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War Memories across Canada documentary premiere

June 23, 2016
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site in Longview, Alberta

Remembering the lessons of the past has a strong influence on what we do today and in the future.

Dr. Geoffrey Bird hopes to offer insight into our nation’s past with the launch of the War Memories cross Canada documentary series through the War Heritage Research Initiative he leads at Royal Roads University. Funded by Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada and Royal Roads, the series explores sites of memory across Canada linked with the World Wars.

Bird, an Associate Professor in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads, says sites of memory connect and engage us with the experiences of the World Wars and the lessons relevant for our nation today.

“As we mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, and look ahead to our own nation’s pilgrimage to Vimy Ridge in April 2017, it is important to remember this massive impact that war had in places in Canada,” says Bird. “I believe this heritage teaches us how we can always strive to learn more from the past as a way to appreciate how we have evolved, and continue to evolve, as a nation.” 

The stories connect and engage us in a new way, looking at the war not from the perspective of battlefields overseas but from places in Canada that were shaped by war. The history is recounted by ‘guardians of remembrance,’ historians, guides and storytellers who offer insight into what happened and why. The documentary provides a gateway to new insights into the significance of this heritage as well as an opportunity to commemorate this shared national experience.

The first 90 minute documentary in the series, War Memories across Canada: Sites of the First World War, launches June 29 with a premiere screening at the Vic Theatre. An invitation can be requested from warheritage@royalroads.ca.  

The documentary is available for free viewing on the War Heritage Research Initiative website along with conversation starter kits. The second documentary in the series, Sites of the Second World War, will be released later this summer.

For more information on the War Heritage Research Initiative, contact Dr. Geoffrey Bird

Photo: Bar U Ranch National Historic Site in Longview, Alberta