Tuesday 7 Mar, 2017

What is Happening at Vimy 100?

As we lead up to Vimy 100, we will be sharing some of the incredible, immersive, and experiential activities you will participate in during your tour, specifically at the Artois Expo in Arras, France. In this edition, you will learn about our diverse partners and what exactly is happening at EF’s interactive educational centre during the Vimy 100 commemoration.

All of these innovative and educational partners and programs will be present at Education First‘s exclusive interactive educational hub as a part of commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge.

Canadian Geographic

Drawn to Victory and Wings of Courage

Canadian Geographic Education’s giant floor map program is a free resource offered to Canadian teachers from Kindergarten to grade 12. Each map measures 11 m x 8 m and additional supplies complement each giant map to further enhance your students’ learning experiences. These materials include map legends, activity cards, physical props and more. At the Artois Expo, Canadian Geographic will display their Wings of Courage and Drawn to Victory maps, covering Vimy Ridge and the Western Front, for everyone to walk on and explore the movement of borders and resources during the First World War.

Collège de Villers-Bocage

Graffiti Archaeology

A high school group from Naours, France worked with an archaeologist from Inrap (Institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives) to discover the past through an unusual medium: graffiti. Students volunteered to record the graffiti in their town that was left behind by Australian soldiers during the First World War. From the names sketched in the tunnels and caves underneath Naours, this investigative group researched these soldiers’ lives and paired their military and historical contributions with what their families were doing at the same time on the home front. At the Artois Expo, you will have the chance to see a selection of these completed profiles and speak with the students about their inspirations, fascinations, and key insights.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Soldier Profiles

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is an international organization that honours the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women that died in First and Second World War. They care for cemeteries and memorials in 154 countries. At the Artois Expo, you will find life-sized soldier cut-outs and their profiles representing nations around the world who served in the First World War. Gain insight into the lives of these servicemen and take a picture next to the soldiers whose stories resonate with you.

Connie Wyatt Anderson

Connie Wyatt Anderson is a Canadian educator who taught history and geography for over 20 years on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She co-authored the Grade 11 history textbook used in Manitoba schools and co-wrote the Treaty education learning materials for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She is a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, chair of Canadian Geographic Education and chair of the Geographical Names Board of Canada. She received the 2014 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Trench News

During the First World War, trench newspapers fizzed with satirical humour and vividly brought to life the human side of the front line. Today, it remains a testament of the resilience of humanity in the most harrowing circumstances. Explore news articles, trench slang and illustrations published during the First World War.

Circle of Courage

The Circle of Courage is a model of human development that integrates Native American/First Nations philosophies and is a model of positive youth development based on four principles: belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. Students will explore completed Circles of Courage from different communities and be prompted to create their own using recent travel experiences as the model of self-evaluation.

Culinary Historians of Canada

Authentic First and Second World War Recipes

The Culinary Historians of Canada educates Canadians about our food history. They will discuss First and Second World War cooking on the home front and front lines through cooking demonstrations and talking about the ingredients available during both wars, the role of rationing and the efforts at home.

Dr. Geoff Bird

War Memories Across Canada

Dr. Geoff Bird is a professor and acting director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Dr. Bird specializes in the field of historical tourism and memorialization, with specific interests in battlefield preservation and commemoration. At the Artois Expo, you will be able to watch three different videos covering the contributions of the Chinese Labour Corps, sniper Lance Corporal John Shiwak of Labrador, and the impact of the Halifax Explosion.

First World War Comes to Life

Vacating Vimy: The Chain of Evacuation

First World War Comes to Life, in partnership with the Canadian War Museum, is proud to present Vacating Vimy— a three-part, fully-animated exhibit which allows visitors to follow the journey of a wounded soldier through the chain of casualty evacuation. From front line first aid to home front convalescence, visitors are invited to explore the various challenges and achievements of medical aid during the First World War through a series of interactive displays at the Artois Expo.

Global Sunrise Project


The Global Sunrise Project explores themes of compassion, creativity and friendship through travel. After six months of traveling, capturing unique moments and speaking with individuals from all backgrounds, teenager Kasha Slavner built an art exhibit that tells these inspirational stories focused on global citizenship and peace, expressed through photography and film. At the Artois Expo, you will get the opportunity to view her photos and film trailer, speak with the founders, and participate in a string art installation that depicts your interpretation of peace.

Hamilton Signals Association

Can You Be a Code Breaker /Build a Morse Code Key and Sounder

The Hamilton Signals Association is a volunteer organization that spreads awareness and hosts educational events about The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. At the Artois Expo, you will have the opportunity to learn about coding techniques used during the First World War and accept the challenge to decipher an encrypted message. Discover how coding transformed from its early uses in the First World War, starting inside the trenches, evolving into the famous Enigma machine, to present day encryption. Finally, you will learn how to build a real Morse Code key and sounder in case you need to signal for help!

Historica Canada

Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness about Canadian history and citizenship. At the Artois Expo, they will be highlighting cultural artwork, veterans’ testimonials, and collective identity through projects and videos to prompt youth to think about what Canada means to them today. Historica works with communities and schools across the country and has built an amazing set of educational materials specifically designed for Canadian educators available in English and in French!

Here’s My Canada

Enter a multilingual, nation-wide contest and express what Canada means to you in a 30-second video for your chance to win prizes like a $5000 gift card from Air Canada, Via Rail, Indigo, Best Buy, or Cineplex. Contest guidelines can be found here. Feeling artistic? Add to our Canada mural with your name, a message or an illustration of what Canada means to you.

