Families located in Ottawa or travelling to Ottawa this Remembrance Day can get a better understanding of Canada’s military history at the Canadian War Museum with the museum’s lineup of events on Nov. 11.
“The War Museum is a great place to learn the history behind why, why we remember,” said Avra Gibbs Lamey Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer Canadian War Museum.
A highly anticipated event at the Canadian War Museum on Remembrance Day takes place in the Memorial Hall.
“The museum is architected in such a way that the sun shines through that one window, and it perfectly frames the headstone of the Unknown Soldier at 11 a.m.. It’s a feat of engineering. You can come on Nov 10, and the sun will be slightly to the left, and on Nov 12 it’ll be slightly to the right of the headstone. It’s only on Nov 11 at 11 a.m. that it frames it [headstone] perfectly,” explained Lamey.
Tickets are given out on a first-come-first-served basis for this annual phenomenon. Only 60 people are given access to the room for that moment.
However, others can view this special moment on a screen in the lobby or at their homes on the museum’s website or on their Facebook page.
The event attracts many Veterans and service personnel with their families.
“For them, I think, it’s also particularly moving,” said Lamey.
After the moment has passed, says Lamey, many of the visitors leave their Poppy at the headstone.
Broadcast of the Official Remembrance Day Ceremony From the National War Memorial
10 a.m., LeBreton Gallery (in English)
10:30 a.m., Barney Danson Theatre (in French )
Memorial Hall Visitation and Livecast
Tickets available at 9:30 a.m.
On Remembrance Day, at exactly 11 a.m., sunlight shines through a single window in Memorial Hall to frame the headstone representing Canada’s Unknown Soldier. A limited number of free tickets will be available as of 9:30 a.m. at the Information desk. No reservations are permitted. This moving event will also be broadcast within the Museum and streamed live at warmuseum.ca/remember and facebook.com/warmuseum.
Other programs at the Canadian War Museum on Remembrance Day include:
An Homage to Canada- 12:30 p.m. LeBreton Gallery
Various works for voice, cello, and piano by Dutch composer Henriëtte Bosmans (1895–1952) will be interpreted by mezzo-soprano Pauline van der Roest, pianist Frédéric Lacroix, and cellist Joan Harisson.
Henriëte Bosmans, a half Jewish and bisexual Dutch woman, was profoundly affected by the Second World War. This 30-minute presentation of her work will take you on an emotional journey from loss and grief to the euphoria of Dutch liberation.
Firing Lines: Three Canadian Women Write the First World War. A talk by Debbie Marshall-
1: 30 p.m. Barney Danson Theatre
From 1914 to 1918, Canadian journalists Mary MacLeod Moore, Elizabeth Montizambert and Beatrice Nasmyth covered the First World War for Saturday Night Magazine, the Vancouver Province, and the Montreal Gazette. In a multimedia presentation of images, sounds and period music, Debbie Marshall — author of Firing Lines: Three Canadian Women Write the First World War — will explore the women’s experiences overseas during that terrible conflict.
Vimy Highlights Tour- 10 and 11:15 a.m.; 12, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.
This fast-paced tour is a brilliant introduction to the Museum and will encourage visitors to engage with hands-on artifacts and displays, as well as stimulate conversations about the First World War in a meaningful way.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lobby
Are you related to a Commonwealth soldier who died in one of the two World Wars? Have you ever wondered where he or she is commemorated? Staff from the Canadian Agency of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will help you access the Debt of Honour Register and search for their location of commemoration.
Make a Poppy- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lobby
At our Remembrance Day family activity, create your own poppy from felt and buttons. And, as you make your poppy, learn about the history and legacy of this bold red flower and its association with remembrance.
Witness to History- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout museum
Veterans, expert civilians and currently serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be sharing their stories and experiences throughout the Museum on Remembrance Day.
Hometown Heroes 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lobby
Hometown Heroes is a community-based initiative by Parks Canada that honours and tells the stories of ordinary citizens, both civilian and those in the armed forces, who contributed to Canada’s wartime efforts during the First and Second World Wars.
Home Port Heroes 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lobby
Parks Canada’s Home Port Heroes initiative commemorates the commitment and sacrifice of the men and women who served in, and built the ships of, the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. Their contributions played a major role in helping secure Allied victory in 1945.
Additionally, the Canadian War Museum also has a number of exhibitions that are ongoing, many of them will be ending soon after Remembrance Day. These include: Vimy: Beyond the Battle, which closes Nov. 13; an exhibition on the Battle of Hill 70, which closes nov 13; Canadian Jewish History, which closes Nov. 13, Preserved in Stone, and War Flowers.
Admission to the Canadian War Museum is free on Remembrance Day.