The Vimy Foundation and EF Educational Tours announce investment in new Vimy Education Centre

Nov 05, 2013, 12:29 ET from EF Educational Tours

'Give a VIMY for Vimy' initiative will support new Vimy Education Centre project

OTTAWA, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino, the Vimy Foundation and EF Educational Tours today launched the Give a' VIMY' for Vimy Campaign at the Canadian War Museum, marking the first official day of Veterans' Week 2013.

The campaign is a national initiative to raise awareness for the upcoming Vimy centennial in 2017, encouraging Canadians to contribute $20 (a 'VIMY') towards the cost of a new Education Centre project at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Donations can be made at

"The 'Give a VIMY for Vimy' campaign will engage Canadians from coast to coast, helping to ignite pride and support for this important legacy project - the building of a new Vimy Education Centre. The work of the Vimy Foundation continues to ensure that the Vimy legacy of national unity, sacrifice, innovation, and victory are never lost and we look forward to building momentum with Canadians, towards the centennial in 2017," said Christopher Sweeney, Chair of the Vimy 2017 Committee.

EF Educational Tours is the first multi-year supporter of the Centre, kick-starting the private sector efforts with an initial $100,000 contribution. The announcement included comments from students from John McCrae Secondary School in Ottawa who have travelled to Vimy Ridge with EF as part of their studies.

"We are excited to have a leadership role in the new Education Centre at Vimy," said David Conklin, President of EF Educational Tours in Canada.  "It will be a great enhancement to the Vimy site, complementing the deeper educational understanding being experienced by the students who travel with us to Vimy."

As the official student travel services provider to the Vimy Foundation, EF brings thousands of students to Vimy Ridge each year, including 4,000 who commemorated the 95th anniversary of the battle in April 2012.  The road to Vimy 2017 will see many more Canadian students making the pilgrimage to France, bringing their textbooks to life and experiencing Canadian history first-hand.

This first $100,000 recognizes the students who travelled with EF to Vimy in 2013 and who will travel in 2014.  EF will involve schools in the fundraising efforts to leave their own legacy for future generations.  Working with the Vimy Foundation and Veterans Affairs Canada, EF will be integral in involving students in ceremonies and events leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 2017.

"I commend the Vimy Foundation for its tireless work inspiring the nation to learn through remembrance, and EF Educational Tours for their incredible support to the cause," stated Minister Fantino. "Our Government is proud to be working to build a permanent Visitor Education Centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, ensuring Canada's First World War legacy is never forgotten."

The Vimy Foundation is encouraging all Canadians to refer to this denomination as a 'Vimy' in time for the centennial in 2017. Canadians including Rick Mercer, Paul Gross, Don Cherry, former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney as well as more than 35 federal and provincial political representatives have already lent their name in support of the campaign.


The Vimy Foundation was formed in 2006 with the mandate to preserve and promote Canada's First World War legacy, as best symbolized by the victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Since then, the Foundation has designed and distributed more than 100,000 unique Vimy pins and medals, produced high quality education resources for thousands of teachers and schools across Canada, been involved in more than 10,000 student 'pilgrimages' to Vimy and lobbied to have the National Vimy Memorial featured on the new Canadian polymer $20 bill. For more information, visit

EF Educational Tours is part of EF Education First, the world leader in international education. For nearly half a century, EF has worked toward its mission of developing the next generation of global citizens by breaking down barriers of language, culture and geography.  EF partners with educators to help them enrich what they teach in the classroom through programs that lead students around the globe, offering the opportunity to "learn it by living it."  EF works with many organizations in experiential learning programs including The Vimy Foundation, Canada's History Society and Me to We in support of Free the Children.  For more information, visit

SOURCE EF Educational Tours