Trivia Challenge

Test your knowledge of Canadian history, arts, and citizenship including questions based on the Canadian citizenship exam.

The Memory Project

Listen to audio clips of veterans, their families, and current Canadian Forces members who share their military experiences.

Aboriginal Arts & Stories

Engage with literary and visual arts produced by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth. From across Canada, these young artists interpret aspects of their culture and heritage through art, exploring everything form their own personal past to the stories of their ancestors and country.

Invictus Games Foundation

The I AM Challenge

The Invictus Games Foundation organizes the annual Invictus Games, which was first established in 2014 by Prince Harry and other parties. This international competition promotes the importance of sport and physical activity in the rehabilitation journey of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. At the Artois Expo, you will have the chance to meet Invictus athletes from Team Canada and compete in activities, challenging you to push your own limits in a collaborative and supportive environment.

Janet Ruest

Janet Ruest is an award winning history and geography teacher, textbook contributor and workshop leader. Janet was selected as a 2016 Study Tour Fellow by the Transatlantic Outreach Program and Goethe-Institute and named a 2015 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow by National Geographic. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society selected Janet to receive their 2015 Innovation in Teaching Award.  Janet also received a 2015 Government of Canada History Award. Janet works on BC Ministry of Education Committees and is a member of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Geo-Olympiad Planning Team.

Be the Artist

Using provided information related to the First World War, create comics and graphics individually or add a square to the collaborative wall sized comic strip. Not feeling artistic? Add your own captions under the Caption This Illustration on the wall.

Kathryn Whitfield and Sara Faulkner

Making of a Memorial

Kathryn Whitfield received the 2015 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching and worked with Sara Faulkner, a history teacher from Unionville, ON, to teach curious travelers about the many variables that merit consideration when making a memorial. You will consider the challenges of making a memorial that include designing and building a memorial structure, the environment and landscape and messaging with appropriate symbols. How, for example, do you prepare the ground for building when there are unexploded shells and bombs buried and how to design appropriate symbols for commemorating war? Build a collaborative memorial piece based on what you have learned!

Twenty One Toys and MaRS

The Empathy Experience

Twenty One Toys is an education design company that focuses on the power of play and its significance in teaching empathy, communication, and collaboration. At the Artois Expo, you’ll get the chance to participate in The Empathy Experience, which helps students understand the challenges of communication and practice the skills needed to prevent miscommunication from escalating into conflict. It does so through a self-directed game using the Empathy Toy, a tactile, multi-piece figure that engages your instructional and cooperative skills.

Rick Hansen Foundation

Rick Hansen School Program

The Rick Hansen Foundation has been educating communities around the world about physical and mental disability, equal access and universal inclusion since 1988. This foundation aims to remove barriers, both physically and metaphorically, for those with disabilities and help everyone understands that potential knows no physical bounds. At the Artois Expo, you will be able to interact with objects designed to be accessible for those with disabilities and learn more about the School Program. Work through challenges designed to promote empathy for those with disabilities and learn to see the potential innovations to make everyday life more accessible for everyone.

Shorncliffe Trust

Historical Interpreters

The Shorncliffe Trust aims at conserving the Shorncliffe historical grounds by converting the standing military buildings into an education center and museum. Laying in the southeast of the United Kingdom, Shorncliffe has been on the front line of international engagements for over 200 years, from the Napoleonic wars through to the Second World War. Shorncliffe is also the place where hundreds of Canadian soldiers trained before heading to mainland Europe. At the Vimy memorial, Shorncliffe historical interpreters will be present in the trenches and throughout the Artois Expo to engage students with stories.


The Vimy Experience

SimWave Consulting aims to push the boundaries of virtual experiences through innovation and visually stimulating technology. To commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers, SimWave created a 4D virtual reality experience of the battle on April 9, 1917. Through Oculus Rift driven goggles and a specially designed rumbling platform, you will feel the boom of the creeping barrage and see bullets whizzing as you step into history. EF is excited to bring this unique experience exclusively to you.

Vimy Flight


Vimy Flight is an organization of volunteer engineers and pilots that have come together with the mission of flying an authentic Sopwith Pup Bi-Plane over the Vimy Right Memorial on April 9, 2017. At the Artois Expo, you will see a replica First World War bi-plane re-created specifically for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and even have the chance to take pictures as an early 20th century pilot with goggles and flight jackets.


Issues of the World

WE is an organization that champions social engagement and provides the tools and guidance for Canadian youth to be the change they wish to see.  Facilitated through two divisions, WE Charity and Me to We empower everyone to make a positive, long lasting impact on our world. Whether it is offering life-changing, international volunteer trips or making a difference at a local level through WE Schools, Me to We provides the resources needed to create a better, more sustainable tomorrow on a broad scale.  At the Artois Expo, you will learn about contemporary world issues and their local and global impacts. Identify your own talents and how they can be used for social change.

We Matter

We Matter Campaign

We Matter is a national organization founded to champion hope and empowerment for Indigenous youth. Their primary movement is the We Matter Campaign, which gathers positives messages of support from role models across Canada communicating with Indigenous youth that no matter how hard life may feel, there is always a way forward. At the Artois Expo, you will have the opportunity to watch looped videos featuring these prominent Canadian leaders, such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to Indigenous youth about their potential to do or be whatever they choose.

Getting excited about these incredible programs? Find your next adventure here!