Tuesday 14 Mar, 2017

What Does Canada Mean to You?

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 Historica Canada and what programs they will facilitate at the Expo.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge has long been considered a milestone in the formation of Canadian national identity. As Brigadier General Alexander Ross said after the victory, “In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation”. The centennial year of Vimy Ridge offers an important occasion to learn more about the historical significance of the battle, and reflect on its meaning to Canada’s shared history.“In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation.” - Brigadier General Alexander Ross Click To Tweet

Vimy 100 is an excellent opportunity for Canadians to reflect on a vital question to any country’s ethos: what does Canada mean to me? Historica Canada is challenging Canadian youth to consider this question both as an individual and as part of the larger society. Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness of Canadian history and citizenship.

We are proud to partner with Historica Canada, and are excited that they are bringing their mission to the Artois Expo. During the 3-day event, students will have the chance to contribute their thoughts on Canadian identity. Historica Canada will offer four different activities for you to engage with what it means to be Canadian:

Medicinal Healing, by Megan Benoit, 2016

  1. Here’s My Canada: Be part of 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 “Here’s My Canada” mural with your name, a message or illustrations of what Canada means to you.
  2. Trivia Challenge: Test your knowledge of Canadian history, arts and citizenship including questions based on the Canadian citizenship exam.
  3. The Memory Project: Listen to audio clips of veterans, their families, and current Canadian Forces members who share their military experience.
  4. Aboriginal Arts & Stories: View an exhibit of literary and visual arts from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth, who interpret an aspect of their culture and heritage. From across Canada, these young artists explore everything from their own personal past to the stories of their ancestors and country.

Students listen to a speaker at Human Library event in Winnipeg, MB. Photo courtesy of the Memory Project, Historica Canada

These are some of the most important ways to engage the next generation, which celebrate diverse perspectives from the past and present. Do not miss the opportunity for your students to make these critical inquiries and to reflect on what Canada, or being Canadian, means to them. Want to continue to challenge your students in the classroom? Historica Canada has produced a bilingual Vimy 100 History Lens Tool Kit, designed specifically for educators and students travelling to Vimy for the centennial. This kit incorporates pre-trip, on-tour and post-trip activities to engage students in critical thinking. Using primary sources from the Memory Project Archive, Heritage Minutes on the First World War, and classroom discussion questions, this Tool Kit will help you engage your students on a different level. These materials include everything from theme-based activities to short videos all related to Canadian history. Check out over 300 lesson plans on Historica Canada’s Education Portal. If you can’t find quite the right one for your lesson, you can join the community and create your own tools!

At the beginning of April, Historica Canada is launching its newest educational resource – the Think Like a Historian series! This video series takes students on a “behind the scenes” tour of history, by investigating primary sources from the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For more information, contact Education@HistoricaCanada.ca

Read on to learn more about Historica Canada and all of the educational partners that will be present at EF’s exclusive interactive education centre at the Artois Expo. Also, since you’re now inspired to plan your next educational adventure, take a look at the endless possibilities.


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