New Poll Shows Most Canadians Can Identify “In Flanders Fields” (76%) as Country’s Most Famous Poem

Vimy Foundation campaign to encourage Canadian youth to recite famous poem reaches 100,000 students

Toronto, ON – November 9, 2015 – Most (76%) Canadians can correctly identify In Flanders Fields as the Canadian poem written during the First World War 100 years ago, and John McCrae (61%) as the author of that iconic poem. Most encouraging is the young Canadians (18-34) scored highest in knowledge and attitude related to the famous poem.

When presented with a list of six options, three quarters (76%) of Canadians could correctly identify In Flanders Fields as the Canadian poem written during the First World War 100 years ago. Interestingly, Canadians aged 18 to 34 were most likely (80%) to correctly identify In Flanders Fields as the poem.

Among a list of six authors, six in ten (61%) Canadians could identify John McCrae as having written In Flanders Fields, although four in ten (39%) did not. Once again, young adults paved the way with their superior knowledge, with 68% correctly answering the question, more than the 63% of those aged 55+ and 55% of those aged 35 to 54 who identified McCrae as the author.

Three quarters (74%) of Canadians ‘agree’ that ‘In Flanders Fields should be designated as Canada’s National Poem by an Act of Parliament’, while just one quarter (26%) ‘disagrees’ with this position. The idea has a majority of support in every region of the country, including Quebec (51%).

With support is so high, it’s not surprising that eight in ten (82%) agree that hearing In Flanders Fields recited on Remembrance Day enhances their appreciation for Canada’s veterans, and most (84%) agree that every Remembrance Day ceremony in Canada should include a reading of In Flanders Fields.

In Flanders Fields…

The data show that some Canadians know more about this iconic poem than others:

–  Regionally, those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (97%), Alberta (93%) and Atlantic Canada (92%) were most likely to identify In Flanders Fields as the Canadian poem written during the First World War.

–  Ontarians (74%), Atlantic Canadians (73%) and Albertans (73%) were most likely to correctly identify John McCrae as the author of this iconic poem.

–  Three in ten (30%) Canadians ‘agree’ that they can recite the poem In Flanders Fields by memory – matching the 30% of the population that could correctly identify the first verse.

–  The poem has a preeminent position in Canadian culture, so much so that two in three (66%) Canadians ‘agree’ that they learned In Flanders Fields as a child, rising to 73% agreement among those aged 18 to 34.

 

Click here to read more detailed results from Ipsos.

For more information:

Jennifer Blake
Communications Coordinator, Vimy Foundation
416.595.1917 ext.2
jblake@vimyfoundation.ca

VIMY FOUNDATION RELEASES NEW POLL FOR VIMY WEEK 2015

New Vimy Foundation poll reveals majority of Canadians believe 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge in 2017 should be focus of Canada’s Sesquicentennial

Vimy Day to be celebrated across Canada on April 9

 

TORONTO—April 8, 2015 —To mark Vimy Day (April 9), The Vimy Foundation has released a new poll measuring Canadian attitudes and knowledge of this seminal moment in Canadian history.

With 2017 being a big year for Canada as it celebrates both its 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, one of the most famous battles of Canadian history, which scholars often point to as Canada’s definitive “coming of age” moment, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Vimy Foundation has revealed that three quarters (74%) of Canadians ‘agree’ that ‘the 100th anniversary of Vimy, falling as it does in 2017, should be one of the most important celebrations for Canada that year’.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, and its contribution to Canadian history and nation building, is so significant that the government of Canada chose to include an image of the monument on the new $20 bill. Many Canadians want to see the gesture go even further: a majority (51%) of Canadians ‘agree’ that since the new $20 Canadian polymer bill features an image of the Vimy monument, they’d ‘support changing the name of the $20 bill to a “Vimy” to help commemorate the battle’s centennial in 2017’.

“It is encouraging that a clear majority of the country recognizes the important place the victory holds in our history,” said Jeremy Diamond, Executive Director of the Vimy Foundation. “As we countdown to 2017, we look forward to further engaging and educating Canadians about this seminal moment in our nation’s history.”

Troubling was that four in ten (40%) Canadians feels the war cenotaph/memorial in their community is ‘in need of repair and/or restoration’. Built following the end of the First World War, these cenotaphs/memorials are often used for public gatherings and celebrations, particularly on Remembrance Day.

