OTTAWA, April 4, 2014 /CNW/ – Since the introduction of the new $20 polymer bank note, Canadians have been reminded of Vimy Ridge and what it represents for our country.
The bank note was introduced in November 2012 and the back features the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Located on the site of the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge, the memorial was erected in honour of Canadian service during the First World War. It is featured on the note as a tribute to Canadian men and women’s contributions and sacrifices in military conflicts throughout our history.
One organization has come up with a nickname for the polymer $20 note. Give a VIMY for Vimy is a fundraising activity organized by the Vimy Foundation. The goal is to raise $5 million to build a state-of-the-art education centre on the memorial site in France. The Foundation aims to unveil the new centre in 2017, to commemorate the centennial of the victory at Vimy.
Vimy Day is celebrated each year on 9 April and provides Canadians an opportunity to recall those days in April 1917 when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together in France to successfully capture the Ridge—a moment in Canadian history often described as Canada’s coming of age.
Located at the highest point of Vimy Ridge, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial bears the names of the 11,285 fallen Canadian First World War servicemen with no known resting place in France. The memorial was erected on land that was granted permanently to Canada by France in 1922, in recognition of Canada’s war efforts.
Designed by Canadian sculptor Walter Seymour Allward, the limestone monument features two pylons that stand 30 metres high. With a maple leaf carved in one and a fleur-de-lis in the other, the pylons represent the sacrifices of people from Canada and France.
In designing the Polymer series, the Bank of Canada consulted the Vimy Foundation to ensure an appropriate depiction of the monument. The Foundation’s mission is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory at Vimy.
For more information or to donate, visit www.vimyfoundation.ca.