The Royal Canadian Legion
When was the Legion founded?
The Legion was founded as The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League in Winnipeg in 1925, and incorporated by a special Act of Parliament and was issued its Charter in 1926. In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II assented to the prefix “Royal” which was added to create its current name – The Royal Canadian Legion. Read more history here: https://legion.ca/who-we-are/what-we-do/our-history
How does the Legion define a Veteran?
A Veteran is any person who is serving or who has honorably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.
Where is your national office?
The Legion’s National Headquarters are located at 86 Aird Place, in Ottawa. The Legion also has 10 provincial/territorial Commands and more than 1,350 individual branches that operate independently. They must all be aligned with the organization’s mission, its Articles of Faith, and its General By-Laws.
How is the Legion funded?
The Royal Canadian Legion is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization. Funding to fulfill our mission is provided through a number of sources, including:
Membership dues: Membership dues are determined at the Branch level and help support Branch operations. Dues are typically between $40-$60 per member per year. A portion of member dues support national and provincial operations such as administration, member programs and benefits, marketing and facilities.
Publically accessible grants: The Legion is not affiliated with any political party or organization and we do not typically accept financial assistance from any government party for our operations. However, Branches are able to pursue grants through federal, provincial or municipal government programs for initiatives outside of normal operations. These grants are available to all not-for-profits, and Legions only use the funds as defined in the grant guidelines.
Fee-for-service contracts: Branches often supplement income by renting out their facilities and providing food and entertainment services in their community.
Fundraising: A large part of funding for Legion Branches is through fundraising. Branch members volunteer their time to organize fundraising activities such as BBQs, dinners, bingo nights and meat draws to raise additional monies for operations and programming.
Legion merchandise: The Legion produces quality branded merchandise and apparel which Legion Branches sell at a profit. In addition, proceeds from purchases made directly through the Member Store and The Poppy Store support Legion programs, and are shared with Commands in proportion to the sales made to Branches and members within each Command.
Poppy Trust Fund:
Donations to the Legion Poppy Trust Fund are never used for Legion operations. Donations to the Poppy Trust Fund are placed in trust to be used to help Veterans and their dependents in need, and to honour their sacrifices. For more information on the Poppy Trust Fund, please click here
Do you have a newsletter?
The Legion produces a newsletter for members, which is issued to them electronically and monthly. Add your email address to your member profile at portal.legion.ca and never miss an issue. Members and the public can subscribe to our national updates at https://www.legion.ca/subscribe
for the latest news. Major pertinent news from the organization can also be found in our News section
at Legion.ca, and through our social media links.
How can I join the Legion?
There are two ways you can join the Legion.
1. You can join the Legion online at legion.ca/join
. Online membership is $49.99 per year, and you do not have to be a Veteran to join. Any Canadian citizen or citizen of an Allied nation who is 18 years of age or older is welcome to become a member of the Legion!
2. You can join your local Legion branch. Legion Branch membership rates vary by branch. Contact your local Branch here: https://legion.ca/contact-us/find-a-branch
What is the Dominion Convention?
The Royal Canadian Legion’s major governing forum is its biannual Dominion Convention. All members of the organization are represented by delegates who vote on resolutions and determine national policies as well as the organization’s overall direction. The election of the Dominion President and members of the Senior Elected Officers, positions held for two years, is conducted at Dominion Convention.
I am a Veteran and I’m wondering what kind of services the Legion can provide to me?
A. The Legion has a network of professional Service Officers at the local and provincial level that can help Veterans with their Veterans Affairs benefit claims, assist and support the transition from service member to Veteran, help Veterans and their families in financial distress, help Veterans and their families access mental health supports, help homeless Veterans and those at risk, get off the streets.
Programs and services for Veterans and their families are free of charge and you do not have to be a Legion member.
Who is considered a Veteran?
The Legion defines a Veteran as any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.
How many Veterans are members?
As of 2020, Veterans and their families make up the majority of the Legion's membership (about 75%). The remaining members are mainly family members of Veterans, or strong supporters of the Legion's mission.
When is the Remembrance Period in Canada?
The Remembrance Period is considered to begin with the presentation of the ceremonial First Poppy to the Governor General of Canada, and runs until November 11. The date of this presentation can vary but is typically held in late October. The Legion’s National Poppy Campaign to collect donations, does not begin until the last Friday in October and runs until November 11.
What role does the Legion play in Canada’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony?
The Royal Canadian Legion organizes, oversees and presents the country’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa each year. The Legion’s Dominion Command in Ottawa takes the lead and is thankful for the support it receives from military, policing and government entities to execute the event. Many Legion Branches across the country also hold smaller ceremonies in their communities.
Is there a list of locations where Remembrance ceremonies are held each year?
The Legion is exploring the possibility of providing a national list at some point in the future but does not currently have the capacity to collect and verify the information yearly. Currently, the best sources are through Veterans Affairs Canada and local media, which often compile and publish locations in their communities.
What is the “First Poppy”?
The First Poppy ceremony is held to mark the ceremonial First Poppy of the annual National Poppy Campaign. It is presented to the current Governor General of Canada, traditionally at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The Legion’s official campaign begins on the last Friday in October.
