ABOUT

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.

EXPLORE

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.

RETURN TO VIMY

An original short film produced by the NFB in partnership with the Vimy Foundation

The Vimy Foundation is incredibly excited to have partnered with the National Film Board of Canada on an original short film featuring colourized First World War footage. The film, premiering early November 2017, will be the first time the NFB produces a film featuring colourized footage from their own archives!

We hope that Return to Vimy will resonate with all Canadians, especially youth, and help them better understand what the First World War may have looked like to the people who lived it. The film is an emotional journey back in time that we hope helps re-engage Canadians on their country’s First World War legacy.

To watch the full film click more button below.

EXPERIENCE

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.

Stay tuned for future venues and tour dates.

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LEARN

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.

THEY FOUGHT IN COLOUR

A New Look at Canada’s First World War Effort

They Fought in Colour is a photographic exploration of Canada’s First World War experience presented for the first time in full, vibrant colour, with commentary from some of our country’s leading public figures, including Paul Gross, Peter Mansbridge, Margaret Atwood, Tim Cook, and many others.

Canadians today see the First World War largely through black and white photography. Colourizing these images brings a new focus to our understanding and appreciation of the role Canada played during the First World War. It makes the soldier in the muddy trench, the nurse in the field hospital, and those who waited for them at home come to life. Immediately, their expressions, mannerisms, and feelings are familiar. They become real. They Fought in Colour is a new look at Canada’s experience during the Great War. A more accessible look. A more contemporary look.

In bookstores October 6, 2018! Purchase your copy of They Fought in Colour at IndigoAmazonDundurn Press, or your favourite bookseller.