When you look at old black and white photos, the past seems very far away. This is especially apparent with First World War photographs. And yet in the course of time, it was only yesterday.
The Vimy Foundation, with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the R. Howard Webster Foundation is launching a unique and innovative project to colourize images of the First World War, a project aimed at re-engaging young Canadians in a defining moment in our history.
The images featured within this project will not only highlight the important battles in Canada’s history, but also life on the home front, wartime industries, the contributions of women, and advances in medical and communications technologies.
The First World War was a transformative experience for Canada and while the memory of the conflict and its impacts on our collective consciousness are slowly vanishing, these photos capture our attention. They provide us with a clearer understanding of what the First World War would have looked like to the people who lived it.
The First World War in Colour project will consist of colourizing 150 images from Library and Archives Canada as well as local archives from across the country. These photographs will help commemorate both the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.
The Vimy Foundation, with the support of the Government of Canada presents an exciting new travelling exhibit: THE GREAT WAR IN COLOUR: A new look at Canada’s First World War effort – 1914-1918.
The exhibit will feature colourized First World War photos in addition to historical information and educational resources. The exhibit will be made available to museums and galleries across the country.
The First World War was the first major conflict in which large number of soldiers made use of a camera.
In 1912, the Eastman Kodak Company introduced the Vest Pocket Kodak camera. Sales of this tiny camera (designed to fit inside a vest pocket) increased dramatically with an estimated one in five Allied officers carried one by the end of the First World War.
Learn more about photography during the First World War, and the colourization process.
Bring the Battle of Vimy Ridge to your class this year with the Vimy Foundation’s online educational resource Vimy 100 in the Classroom.
This free, fully accessible, bilingual resource has been designed for high school students across Canada and includes lesson plans, resources, and activities for use in a variety of classes.
Your students will be able to interpret Canada’s role in the First World War, as well as the significance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial; setting these events within the contexts of the formation of Canada as a country, Canadian nationalism, and citizenship.
The Vimy 100 in the Classroom program encourages students to actively consider the war, and to discuss difficult questions, like the relationship between nationalism and war, in the form of debates, data collection, art, and mini research projects.
The Vimy Foundation regularly polls Canadians about their attitudes and opinions related to Canada’s First World War legacy and the upcoming Vimy Centennial, through market research conducted by Ipsos Reid.
From 2014 to 2018, we commemorate the centennial anniversaries of the First World War. The Vimy Foundation is actively working to ensure that these major battles of the First World War involving Canadians are recalled and our losses commemorated.
Read more about some of the lesser-known battles of Canadians:
It is with pleasure that we at the Vimy Foundation present our specially designed tour, operated by Spirit of Remembrance Ltd, our official adult tour operator based in Europe. Part of the proceeds of this unique official tour will assist us to raise funds to send a group of young Canadians to Vimy, France in April 2017 for the Centenary commemorations. Staying in a breathtaking 17th century Chateau, your tour, led by General Rick Hillier (Ret’d), follows the trail of events which lead to the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge. Please join our tour and help us to help our youth perpetuate the memory of those who gave us the freedoms we enjoy today. The mission of the Vimy Foundation is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, a milestone where Canada came of age and was then recognised on the world stage.
While the Vimy monument itself is of course stunningly beautiful, visitors were given little context at the previous information booth as to why Canadians fought and died there; why Vimy remains special to the Canadian soul; and how Vimy, and other First World War battles at which Canadians fought, forever altered Canada’s status on the world stage. The Vimy Visitor Education Centre located adjacent the Vimy Monument, inaugurated at the Vimy Centennial Celebrations in April 2017 will answer these questions.
The Vimy Visitor Education Centre is a project in partnership with Veteran Affairs Canada ($5 million was committed by the Government of Canada in 2013).
For photos of the grand opening of the Vimy Visitor Education Centre click here.
For photos of the construction of the Vimy Visitor Education Centre click here.