(Artist’s rendering: Juno Beach Centre)
“Faces of Canada Today” explores the resilience, transformation, and diversity of the country our Veterans helped build.
JULY 20TH, 2023 – The Juno Beach Centre (JBC), Canada’s Second World War museum and memorial in Normandy, France and The Royal Canadian Legion are proud to announce a new partnership supporting the renewal of Faces of Canada Today. The JBC recently announced this major renewal and renovation of the permanent exhibition space in time for the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June 2024.
One section of the exhibition will focus on the culture of remembrance and the history of the poppy symbol in Canada from the First World War to the present day. The Legion’s poppy design is an integral part of our remembrance culture in Canada. It is therefore central to the design of this exhibition – visitors who enter the space will be drawn to a large poppy installation made up of smaller floating poppies. Below this poppy, visitors will be invited to dedicate a virtual poppy to someone who fell in the service of Canada.
The Royal Canadian Legion has approved this use of the poppy trademark and has contributed $100,000 to the exhibition renewal project.
“Promoting Remembrance and thanking our Veterans is at the very heart of what we do,” says Bruce Julian, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. “We were pleased to hear of the changes coming to this important experiential exhibit, including the focus on diversity, and we are proud to play a supportive role in its rejuvenation.”
“The Royal Canadian Legion has been an important partner for the Juno Beach Centre since its inception,” said Alexander Fitzgerald-Black, Executive Director of the Juno Beach Centre Association. “We are thrilled that The Royal Canadian Legion supports Faces of Canada Today, a ringing endorsement for a project aimed at making our commemorative site more welcoming to modern Veterans.”
Since the JBC opened to the public in 2003, Faces of Canada Today has showcased Canada’s evolution after the war, and has helped visitors understand how over 1 million Veterans (in our country of 11 million in 1945) helped build Canada. However, the contents of the exhibition were created in the late 1990s and are now outdated and missing many significant events in Canadian history over the past 20 years.
The renewed exhibition will demonstrate that the service of modern Veterans – those thousands of Canadians who have worn the uniform since 1945 – continues to inform Canadian identity. Whether during the Cold War, through the United Nations and NATO missions, or during the war in Afghanistan, Canadians have continued to serve.
In addition, the exhibition will better present the whole of modern Canada, including the roles of Indigenous peoples and the post-war waves of diverse immigrants. It will also cover how our nation grew out of the values Second World War Veterans brought when they returned to build a better, more welcoming, and peaceful Canada during the post-war decades.
The renewed Faces of Canada Today exhibition will be completed in early 2024. A grand opening will be held around the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Details to follow.
“When you take a look at bridging the gap between those that served before us and those that serve now, we’re in a different time in history. What we are asked to do is different. But the core Canadian values are still there, you help others; you do your best to make places better. That’s the obligation we have.” - Major Christopher Carriere, CD, Medical Officer, 28 Field Ambulance, served in several peacekeeping missions and deployments including Cyprus, Bosnia, Kuwait.
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