Frequently asked questions - Commemorative Events in Europe

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.

General / Travel

  • Q1. I am planning to attend events in France. Do I need to contact Veterans Affairs Canada to register for any of the events?

    A1. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event site, anyone planning to attend the Canadian ceremonies in France on June 5, 6 and 7 must be registered.

    As a result of great interest in attending the June 6 ceremony at Juno Beach, we have reached the anticipated site capacity so registration for this event is now closed. Registration for events on June 5 and 7 is also closed.

  • Q2. I have registered for one or more of the ceremonies. When will my official ticket be issued?

    A2. Your official ticket(s) will be sent to you via e-mail closer to the date of the ceremony.

    IMPORTANT: You must bring both your official ticket and your photo ID (passport or National photo ID Card) on the day of each ceremony. There is no exception to this security requirement. Without your official ticket and your official photo ID, you will not be able to attend the ceremony.

  • Q3. Will Veterans Affairs Canada provide financial support to my group (e.g. school, youth tour group, band choir, bus tour) to travel to France?

    A3. No. While recognizing the importance and significance of these initiatives to the individuals and groups requesting assistance, Veterans Affairs Canada is not funded to provide assistance for such requests.

  • Q4. I am looking for assistance securing accommodations during my stay in Normandy. Can Veterans Affairs Canada help?

    A4. VAC is not in a position to secure accommodations for the general public in France. However, we can refer you to a number of sites that may be useful as you are planning your trip:

  • Q5. How do I prepare to travel to France?

    A5. Check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories for France twice: once when you are planning your trip and again just before you leave. They provide regularly updated information on security, health, laws and culture, and more.

  • Q6. What do I do if there is an emergency while I am in France?

    A6. Global Affairs Canada offers consular services to Canadians travelling abroad. If you lose your passport, need urgent medical care, or face other major problems, contact them at the numbers below as soon as possible.

    The contact number for the Canadian Embassy in France is 33 (0) 1 44 43 29 02.

    If you cannot reach the embassy, call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa collect at +1 613 996 8885.

  • Q7. How can my relatives reach me in case of an emergency?

    A7. Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to sign up for Global Affairs Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service. This free service, allows the Government of Canada to notify you, or your emergency contact, in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

    We also recommend leaving a copy of your travel itinerary and contact phone numbers with your family and friends.

  • Q8. What do I do if I lose my passport while travelling in France?

    A8. Report the loss or theft to the local police and obtain a written police report. Then notify the Canadian Embassy to apply for a replacement passport. The contact number for the Canadian Embassy in France is 33 (0) 1 44 43 29 02.

  • Q9. Can I travel outside of Canada with my medals?

    A9. Yes. Both the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the US Transportation Security Administration permit military medals in both carry-on baggage and checked baggage. If you are unsure, please check with your airline.

  • Q10. I am a performer/musician and I’d like to offer my services at the D-Day events in France. Who can I contact to share a sample of my work?

    A10. Thank you for your interest in performing at the events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Please email vac.normandy2019-normandie2019.acc@canada.ca. We will keep your request on file and, if it is determined that there is a possibility that we would require your services, you may be invited to submit a sample of your work. Planning is very advanced at this time and in all likelihood we may not be able to accommodate additional performances.

June 5 ceremony

  • Q11. Do I need to register to attend the June 5 ceremony hosted by the Government of Canada at the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery?

    A11. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event sites, anyone planning to attend the Canadian ceremonies in France on June 5, 6 and 7 must be registered. Registration for the June 5 ceremony is now closed.

    As is the case for many of the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, event locations may be closed to the non-registered public for the duration of the event.

  • Q12. I have officially registered for the ceremony on June 5. When will my official ticket be issued?

    A12. Your official ticket will be sent to you via e-mail closer to the date of the ceremony.

    IMPORTANT: You must bring both your official ticket and your photo ID (passport or National photo ID Card) on the day of the ceremony. There is no exception to this security requirement. Without your official ticket and your official photo ID, you will not be able to attend the ceremony on June 5, 2019.

  • Q13. I am officially registered for the ceremony on June 5. Can I bring a guest with me?

    A13. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event sites, anyone planning to attend one of our ceremonies must be registered separately. It will not be possible to bring an unregistered guest to this event.

  • Q14. How do I access the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery on June 5? Will transportation be available?

    A14. Details on how to access the site on June 5 will be provided to those who have registered in advance. Please follow these instructions carefully, as any deviation from them could lead to you being denied access to the site.

    Those who have not registered in advance will not be permitted access.

  • Q15. Will there be parking on site for the June 5 ceremony? Will the site be wheelchair accessible?

    A15. There will be no parking on site for the June 5 ceremony. The Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery is accessible to wheelchairs, however the portion of the site designated for the public may present challenges for those with mobility issues.

  • Q16. Is seating assigned during the signature ceremony taking place on June 5 in Bény-sur-Mer?

    A16. There is limited seating for the public, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are zones with seating designated for the Government of Canada delegation and dignitaries.

  • Q17. Are there any items I cannot bring as I attend events in France?

    A17. In order to ensure the safety and security of all those attending the events as well as to ensure that views are not obstructed, the public should limit the items they wish to bring to event locations. Please consult the list of authorized and prohibited items.

June 6 ceremony

  • Q18. I have officially registered for the ceremony on June 6. When will my official ticket be issued?

    A18. Your official ticket will be sent to you via e-mail closer to the date of the ceremony.

    IMPORTANT: You must bring both your official ticket and your photo ID (passport or National photo ID Card) on the day of the ceremony. There is no exception to this security requirement. Without your official ticket and your official photo ID, you will not be able to attend the ceremony on June 6, 2019.

