This Veterans’ Week, November 5-11, in honour of the brave Canadians who fought for our freedom, the National Arts Centre will offer a virtual moving musical and epistolary commemoration titled Letters from the Great War, an online beaded poppy-making class in honour of Indigenous Veterans Day, and stunning commemorative digital displays in tribute to all those who served our country.
The theme for Veterans’ Week is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and we honour the more than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served in the Second World War, and the more than 45,000 who gave their lives.
75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War display on the Kipnes Lantern | November 5-10, daily from 6 am to 12 am
During the week leading up to Remembrance Day, the NAC in collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada will display images of the men and women of the Second World War on its Kipnes Lantern – the largest transparent LED installation in North America. The Kipnes Lantern will show the faces of the soldiers, nurses, munitions workers, mothers, refugees, prisoners and others from almost every community in Canada in honour of more than one million brave Canadians who fought for our freedom on this 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
On November 11, the Kipnes Lantern will also feature a display to accompany the Virtual Poppy Drop light show on the nearby Parliament Buildings, projecting 117,000 virtual poppies in partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion representing each of Canada’s fallen since the beginning of the First World War.
Beaded Poppy Workshop | November 3-4 (sold out)
The workshop will be led by Mairi Brascoupe (Algonquin Anishinabeg) who is the Indigenous Cultural Resident for Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre. Mairi is an experienced beader, with beadwork being a key part of her multidisciplinary artistic practice. In this workshop, participants will learn how to make a simple beaded poppy for Indigenous Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, using a single needle flat beadwork technique.
Indigenous Veterans Day | November 8
On the occasion of Indigenous Veterans Day on November 8, we will pay tribute to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who have served our country. Canada’s Indigenous Veterans have a long tradition of military service with roughly 12,000 Indigenous Canadians served in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. In commemoration of those Indigenous members who served and sacrificed for our freedom, wreaths are laid at the base of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in confederation park to honour their sacrifice.
Letters from the Great War – a commemoration of the First World War with music and readings of wartime letters | November 10
Over a hundred years ago, the ‘war to end all wars’ came to an end. Canadians are invited to a moving musical and epistolary commemoration of the first World War. This will feature contemporary and historical songs led by Harrow Fair with very special guests from the Canadian musical and theatrical spheres who will bring to life the voices from the past.
Virtual National Remembrance Day Service | November 11, 11 am
This year, in light of the global pandemic COVID-19 and the health requirements to physically distance, the usual ceremonial gathering at National War Memorial will be greatly reduced, to include a more intimate gathering of 100 participants. As such, The Royal Canadian Legion is encouraging Canadians to stay at home and observe two minutes of silence and collective remembrance during the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11th, by participating online.
Please note: The NAC continues to be closed to the public and all activities and opportunities for commemoration leading up to the beginning of Veterans’ Week will take place online.