In association with Festival du Voyageur, the province has unveiled a special snow sculpture paying tribute to the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
“Now, in Canada’s 150th year, we are paying tribute to the heroic efforts of Canadian troops at the Battle of Vimy Ridge,” Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires said. “In a battle that defined our nation, Canadian soldiers fought together and did what no other nation thought was even possible, and we remember their bravery.”
The sculpture is a replica of Canada Bereft, a monument at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The minister noted the snow sculpture on the grounds of the Legislative Building has a dual purpose – it pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and also calls attention to the wonderful winter celebration held each year in St. Boniface, Festival du Voyageur.
“It’s wonderful to see the province embrace winter and celebrate our community’s premier winter festival,” said Ginette Lavack Walters, executive director, Festival du Voyageur. “It is truly fitting that this year’s sculpture celebrates the heroic efforts of Canadian soldiers given that this year’s festival theme is Hé Ho Heroes. Hé Ho is the festival’s rallying cry as we celebrate our proud ancestors and heroes of yesterday and today.”
“The combination of ingenuity, skill and precision required to create this snow sculpture of Canada Bereft is truly impressive. It is also fitting as these were qualities that Canadians demonstrated on the battlefield at Vimy Ridge. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. We hope you’ll join us, and thousands of other Canadians, on April 9 as we mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, at home and abroad,” said Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, associate minister of national defence.
Festival du Voyageur kicks off Feb. 17 and runs until Feb. 26. For more information, visit www.festivalvoyageur.mb.ca.