Under the honorary co-chairmanship of Mr. Stéphan Crétier, Founder, President and CEO of Garda World, and of Mr. Luc Ouellet, Managing Director, Investment Banking of TD Securities, the third annual edition of La Grande Soirée Fondation Vimy was a resounding success.
La Grande Soirée Fondation Vimy 2014 raised more than $150,000, a record for this charity event in Montreal. Over two hundred representatives from the business world and military, education, arts and cultural communities attended the June 17th event at McGill University’s historic Redpath Hall.
La Grande Soirée Fondation Vimy 2014 was presented to raise funds for the Vimy Foundation’s important youth education programs. These programs reach close to 18,000 Canadian youth across the country and benefit 200 exceptional high school students annually. One such program, the Vimy Pilgrimage Award, recognizes exemplary young Canadians for their distinguished service, positive contributions, notable deeds, bravery, and leadership.
As a result of this annual fundraising event, the Vimy Foundation aims to further develop these programs which will allow a greater number of high school students to participate. As the foundation strives to preserve and promote the Canadian legacy of the First World War, funds raised will also go towards commemoration projects for the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy ridge. The victory in April 1917 symbolizes an event in history which was the first major moment when Canada identified itself as a nation and was recognized internationally.
As the centennial anniversary of Vimy Ridge approaches, the foundation will play a leading role in building a state-of-the-art Education Centre to be unveiled on April 9, 2017 on grounds adjacent to the Vimy Memorial in France. The Government of Canada has committed $5 million to the project, and the Vimy Foundation aims to raise an additional $10–15 million.