The Vimy Foundation created the Vimy Pilgrimage Award to recognize the actions of young people who demonstrate a commitment to volunteer work through outstanding service, positive contributions, notable deeds, and bravery. Their acts may serve their peers, school, community, province, or country.
Applicants are required to submit a 500 word essay describing their volunteer work; a 500-750 word biography of, and tribute to, a solider or nursing sister; a 500 word motivation letter; a resume detailing their relevant experiences; and a reference letter from a teacher, guidance counselor or principal, service club, volunteer organization, etc. Please read the information below for more detail about each of these requirements. The application form is located at the bottom of this page. It is recommended that you print a copy of the form and save your responses in a Word document before pasting them into the application form. If you have difficulty with the application form, please email Joanna Dawson, Acting Director of Programs for Canada’s History.
The award deadline is November 18, 2018, midnight (Pacific time).
Community Contributions through Volunteer Work
Describe the ways in which you demonstrate outstanding dedication and contribute to your community through volunteer work or how you have developed and implemented a project that helps those in need. Tell us why supporting your community is important to you. Please include details of your volunteer work, positive contributions, notable deeds, etc. (500 words)
Soldier/Nursing Sister Research, Biography, and Tribute
As the centennial period of the First World War draws to a close, it is vital that we continue to remember all of those who served as we move beyond the milestone anniversaries. More than 66,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders died oversees: they came from every walk of life, from every racial and ethnic background, from large cities and small villages; some likely even came from your hometown.
In honour of the soldiers and nursing sisters who lost their lives in the First World War, you will select a Canadian soldier or nursing sister who died overseas, research their enlistment details and their life, write their biography, create a tribute, and reflect upon their life.
By researching one life that was spent in service to their country, you will be able to gain a deeper appreciation for the magnitude of the sacrifice made by so many. Aside from any living family members these soldiers/nursing sisters may have, you might be the only person today who is remembering someone who helped to shape Canada’s history.
You MUST respect the instructions and word limits, otherwise your application will not be considered for selection.
a) Select a Soldier/Nursing Sister: Select a soldier OR a nursing sister who died in the war and is buried or memorialised overseas. Choose someone with whom you have a personal connection: a relative, someone from your hometown, your school, your ethnic community or linguistic background, or otherwise has significance to you.
You MUST choose a First World War soldier OR nursing sister from the Canadian Expeditionary Force or Newfoundland Regiment.
b) Research Biography: once you have selected your soldier/nursing sister, use the resources at your disposal (internet; local libraries; national, provincial, or local archives; school or university yearbooks or archives; local newspapers; obituaries; diaries; letters; etc.) to research information about your solider/nursing sister. Use this information to compose a brief biography about your soldier/nursing sister. (500 words)
Please include information from their service file and Circumstances of Death Registers where possible, available online from Library and Archives Canada. (Note: for Circumstances of Death Registers, records are only available for family names from “A” to “SIP”.)
Tools and Resources to choose your soldier/nursing sister and start your research:
c) Citations and Bibliography: use the MLA style for citations and your bibliography.
d) Tribute: compose a tribute to your soldier/nursing sister. This can be written in one of the following formats: a letter to him/her, a song, or a poem. (Up to 250 words)
Describe why learning about Canada’s First World War history is important to you, what you believe you will gain from the 2019 VPA program, what you can contribute to the experience, and what you can do to promote awareness in your community of Canada’s First World War involvement. (Up to 500 words)
Please detail all of your relevant experience (e.g.: volunteer work, projects you have developed or participated in, community involvement, activities or clubs you participate in, part-time jobs, etc.,) and awards of merit or certificates you have received if applicable.
Letter of Reference
Please ask a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, service club, volunteer organization, etc., who knows you well enough to tell us why you should be selected for the award and who can share something about your personality or dedication to your community that you might not share yourself. The reference letter should not be a repetition of the details in your motivation letter or resume. (One page maximum)
Note: Please write, edit and save your letter elsewhere before submitting it. When you are ready to submit your letter simply copy and paste it into the essay space provided. Every field is mandatory. This information will not be used for any purpose other than to administrate the 2019 Vimy Pilgrimage Award contest.
If you have difficulty with the application form, please email Joanna Dawson, Acting Director of Programs, Canada’s History.
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Language spoken at home most often*
Preferred language of communication*
Do you have or are you able to obtain a valid passport for travel to Europe in April 2019?*
Please Note: All finalists will be asked to provide proof of a valid passport or the application for a new passport within one (1) month of being selected. Canadian passports must be valid for three (3) months after the last date of the program, therefore, Canadian passports must be valid until July 11, 2019. If you are travelling on a non-Canadian passport, you may also need to apply for French and Belgian tourist visas.
The Vimy Foundation is interested in knowing more about our applicants. Please know the following section will not impact your selection and is only for informational purposes.
Are you an Indigenous person?*
Are you a visible minority?*
I have read and accept the Rules and Criteria*
The Vimy Pilgrimage Award recognizes the actions of young people who demonstrate outstanding service, positive contributions, notable deeds, bravery or leadership. Their acts may have served their peers, schools, communities, province or country.