Canada Remembers the Wars and their Soldiers using the Internet - News & Events - Library and Archives Canada
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Canada Remembers the Wars and their Soldiers using the Internet


Ottawa  -  Representatives of Veterans Affairs Canada, the National Archives of Canada and Industry Canada today launched two online initiatives making significant information about Canada’s war experience available on the Internet and creating a venue for Canadians to contribute memorabilia of family members and friends who gave their lives for their country. The event, which took place at the National Archives of Canada, was part of National Veterans’ Week activities.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM) allows anyone, anywhere in the world, with access to the Internet to learn about and honour the men and women who gave their lives fighting for peace and freedom. It is a permanent tribute that will play an important role in remembering those who died, and in teaching all Canadians about the people to whom they owe their freedom.

A project of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Virtual War Memorial is a searchable database and a permanent tribute to the more than 116,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who have lost their lives in major conflicts since 1884. The site contains information such as an individual’s service number, age and date of death, citations, honours and awards, and burial information.

In addition, each individual’s name is directly linked to the commemorative inscriptions in the electronic version of Canada’s Books of Remembrance, and may also be linked to a picture collection. Canadians are able to help build the Canadian Virtual War Memorial by contributing digitized photos, letters, postcards, medals, and other memorabilia of family members and friends who lost their lives in Canada’s war efforts.

Canada and the First World War

Canada and the First World War is the newest product of the National Archives’ Canadian Memory project, created to connect Canadians to their history and memories. The site presents stories of individuals who lived during the Great War, contributed to the war effort and died for our country. It also provides links to other sites, such as the CVWM, which contain related information or make use of National Archives databases, like the one of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Canada and the First World War is by far the most ambitious initiative to date within the Canadian Memory project. It illustrates the war experience through photos, journals and letters of some of those who were there; highlights its major repercussions on the home front, such as income tax; and enhances the virtual visitors’ knowledge of the Great War.

Canada’s Digital Collections

Young Canadians have been a key component of the development of these online programs. Through Canada’s Digital Collections, an Industry Canada program, teams of youth had employment opportunities working with Veterans Affairs’ and National Archives’ staff in digitization and Web site development, among other initiatives. In the process, they learned about Canadians’ war efforts which began more than a century ago.

The Digital Collections program gives young people age 15 to 30 entrepreneurial and technology-based job experience. Their works, gathered together on the Digital Collections Web site [], are popular among Canadian educators, students, researchers and the general public. Some two million pages are downloaded from the Digital Collections site each month, making Digital Collections one of the largest sources of Canadiana on the Internet.

To highlight the launch of these Web sites, director/writer/actor R.H. Thomson delivered a personal testimonial as a Canadian whose uncles fought and died for Canada in the First World War. Mr. Thomson was also present to discuss the importance of remembering and preserving the memories of this turbulent time in Canada's history.

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Visit the Canadian Virtual War Memorial at

Visit Canada and the First World War at

Visit Canada’s Digital Collections at

View the Multimedia Event of November 10 on the Veterans Affairs Canada Site.


For more information contact:

Janice Summerby
Communications, Veterans Affairs Canada
Telephone: (613) 992-7468

Pauline Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: (613) 996-6128

Jovan Matic
Communications, Industry Canada
Telephone: (613) 946-9600