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VIU Partners with Community to Remember Fallen Soldiers
A unique video memorial project that aims to tell a piece of the story of the lives of the Nanaimo soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars will be displayed across the city.
For 11 days leading up to Remembrance Day, the Nanaimo Remembers project will display the names of more than 200 soldiers in prominent locations across the city. The names have been obtained from the Dallas Square Cenotaph in downtown Nanaimo and a special section highlights the contributions of local Indigenous soldiers, thanks to research conducted by Vancouver Island University (VIU) Elder-in-Residence Geraldine Manson.
The project, which launched in 2018, was spearheaded by VIU’s Communications and Public Engagement and Strategic Marketing teams in collaboration with the University’s Canadian Letters and Images Project (CLIP) and Nanaimo Community Archives. Nanaimo Remembers grew out of a desire to localize a project VIU participated in for many years – The World Remembers, a display tribute to soldiers across the world who lost their lives in the Great War.
“These are the names of local soldiers – soldiers whose ancestors in some cases still reside in Nanaimo, so this project really hits home for many in our community,” says Dr. Stephen Davies, Director of the Canadian Letters and Images Project. “This project is one example of the way VIU partners with local organizations on an initiative that benefits the community as a whole.”
Information shared about each soldier, where available, includes their name, rank and battalion, when they died and at what age, where they were buried, their occupation, and their connection to Nanaimo.
The video presentation will run continuously from November 1 – 11, 2020, on the large screen in the Welcome Centre (Building 300 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus) as well as showcased live on VIU’s Facebook page starting at 9 am on November 11. It will also be played on screens at several locations in the community on varying dates:
- Through the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools’ website, social media accounts and at participating schools;
- Through the City of Nanaimo’s website, YouTube channel and social media accounts;
- At the Harbourfront, Nanaimo North and Wellington locations of the Vancouver Island Regional Library;
- At the Nanaimo Museum;
- At Woodgrove Centre Guest Services;
- And at the Port Theatre.
Since VIU started the project, Davies has heard from several people who spotted their ancestors’ names on the screens.
“They were quite moved that we are honouring their relatives in this way,” he says. “We hope to add to the project every year in an effort to help shine a light on the incredible contributions and sacrifices made by local soldiers and their families.”
Check out the project at one of the participating locations above, or visit VIU’s YouTube channel.
Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Advisor, Vancouver Island University
C: 250.619.6860 | E: [email protected] | T: @VIUNews
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