From 2014 to 2018, Canada and those around the world mark the 100th anniversary of many important milestones from the First World War. But most Canadians are not entirely aware of these important anniversaries. Four in ten (44%) ‘agree’ that they are ‘aware of upcoming centennial anniversaries of important moments of the First World War, such as poet John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields, the Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, etc’. Conversely, a majority (56%) ‘disagrees’ (they are aware of these important milestones).

Interestingly, 5% of those polled (up 2% from 2014), said that they or a member of their family are considering travelling to Vimy for centennial celebrations in 2017.

Other findings include:

  • Three quarters (75%) ‘agree’ a visit to Canadian battlefields, cemeteries and historic sites in Europe has or would increase my knowledge and appreciation for Canada’s military history,
  • Three quarters (72%) ‘agree’ that all Canadians should participate in a local activity to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday in 2017
  • A majority of Quebeckers (54%) support the renaming of the $20 bill to a ‘Vimy’ in time for the centennial in 2017
  • Half of Albertans (50%) ‘agree’ that the cenotaph/memorial in their community is in need of repair/restoration

The Vimy Foundation, working with the Government of Canada, is spearheading the building of an Education Centre at the Vimy Memorial site in France, so that students and visitors can better understand this pivotal moment in Canadian history. The Centre will open on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9, 2017. For more information on Vimy 2017, visit www.vimy100.ca

Click here to view full poll results.

The Vimy Foundation

Founded in 2006, the mission of the Vimy Foundation is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, a milestone when Canada came of age and was then recognized on the world stage. Visit www.vimyfoundation.ca.

 

VIMY FOUNDATION RELEASES NEW POLL FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY 2014

Three in Ten (27%) Canadians Will Attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony This Year, 23% Said they Went Last Year

Vimy Foundation poll shows 82% Support Making November 11 a National Holiday

Toronto, ON – November 9, 2014 – Three in ten (27%) Canadians say that they will attend an official Remembrance Day service on November 11th this year, an increase over the 23% who said they attended one last year, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Vimy Foundation.

There has been a great deal of attention placed on the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers recently, given the tragic killings of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent on Canadian soil. Despite this, the 27% of Canadians who say they will attend a ceremony this year is down from the 30% who, in 2012, said they would attend.

There is presently a bill before Parliament that would make Remembrance Day a national statutory holiday. The poll shows that most (82%) Canadians would support November 11th being made holiday (down 3 points since a similar poll conducted in 2012), while just 18% would not (up 3 points).

While most Canadians won’t be attending an official service this year, eight in ten (77%) say that they will observe two minutes of silence at 11 o’clock on November 11th (down 3 points), and an equal proportion (77%, down 5 points) are wearing a poppy in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

Honouring Canada’s Fallen…

The data show that some Canadians are more likely than others to remember Canada’s fallen in various ways:

Those in Alberta (41%) and Atlantic Canada (39%) are most likely to say they will attend an official ceremony, followed by those living in British Columbia (31%), Ontario (31%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (20%) and Quebec (9%).
Atlantic Canadians (94%) and Ontarians (90%) are most likely to say they will observe two minutes of silence at 11 o’clock on November 11th, followed by those in British Columbia (76%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (74%), Alberta (71%) and Quebec (55%).
Atlantic Canadians (94%) and British Columbians (90%) are most likely to say they’re wearing a poppy in the lead up to November 11th, followed by those living in Ontario (87%), Alberta (83%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (79%) and Quebec (43%).
Atlantic Canadians (94%) and residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (94%) are most likely to support Remembrance Day being made a national holiday, followed by a majority of those in British Columbia (88%), Ontario (84%), Alberta (81%) and Quebec (71%).
For more information

Jeremy Diamond
Executive Director
416.722.9754 (cell)
jdiamond@vimyfoundation.ca

THE VIMY FOUNDATION FEATURED IN GLOBAL NEWS REMEMBRANCE DAY COVERAGE

Global News, November 9, 2014: “More Canadians plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies: poll

Almost three in 10 Canadians say they plan to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony this year, according to a new poll.

That number is higher than last year and has been steadily rising for more than a decade, says Jeremy Diamond, executive director of The Vimy Foundation. Five years ago, around 18 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they would attend a service.

The poll, done by Ipsos Reid for The Vimy Foundation and released to Global News, found that 27 per cent of those asked planned to attend a service this year.

Click here to read the full story on Global News, including poll results about attitudes on a November 11 national holiday and wearing a poppy.