The 2020 Vimy Pilgrimage Award Postponed

March 12, 2020

Given the recent developments in international travel bans linked to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Vimy Foundation, supported by program sponsors Scotiabank and Air Canada, has decided to postpone the 2020 Vimy Pilgrimage Award.

20 students from across Canada were selected for this year’s Vimy Pilgrimage Award. The prize recognizes the actions of young people who are dedicated to the betterment of society by demonstrating an outstanding commitment to volunteer work through positive contributions, notable deeds, or bravery benefiting their peers, school, community, province, or country.

The fully funded educational program usually takes place in Belgium and France in the week leading up to Vimy Ridge Day (April 9th). Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Vimy Foundation has decided to suspend its educational programs involving student travel to Europe for the immediate future. The 2020 Vimy Pilgrimage Award is, at present, postponed to a later date to be confirmed.

The Vimy Foundation values the safety and well-being of its program participants and their communities above all else.

In the years surrounding the end of the First World War, the Spanish flu claimed more lives than both World Wars combined. The pandemic nature of the flu was downplayed, in order to preserve wartime morale which resulted in individuals coming home to Canada sick or contagious.

Transparency and caution are key factors in avoiding the reoccurrence of a Spanish-flu-like global pandemic. The Vimy Foundation aims to keep its award recipients, their families, and their communities safe and to ensure that the actions of Canada’s past inform contemporary decision making in a constructive manner.

THE BANK OF CANADA LAUNCHES NEW VIMY-THEMED $20 BILL.

The Vimy Foundation is very pleased that on May 3rd, the Bank of Canada unveiled the new $20 that will be put in circulation in the coming months.

Thanks to the Bank of Canada, the victory of Vimy Ridge will be depicted on the new bill, allowing Canadians to carry a piece of history in their wallets. Just as Canadian innovation was successfully demonstrated on the battlefield of Vimy and with the architectural design of the memorial some years later, the new series of Canadian notes are at the frontier of bank note technology and will set a benchmark worldwide.

The Bank of Canada unveiled this new $20 bill during a very important time, as people across Canada and France just commemorated the 95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2012. This prestigious honour will help commemorate the sacrifice and success of Canadian soldiers in the First World War.

The Vimy Foundation’s mission is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War Legacy as symbolized by the victory at Vimy in 1917 and is thus proud to have consulted the Bank of Canadaon this initiative and to have given support with regards to the theme and design of the new bill. The Foundation looks forward to future collaboration with the Bank of Canada.

For more information on the new $20 bill, please visit: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/