2023 Vimy Pilgrimage Award; discover the list of 22 recipients!

Date published:

March 15, 2023

News release

2023 Vimy Pilgrimage Award; discover the list of 22 recipients!

The Vimy Foundation has announced the 22 youth recipients who will participate in the 2023 Vimy Pilgrimage Award supported by Scotiabank. This award recognizes their outstanding commitment and positive contributions to their community.

Abiola AJIBOLA from Calgary, Alberta

Hunter BIENIAS-GREEN from Kingston, Ontario

Nora CALIF from Surrey, British Columbia

Yadhiera DESPEINES from Edmonton, Alberta

Marie-Soleil FORTIN from Saint-Jérôme, Québec

Amelia GAGNON from Ottawa, Ontario

Yaseen HAMMOUD from Ladysmith, British Columbia

Emily MCKINNON from Mission, British Columbia

Natalie MITCHELL from Portugal Cove St. Philips, Newfoundland and Labrador

Aidan NOWICKI from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ronak PATEL from Cambridge, Ontario

Emma PITTS from Montréal, Québec

Antoine POITRAS from Moncton, New Brunswick

Aiden SATTERTHWAITE from Kelowna, British Columbia

Emma SMELTZER from Labelle, Nova Scotia

Julian TAN from Calgary, Alberta

Emanuel THIBEAULT from Egan-Sud, Québec

Tim VOLKOV from Toronto, Ontario

Jocelyn WONG from Markham, Ontario

Angela WU from Regina, Saskatchewan

Nicole XIE from Brossard, Québec

Mei ZENG form Regina, Saskatchewan

These students from across Canada will fly to Europe on April 2 to participate in a nine-day program that includes daily visits to significant First World War sites, museums, cemeteries, and historic battlefields, as well as a series of lectures and discussions.

This experience will provide them with transferable skills and unique perspectives on the First World War and will allow them to connect with peers of the same generation, the leaders of tomorrow.  

We are very grateful to all those who applied and appreciate their dedication to community service and their interest in Canadian history.

Thank you to our lead sponsor Scotiabank for their generous support of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award. With a 190-year tradition of giving back to communities, Scotiabank invests for every future including supporting education, financial inclusion, community and economic resilience and increasing access to opportunities for all.

Thanks also to Air Canada for providing group booking support.

Finally, we would like to thank the Love Foundation for providing additional support to our recipients.

For press statements, to learn more, or to connect with a recipient:

Executive Director Caitlin Bailey is also available for interview upon request.


About TheVimy Foundation

The Vimy Foundation was established in 2006 and isa charity focused on raising awareness of the role Canada played in the FirstWorld War. In 2022, the Foundation amalgamated with the Canadian Centre for theGreat War, a Montreal-based community museum dedicated to the First World War.The Foundation works to preserve and promote Canada's ongoing legacy ofLeadership. All activities originated and all activities originated by theFoundation have this aspect in mind and aim to help educate and raise awarenessfor youth and all Canadians. The First World War victory at Vimy Ridge in April1917, a milestone where Canada came of age and was recognized on the worldstage and acts as a symbol of this rich legacy.


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Dogs have been used in war for centuries worldwide. Their duties have ranged from pulling carts, sentries, scouts, messengers, as mascots, rat catchers in the trenches, search and rescue, bomb detectors and first aid dogs. Countless stories of incredible heroic acts performed by these animals have been told throughout the First World War and beyond. Dogs continue to be put to work in military service to this day as their role expands to include service animals for veterans. The Vimy Foundation partnered with Dog Hair INCluded (Montreal) to design these quality and durable bandanas featuring our Vimy Plaid. Honor those four-legged friends who also helped shape our history with this rugged and stylish pet bandana.

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Walter S. Allward: Life & Work chronicles the artist’s life from his formative years in Toronto working for the architectural firm Gibson and Simpson to his success as a leading sculptor. The book explores Allward’s early works, including the South African War Memorial in Toronto (1904–11), the Baldwin-Lafontaine Monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (1908–14), the Bell Memorial, commemorating Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in Brantford (1909–17), and the Stratford War Memorial (1919–22), before discussing how the artist turned his talents toward the Vimy Memorial, an icon of Canadian sacrifice and a legacy for future generations. About the author Philip Dombowsky is an Archivist at the National Gallery of Canada. He holds an MA (Art History, Concordia) and a Master of Library and Information Studies (McGill). Dombowsky has curated numerous exhibitions for the NGC Library and Archives, most notably in the area of book design and illustration. He is the author of Index to the National Gallery of Canada’s Exhibition Catalogues and Checklists 1880–1930, which won the Melva J. Dwyer Award in 2008.

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