Juno Beach Centre Announces Major Exhibition Renewal for the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

BURLINGTON, Ontario, May 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Juno Beach Centre (JBC), Canada’s Second World War museum and memorial in Normandy, France today announced that its Faces of Canada Today permanent exhibition will be entirely renewed and renovated for the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June 2024.

Since the JBC opened to the public in 2003, Faces of Canada Today has showcased Canada’s evolution since the war, and has helped visitors understand the country that over 1 million Canadian Veterans (in a country of 11 million in 1945) helped to build. However, the contents of the exhibition were created in the late 1990s and are now outdated and missing many significant events in Canadian history over the past 20 years.

Faces of Canada Today will explore how the resilience of Canadian service personnel during and after the Second World War helped transform Canadian society,” explains Marie Eve Vaillancourt, Director of Exhibitions at the Juno Beach Centre Association. “This legacy guides us today as we strive to create a more just and tolerant society, able to overcome obstacles and serve others.”

These themes will be illustrated through several broader sections, the first of which explores post-war immigration, beginning with the return of Canadian Veterans and their European war brides and their great contributions to post-war Canadian society.

“The diversification of Canadian society and its growing multiculturalism will be explored, as well as the difficulties faced by minorities. The notions of tolerance and inclusion will help underpin how Canada is a country that strives to live in peace with itself and with others,” adds Vaillancourt.

One section of the exhibition will be dedicated to the volunteerism, activism, and environmentalism that drive Canadian society, while another will unpack the struggles of its colonial history with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The Juno Beach Centre appreciates the timely support of Veterans Affairs Canada, which provided a $25,000 grant through the Commemorative Partnership Program. This grant covered the costs to bring First Peoples Group into the project as an Indigenous advisory partner.

In addition, the exhibition will demonstrate that the service of modern Veterans – those thousands of Canadians who have worn the uniform since 1945 – continues to inform Canadian identity. Whether during the Cold War, through the United Nations and NATO missions, or during the war in Afghanistan, Canadians have continued to serve.

This renewal project will reflect the culture of remembrance and the history of the poppy symbol in Canada from the First World War to the present day.

“Standing on Juno Beach today means reflecting on how a place of war has healed into a place of peace,” says Vaillancourt. “As we live in an increasingly troubled world, taking the time to reflect on peace is an act of engaged remembrance and citizenship. This new permanent exhibition will immerse visitors in an emotional contemplation of Canada’s growth and recovery since the end of the Second World War.”

With the approaching 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2024, this project comes at an opportune time.

Featuring stories from across Canada’s diverse population, Faces of Canada Today aims to be reflective, nuanced, and honest in its portrayal of courage, resilience, and sacrifice.

The Juno Beach Centre also wants to thank Région Normandie and REACT EU (250,000 €), and Direction de la mémoire, de la culture et des archives (DMCA) (200,000 €) for their support. Faces of Canada Today is a $1.25 million project and, thanks to our current funding partners, the JBC has raised nearly two-thirds of its goal.

Support for this project is the single most important investment donors can make as we stand on the cusp of the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 2024. More information on the Faces of Canada Today exhibition and opportunities to support can be found here: https://www.junobeach.org/upcoming-exhibitions/. If you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to us at [email protected].

“The sacrifices made by our generation benefit this generation.” – Jim Parks, Canadian D-Day Veteran

ABOUT THE JUNO BEACH CENTRE

The Juno Beach Centre was established in 2003 as a permanent memorial to all Canadians who were part of the Allied victory in the Second World War, and to preserve this legacy for future generations through education. The Centre in Normandy, France, pays homage to the nearly 45,000 Canadians who died during the War, including 5,500 during the Battle of Normandy and 381 on D-Day. Almost 20 years and more than 1 million visitors later, the Centre has been designated a site of national historic significance to Canada. It is owned and operated by the Juno Beach Centre Association, a registered charitable organization based in Burlington, ON, Canada. To learn more, please visit www.junobeach.org.


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