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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Candlelight Vigil on the Eve of Vimy Ridge Day

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April 7, 2011


 Governor General to Participate in a Candlelight Vigil


OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief, will participate in a special candlelight ceremony on the eve of Vimy Ridge Day, to pay tribute to the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This event, the first of its kind, will be held at the National War Memorial, in Confederation Square, in Ottawa, on Friday, April 8, 2011, at 7 p.m.

On the eve of Vimy Ridge Day, more than 125 students from across the country will lead the candlelight vigil ceremony as delegates of the Encounters with Canada program, sponsored by the Vimy Foundation. During the ceremony, the Governor General will say a few words and will participate in the laying of wreaths before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Students will then gather and place candles at the base of the National War Memorial. Members of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets will participate in the night-long vigil, assuming the role of sentries, the guard of honour, and other ceremonial duties traditionally performed by Canadian Forces members. Cadets will stand vigil through the night until the Vimy Ridge Day commemorative ceremony, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

About the Encounters with Canada Program
Encounters with Canada is the country’s largest and foremost youth forum. Every week of the school year, 120 to 148 teens (ages 14 to 17) from across Canada come to Ottawa, where they discover their country through each other, learn about Canadian institutions, meet famous and accomplished Canadians, explore exciting career options, develop their civic leadership skills and live an extraordinary bilingual experience. For more information, please visit

About the Vimy Foundation
The Vimy Foundation is dedicated to promoting Canada’s First World War legacy as symbolized by the victory at Vimy Ridge, on April 9, 1917—a historic milestone, where Canada came of age and was recognized on the world stage. To promote Vimy Ridge Day, the Foundation encourages Canadians to wear a Vimy medal or pin on April 9 of each year, and organizes commemorative events each April. For more information about, please visit

About the Royal Canadian Army Cadets
The Royal Canadian Army Cadets is a federally sponsored program for young Canadians aged 12 to 18 that helps develop attributes of leadership, good citizenship and physical fitness in youth, while stimulating interest in the history and activities of the Canadian Army. There are currently more than 18 000 Army cadets in more than 400 Cadet corps across Canada. For more information, visit




 Members of the general public are welcome to attend.

 Media who wish to cover the candlelight vigil ceremony must contact Veterans Affairs Canada.


Media information

Christelle Legault
Rideau Hall Press Office



Janice Summerby
Veterans Affairs Canada