The Royal Canadian Legion National Poppy Campaign is officially underway with thousands of poppies available to Canadians at Legion branches and numerous locations around the country. Volunteers including young cadets are handing out poppies; in all they will help distribute close to 20 million this year.
The 2018 campaign features a new digital poppy, found online at mypoppy.ca. Canadians who donate online will receive a digital poppy in remembrance of a Veteran of their choosing.
“Every fall, the respect and gratitude Canadians feel for the men and women who have served our county is reflected in their generosity during the Poppy Campaign,” says Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine. “None of us must ever forget the price paid for the open and free society we enjoy today.”
The Legion’s Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill returns for a third year featuring a spectacular digital light show with 117,000 virtual poppies representing each of Canada’s fallen since the beginning of the First World War. The evening display runs from October 26 through to November 11, from 6:30-9:30 pm ET, including until midnight on the 11th. Virtual poppies will also cascade down the National Art Centre’s new “Kipnes Lantern” and the “Blades” all day on November 11, from 7:00 am ET to midnight.
During the same time period, two large screens on Parliament Hill show the Virtual Wall of Honour, a silent video sharing the faces of Canadian Veterans who have passed, their photos submitted by people from across the country.
On the first night of the Poppy Drop each year, Dominion Carillonneur Dr. Andrea McCrady plays “The Last Post” on the Peace Tower bells before the first poppy falls. Those unable to watch in person can tune in to Facebook Live on the Legion’s Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/CanadianLegion/
The ceremonial start of the 2018 National Poppy Campaign took place on October 22, with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor-General of Canada, accepting the First Poppy from Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine.
Funds donated across the country during the National Poppy Campaign support Veterans and their families locally. In 2016, close to 17 million dollars went back into our communities.