This weekend marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This First World War battle was a defining moment for Canada with special significance for the West Coast, through its connection to Major-General Arthur Currie. The former Victoria High School teacher worked his way from a bottom-rung member of the militia to become the commander of the Canadian Corps. As commander of Canada’s 1st Infantry Division, Major-General Currie was a significant player in the historic victory at Vimy Ridge. If you’re in Victoria this weekend find out more about Currie and Vimy Ridge history in person.
To honour Currie and Vimy 100, the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site will hold a free celebration on Saturday, April 8th. The Military Band, historical re-entactors and presentations, a salute by the Guns of the 5th BC Field Artillery Regiment, and more take place throughout the event.
The evening’s agenda follows:
• 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Activities: Listen to music by the 5th (BC) Field Regiment, RCA Band and stories by historians and local military re-enactors, do commemorative crafts and enjoy hot chocolate around a campfire.
• 8:00 p.m. – Ceremony: Official speeches, a colour party from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 and a tribute to Victoria’s own General Sir Arthur Currie.
• 8:30 p.m. – 100-round rapid fire-barrage: by the guns of the 5th Field Regiment, RCA.
The Vimy 100 celebrations continue on Sunday, from 12:30pm, as the Bay Street Armoury, home base of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), near downtown Victoria hosts the public for a free open house and commemoration event illuminating the significance of the both the historic battle and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, located in the heart of the site of the French battlefield.
Explore the historic Armoury with 30+ military units, regimental-family organizations, cadet units, veterans’ organizations, museums, archives, community heritage and history groups on display. Musical performances will take place during the day and as a Great War Era traditional tea party with costumes, food and music.
Admission to both events is Free. Shuttle services provided Sunday from the Juan the Fuca de Fuca Park-and-ride (Ocean Blvd and Hwy 1A) to Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse.
Bay Street Armoury is located at Bay & Blanshard Streets in Victoria.