The Poppy Symbol
What is the history of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance?
The significance of the Poppy can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, over 110 years before being adopted in Canada. Records from that time indicate how thick Poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in the area of Flanders, France. Fields that had been barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended. During the tremendous bombardments of the war, the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing the “popaver rhoeas
” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and the Poppy began to disappear again. See more: https://legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy
Can anyone create their own poppy and wear it?
The Legion encourages people to wear a traditional lapel poppy by donating in their communities during the National Poppy Campaign. People may create their own poppy and wear it individually, but cannot sell poppies for Remembrance without approval from the Legion. This is to help protect the poppy symbol and to ensure any profits or funds raised, are used to help support our Veterans, their families and our communities.
Is there a way to keep my poppy from falling off?
The Legion produces two types of closures if individuals prefer another way to affix their poppy. One is the poppy stopper, which is a small end piece that fits over the end of the pin. The other is a black metal poppy centre with a butterfly closure that can be used in place of the traditional fabric centre. These items can be obtained through your local Legion Branch.
Does the Legion support other coloured poppies and campaigns such as with white or purple poppies?
The Legion recognizes the red poppy as the traditional symbol of Remembrance, and it is meant to encompass all conflicts, races, genders and backgrounds. We do not see the need for multiple coloured poppies and feel it disrespects the original all-inclusive meaning of the symbol. Groups or organizations wishing to recognize specific situations or beings related to Remembrance are encouraged to choose other symbols.
The Poppy Trust Fund
What is the Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund?
The Poppy Trust Fund is composed of the funds donated across the country during the National Poppy Campaign from the last Friday in October to November 11. Funds donated locally are distributed locally. Funds contributed at a national level are distributed nationally.
The Poppy Store
What does the Poppy Store sell?
The Poppy Store sells items of Remembrance that honours and supports Canada's Veterans as well as Legion merchandise and Legion member uniforms. Products include clothing and accessories, jewellery, commemorative items, flags, gifts and more.
Where do funds from the Poppy Store go?
Your purchase through The Poppy Store help with the Legion’s efforts to assist all Veterans and their families, free of charge. Purchases also help the Legion promote Remembrance and the Poppy Campaign. By supporting these activities, we are able to see tens of millions of Canadians wearing a Poppy to honour and Remember Veterans. We ensure millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast have the opportunity to attend Remembrance ceremonies in their communities. We educate youth on the importance of Remembrance, and encourage Canadians to donate to the Poppy Trust Fund
, raising millions of dollars each year and directly supports Canada’s Veterans and their families.
How can I subscribe to Legion Magazine?
You are automatically subscribed through your Legion membership unless you opted out when you joined. Please find subscription details at https://www.legionmagazine.com
The Legion Nationals
What are The Legion Nationals?
The Legion Nationals are The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual three-day national track & field championship, giving young Canadians 17 and under a chance to compete against the best in the country, develop confidence and better understand the diversity of other sports-minded youth across Canada. The Legion’s national youth athletics program is regarded as one of the best in the country. In fact, many of our former participants have gone on to international and Olympic success. Learn more: www.legionnationals.ca
Where are The Legion Nationals held?
The pandemic and related public health concerns have forced the cancellation of the 2021 Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships. Next year’s 2022 Legion Nationals will take place in Sherbrooke, Quebec from August 5 - 7.
How can I volunteer for The Legion Nationals?
If you like working with young people, have a recent police records check, are physically fit and can commit for the duration of the competition, the Legion is looking for you. You can be a chaperone or competition volunteer.
You can apply to be a chaperone applying through a specific Provincial Command or by applying directly to Dominion Command. To apply to Dominion Command via: Lia Taha Cheng, National Meet Coordinator by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your name
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Reason for wanting to be a Legion chaperone
References will be required. Once received, a Legion representative will contact you.
Event volunteers play an important role in making the championships a reality. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact: Lia Taha Cheng, National Meet Coordinator by e-mail: email@example.com
How can I donate to the Legion?
There are several ways you can donate to support the Legion’s work during the Remembrance Period and throughout the year.
- Through the National Poppy Campaign in November at Poppy Box locations throughout your community (with cash or Tap and Pay options at a growing number of locations).
- Donating directly to your Branch.
- Donate online at www.legion.ca/donate
Artwork and Videos
Commands and Branches
Special Projects and Contests
What is Operation Santa Claus?
Every year, the Legion partners with The Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) to put together holiday packages with comforts of home that are delivered to deployed Canadian Armed Forces members worldwide who are away from loved ones during the holiday season.
What is Operation VetBuild?
Operation VetBuild is an initiative led by the Legion’s Operational Stress Injury Special Section (Legion OSI) that uses hobbies, such as scale model-building kits, in a Veteran-to-Veteran support environment. Working alongside their peers, the activity offers Veterans an opportunity to learn a new skill, promote relaxation, improve concentration, reduce stress, and provide a sense of community to enhance well-being. Sessions are hosted by Legion members and open to all Veterans in the community. Visit the Operation VetBuild Facebook page
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