Frequently asked questions - Commemorative Events in Canada

Table of Contents

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 delegation will include Veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy 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.

June 6 ceremony

NEW LOCATION: Today’s commemorative ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia will now take place at Willow Park Armoury. You are encouraged to bring an official government photo ID to access the event on the Canadian Armed Forces Base. Staff will direct traffic for parking off-site (mostly at Windsor Park) and for those who arrive without an ID, escorts will bring visitors from the gate to the Armoury.

  • Q17. Where will the June 6 signature ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy be held in Halifax?

    A17. The event will now take place at:

    Willow Park Armoury

    3225 Husky Drive

    Halifax, Nova Scotia

    B3K 4X1

  • Q18. Why was the venue changed at the last minute?

    A18. Due to the special weather advisory for Halifax on June 6, Veterans Affairs Canada has changed the venue for the health and safety of the delegation and the public. The event will be held at the Willow Park Armoury instead of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

  • Q19. Will Veterans Affairs Canada provide transportation from the Citadel Halifax to the Willow Park Armoury?

    A19. No. The Armoury has parking space.

  • Q20.Are activities still taking place at the Halifax Citadel National Historic site?

    A20. Yes; please see Questions 30- 32

  • Q21. Are there any changes to the ceremony program due to the change in venue?

    A21. As the venue is now indoors, there is no fly past.

  • Q22. How much will the change in venue cost?

    A22. We have made the required changes in the most efficient way possible.

  • Q23. What time does the ceremony start?

    A23. The ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. ADT as planned.

  • Q24. Is there seating available to view the ceremony?

    A24. Limited seating will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Otherwise, the public may enjoy the ceremony standing.

  • Q25. What is the entrance fee to the event?

    A25. The event is free.

  • Q26. Is parking available on site?

    A26. Yes, there is parking available on site.

  • Q27. Is the Willow Park Armoury an accessible site?

    A27. Yes, the site is wheelchair accessible.

  • Q28. May I bring my own food and drinks?

    A28. Yes.

  • Q29. What is the Willow Park Armoury?

    A29. The new Willow Park Armoury in Halifax is the home of 36 Service Battalion, 36 Signal Regiment and 33 Field Ambulance from 5th Canadian Division.

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

  • Q30. What is the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site?

    A30. Operated by Parks Canada, the restored Halifax Citadel is one of Canada's most visited national historic sites. The present Citadel was completed in 1856 and is the fourth fort to be built by British troops on this site.

    Visitors to the site will enter a star-shaped stone fortress from the Victorian era. Beginning in the 1950s and over the following decades, the Halifax Citadel was restored by a team of engineers, archeologists, architects, masons and carpenters using historic plans from Canadian and British archives to return the fortress to its mid-nineteenth century appearance.

  • Q31. What connections does the Halifax Citadel have to the First and Second World War?

    A31. In 1906, the British handed the Halifax Citadel over to the Canadian Department of Militia and Defence. During the First World War, the Halifax Citadel served as soldier barracks and a command centre for Halifax Harbour defences. It remained a temporary barracks for Canadian troops during the Second World War—and was one of their last glimpses of Canada before heading overseas.

  • Q32. Are there any special historical exhibits at the Halifax Citadel?

    A32. Yes! While at the Halifax Citadel, we encourage you to visit the new interactive Second World War exhibit Storm the Beach. You can also take in the Trail of the Canadian Army 1939-1945 exhibit at the Army Museum Halifax Citadel, which is on site. These exhibits are in addition to the regular programs and services offered at the Halifax Citadel.

    For more information about the Halifax Citadel, visit the Parks Canada website at www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/ns/Halifax

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