Meet our Staff

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Stella Begic – Programs Manager

Since joining the Vimy Foundation in 2013, Stella has been committed to giving Canadian youth the opportunity to have life changing learning experiences. As the programs manager, it is her job to ensure students develop a greater understanding of our history and that they share this knowledge with their peers. Stella’s passion for Vimy began in university and today it is her aim to have as many students as possible see the Vimy monument in person and to be inspired by this enduring symbol of Canadian achievement.

Email Stella Begic: sbegic@vimyfoundation.ca.

 

Jennifer Blake – Communications Manager 

As the Vimy Foundation’s Communications Manager, Jennifer loves finding ways to share unique stories of the First World War with a wider audience, and oversees our website, media relations, advertising, and social media channels. With a background in social science and education communications in academia and in non-profit institutions, she specializes in making complex information clear and easy to find.  She first visited Vimy on a rainy Remembrance Day in 2003 and has never forgotten the feeling of seeing the monument through the mist.

Email Jennifer Blake: jblake@vimyfoundation.ca

 

 

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Jeremy Diamond – Executive Director

A public historian for more than 20 years, Jeremy has developed unique Canadian history initiatives at organizations including the Historica-Dominion Institute, Hudson’s Bay Company and numerous museums, historic sites and archives. Jeremy visited Vimy the first time in 2011 and immediately thought about how he could help commemorate the battle’s Centennial in 2017. Our Executive Director since 2014, Jeremy was inspired by a high school history teacher to learn more about our stories and believes that in fact Canadian history is not ‘boring’.

Email Jeremy Diamond: jdiamond@vimyfoundation.ca.

 

 

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Caroline Ross, Communications & Administrative Coordinator

Building on an Honours BA in History from the University of Toronto and professional experience with heritage organizations in Ottawa, Caroline joined the Vimy Foundation in 2017. An avid traveller and a member of a military family, Caroline has visited Vimy twice, and has toured numerous other First and Second World War battlefields in Europe and around the world. She will be handling administrative duties for the office and helping coordinate the Foundation’s communications.

Email Caroline Ross: cross@vimyfoundation.ca.

 

Boards

Board of Directors

The Vimy Foundation is very fortunate to have dedicated men and women who have devoted their time and efforts to furthering the Foundation’s goals. They each bring an impressive slate of experience and skills to oversee the management and the major policy decision-making of the organization.

Patrons

  • Bruce Bolton
  • Stuart Iversen
  • Reford Macdougall
  • Dean Oliver
  • Vincent Prager
  • William Stavert

 

Board of Directors

Advisory Board

  • John Clemes
  • Juanita Epp
  • Michael Fortmann
  • Shaun Francis
  • Stanley Hartt
  • Ralph Lean
  • Jonathan Leigh
  • Art Linton
  • Lt. Gen. (Ret’d) Michel Maisonneuve
  • The Honourable Michael A. Meighen
  • Desmond Morton
  • Julian Smith

Founder

Andrew Powell (October 2, 1930 – March 14, 2014), founder of the Vimy Foundation, shared his inspirations for the creation of the Foundation:

“As a resident of the United Kingdom from 1981 to 2008, I often traveled between Great Britain and France on the A26 motorway. This lane runs along the magnificent National Vimy Memorial, located on a hill surrounded by trees. A large road sign indicated the site as for the many points of interest in France: “Vimy, Canadian Memorial”. One day in 2003, I noticed that the sign was gone and after a few other trips I noticed that it had not been replaced. The motorway is an important route for traffic from Great Britain, northern France and Belgium to Paris and to the South; the opportunity to inform the general public about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and about Canada in general, was lost and I was determined to do something about it.

Every country needs legends, especially young countries like Canada, and Vimy’s story is perfect for inspiring Canadian pride. So we had the idea of bringing students from Canada, the United Kingdom and France to this site to learn about Vimy’s history and its significance for Canada. This experience gave me the motivation to create the Vimy Foundation in Canada and to register it as a charitable organization in 2006.”