affairs Canada is providing a travel subsidy of up to $2,000 to off-set the cost of travel, meals and accommodations. Canadian Veterans and Allied Veterans living in Canada who took part in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy are eligible to apply for this travel subsidy, as long as they are not part of the official VAC delegation. This subsidy is also available to Veterans who are travelling to the official Government of Canada ceremonies in Halifax but are not part of the official delegation.

  • Q14. How do eligible Veterans apply for the travel subsidy?

    A14. Interested Veterans are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible via email in order to receive their application form. Applicants will be required to show proof of service in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in their application. After the application is approved, Veterans will be asked to submit receipts or proof of travel arrangements upon their return to Canada. A reimbursement of up to $2,000 will be issued in the form of a cheque.

  • Q15. How were representatives from Indigenous Veterans organizations chosen?

    A15. To ensure fair representation from diverse groups across Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada has extended invitations to the three major National Indigenous Veterans organizations seeking a Veteran representative to be a part of the official delegation. The delegates have been selected based on the nominations from these Indigenous Veterans organizations.

  • Q16. How were youth selected for the event?

    A16. Commemorative events such as the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy provide exceptional opportunities for Canadian youth to expand their knowledge and experience, and encourage them to become commemorative ambassadors. Canadian youth were invited to participate in events as part of the official delegation.

    Veterans Affairs Canada worked with Encounters with Canada to select four youth to join the Government of Canada delegation. Youth with a keen interest in Canadian military history, good communication and leadership skills were considered. As youth delegates, they must commit to participating in an overseas program whereby they will  join in ceremonies and events, present research projects on the fallen or other aspects of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, join the conversation on social media, tour museums and battlefields, and spend time with Veterans.

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