The Memory Project Gets Into The Swing Of Things At A Ve-Day Victory Ball
Have you ever wondered what it felt for Canadians when the Second World War ended? To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe, The Memory Project partied like it was May 8, 1945—the day that marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. By recreating this inspirational moment in Canadian history, The Memory Project brought history to life for some 250 guests, with a little help from the veterans who shared how they felt on VE-Day 1945.
Hundreds of costume-clad students from St. Pius X High School, veterans of the Second World War and special guests Mrs. Laureen Harper and the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, joined The Memory Project for a colourful VE-Day celebration at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
Local veterans were honoured as a piper from The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa accompanied their arrival into the historic Laurier Room. Students snapped photos of the procession and cheered heartily when the piper played his final note.
At the podium, guest speakers Minister Moore and Mrs. Harper both highlighted the importance of preserving veteran stories for posterity through The Memory Project.
Perhaps the highlight of the day’s program, Second World War veterans Alex Polowin and René Brunette shared stories of service—and a harmonica performance!—to great applause. Their testimonials, along with a display of period artefacts from The Museum of Applied Military History, helped bring history to life (link to sun article). Following punch and party sandwiches, veterans and students enjoyed a performance by local dance troupe Swing Dynamite and danced to big band tunes by The Jivewires.
The Memory Project staff got into the historic spirit too, with period military uniforms and ball gowns fit for the dance floor. The team chatted with veterans, jitter-bugged and awarded costume contest prize winners before stepping back into the present day with new perspective on Canadian history. Welcome to future of our past!
For more glimpse of this fantastic celebration, watch a video from The Ottawa Citizen.