  • Q19. I am officially registered for the ceremony on June 6. Can I bring a guest with me?

    A19. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event sites, anyone planning to attend one of our ceremonies must be registered separately. It will not be possible to bring an unregistered guest to this event.

  • Q20. Can I visit the Juno Beach Centre in the days leading up to the ceremony?

    A20. In order to allow for preparations for the ceremony on June 6, there will be no access to the Juno Beach Centre on June 5 or June 6. Please consult the Juno Beach Centre’s website for their regular operating hours and any changes in hours due to preparations for the June 6 ceremony.

  • Q21. How do I access the Juno Beach Centre on June 6? Will transportation be available?

    A21. Details on how to access the site on June 6 will be provided to those who have registered in advance. Please follow these instructions carefully as any deviation from them could lead to you being denied access to the site.

    As is the case for many of the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, this event location will be closed to the non-registered public for the duration of the event.

    Please note that the public will be required to be on-site well in advance of the start of the ceremony. Transportation to and from the site, as well as security checks, could result in wait times. We recommend you bring snacks as there will be no concession on site.

  • Q22. Will there be parking onsite for the June 6 ceremony? Will the site be wheelchair accessible?

    A22. There will be no parking onsite for the June 6 ceremony. The Juno Beach Centre is accessible to wheelchairs, however the portion of the site designated for the public may present challenges for those with mobility issues.

  • Q23. Is seating assigned during the signature ceremony taking place on June 6 at the Juno Beach Centre?

    A23. There is limited seating for the public, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are zones with seating designated for the Government of Canada delegation and dignitaries.

  • Q24. Is there anything I should bring with me to the June 6 ceremony?

    A24. Bring your ticket and your national ID (passport or other government issued ID). As you could be on site for several hours, we suggest you bring any medication that may be required during that time. It is always a good idea to carry a list of your medications and allergy information in case of emergency.

    We recommend you bring snacks as there will be no concession on site. You will be able to bring non-alcoholic drinks in plastic bottles containing less than 1 litre. There will be water available on site. Please consult the list of authorized and prohibited items.

    Weather in Normandy in early June can be unpredictable. It is advisable to check the local forecast before departing for the ceremony and to be prepared for very warm or very cold, wet and rainy weather.

  • Q25. Are there any items I cannot bring as I attend events in France?

    A25. In order to ensure the safety and security of all those attending the events, as well as to ensure that views are not obstructed, the public should limit the items they wish to bring to event locations. Please consult the list of authorized and prohibited items.

June 7 ceremony

  • Q26. Do I need to register to attend the June 7 ceremony hosted by the Government of Canada at the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery?

    A26. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event sites, anyone planning to attend the Canadian ceremonies in France on June 5, 6 and 7 must be registered. Registration for the June 7 ceremony is now closed.

    As is the case for many of the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, event locations may be closed to the non-registered public for the duration of the event.

  • Q27. I have officially registered for the ceremony on June 7. When will my official ticket be issued?

    A27. Your official ticket will be sent to you via e-mail closer to the date of the ceremony.

    IMPORTANT: You must bring both your official ticket and your photo ID (passport or National photo ID Card) on the day of the ceremony. There is no exception to this security requirement. Without your official ticket and your official photo ID, you will not be able to attend the ceremony on June 7, 2019.

  • Q28. I am officially registered for the ceremony on June 7. Can I bring a guest with me?

    A28. Due to heightened security in France and limited space on the event sites, anyone planning to attend one of our ceremonies must be registered separately. It will not be possible to bring an unregistered guest to this event.

  • Q29. How do I access the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery on June 7? Will there be transportation?

    A29. Details on how to access the site on June 7 will be provided to those who have registered in advance. Please follow these instructions carefully, as any deviation from them could lead to you being denied access to the site.

    Those who have not registered in advance will not be permitted access.

  • Q30. Will there be parking on site for the June 7 ceremony? Will the site be wheelchair accessible?

    A30. There will be no parking on site for the June 7 ceremony. The Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery is accessible to wheelchairs, however the portion of the site designated for the public may present challenges for those with mobility issues.

  • Q31. Is seating assigned during the signature ceremony taking place on June 7 in Bretteville-sur-Laize?

    A31. There is limited seating for the public, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are zones with seating designated for the Government of Canada delegation and dignitaries.

  • Q32. Are there any items I cannot bring as I attend events in France?

    A32. In order to ensure the safety and security of all those attending the events, as well as to ensure that views are not obstructed, the public should limit the items they wish to bring to event locations. Please consult the list of authorized and prohibited items.

Privacy

  • Q33. What if I provided incorrect personal information?

    A33. If you provided incorrect personal information, please contact us at vac.normandy2019-normandie2019.acc@canada.ca.

  • Q34. What happens to my personal information held by VAC after the event concludes?

    A34. Your information will be destroyed two years after the last administrative use of the information.

  • Q35. What will happen to my personal information held by the Canadian Embassy in France?

    A35. It will be destroyed immediately following the Juno Beach event on June 6, 2019.

  • Q36. How can I find out more about the collection and disclosure of my personal information by VAC?

    A36. Please consult the VAC section of the Information about Programs and Information Holdings in the Personal Information Bank, Ceremonies and Events (VAC PPU 621).

  • Q37. I have concerns about VAC’s handling of my personal information, who can I contact?

    A37. If you have questions, comments, concerns or complaints about VAC’s handling of your personal information please contact VAC ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy) Coordinator by email at vac.atip-aiprp.acc@canada.ca or by phone at 1-877-566-8609. If you are not satisfied with our response, you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada by email at info@priv.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-877-282-1376.

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