2023 campaign highlights “Poppy Stories” and taking two minutes of silence
OTTAWA, ON, 27 October 2023 – With thousands of donation boxes across the country, biodegradable poppies, and touching new stories about Canada’s Veterans, The Royal Canadian Legion’s 2023 National Poppy Campaign is now officially underway.
“This is a special time for the Legion and for all Canadians,” says Bruce Julian, Dominion President. “While we remember our fallen Veterans year-round, this is when the whole country is focused on our collective gratitude for their sacrifices.”
Ways to donate: Traditional and modern
Traditional poppy boxes will be available for donations and lapel poppy distribution at thousands of locations. Once again this year, 1000 “Pay Tribute” tap-enabled donation boxes will be found at many Legion branches, HSBC branches, and select retail locations. There are $2, $5, and $10 options and donors can also receive a lapel poppy from these electronic boxes. Additionally, donors can choose to give online via Legion.ca.
Funds donated across the country during the National Poppy Campaign support Veterans and their families. Funds donated locally stay local. Close to 20 million dollars is generously donated each year.
The ceremonial start to the 2023 National Poppy Campaign took place on October 20, with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, accepting the First Poppy from Dominion President Bruce Julian.
Poppy Stories: A focus on peacekeepers
The Legion is excited to present the next iteration of “Poppy Stories” this year. People can visit PoppyStories.ca to scan their lapel poppy with their smartphone. They will then be taken to short personal stories about Canadian Veterans who gave their lives in service to our country. This year, 50 new faces have been added and all of them were peacekeepers, with 2023 marking the 75th anniversary of the first United Nations peacekeeping mission. The Poppy Stories initiative helps people build deeper and personal connections with our Veterans.
The importance of Remembrance: Taking two minutes of silence
A very sacred part of Remembrance Day ceremonies is the two minutes of silence taken to quietly reflect upon our Veterans’ sacrifices and remember them with deep gratitude.
This year, the Legion has created some special public service announcements to invite people to take two minutes of silence no matter where they may be.
A second and unique initiative based on the importance of taking two minutes of silence at 11:00 am on November 11th, will also be unveiled in the coming days. Stay tuned!
Biodegradable Poppies and Wreaths: Reducing the environmental footprint
The Legion began distributing new biodegradable poppies and wreaths in 2022, and they will be back again this year. They are crafted from a variety of natural materials including paper, cotton velvet, plaster, moss, and bamboo and they allow the Legion to help reduce its environmental footprint.
It may still take additional time for residual stock to be depleted, so some branches may still offer a combination of old and new and items.
Symbols of Remembrance: Poppy Store
Many Canadians looking for symbols of remembrance throughout the remembrance period and beyond are happy to find the Legion’s online store at poppystore.ca. There are hundreds of tasteful items to choose from, including innovative jewelry and clothing, with most featuring the Poppy of Remembrance.
Three new items being featured this year include the LED poppy light, a 24k gold-rimmed poppy pin, and a poppy lawn ornament. The popular poppy centre pin to help keep lapel poppies affixed is once again available, and is a top three seller so far this year along with the gold-rimmed pin and the lawn ornament.
Purchasing an item from poppystore.ca or from a Legion branch is the only way to ensure a poppy- themed product is an official item created and endorsed by the Legion.
National Ceremony, Local Ceremony Locator: Find your ceremony
Canadians can expect another beautiful National Remembrance Day Ceremony organized by the Legion at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on November 11. There will once again be a grand Veterans’ Parade and a CF-18 fly-past.
The live presentation of the national ceremony will be accessible via the Legion’s Facebook page and national broadcasters will cover the ceremony as in the past.
The Legion is also expanding its Ceremony Locator at Legion.ca. Branches are populating this page to allow Canadians to find a Legion-supported Remembrance ceremony closest to them. The Legion also recommends that people check with local Legion branches to verify any remaining restrictions related to gatherings during the pandemic.
Remembrance through Light
Starting on October 27, 117,000 poppies representing Fallen Canadian Veterans since the First World War will cascade virtually upon the Peace Tower at Parliament Hill and on the Senate building. The Poppy Drop will take place until November 11, from 6:30–9:30 pm ET. On November 5, 10, and 11, the display will extend to midnight. Virtual poppies will also cascade down the National Art Centre’s “Kipnes Lantern” on November 11, from 7:00 am ET to midnight ET.
Many well-known Canadian landmarks and community locations such as the CN Tower, BC Place Stadium, Canada Place Sails of Light, and the City of Ottawa sign in the Byward Market among others, will also light up at various times throughout the next two weeks in support of the campaign and Remembrance.
Starting on October 27 and running each night, two large screens on Parliament Hill will also show the Virtual Wall of Honour, a silent video sharing the faces of Canadian Veterans who have passed, with photos submitted by people from across the country.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S. and Europe. With close to 250,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca; Nujma Bond 343-540-7604