By Sasha Ramnarine
Veterans Affairs Canada is reaching out to young people to increase their involvement on Remembrance Day.
“The torch of remembrance has now been passed to all Canadians, especially our younger generations, to remember the extraordinary feats accomplished by Canadians in uniform to help regain peace,” Veterans Affairs Canada stated in a press release this week.
Joe Calderone, a Royal Canadian Legion district chairman, told Humber News his branch is one of 18 promoting youth involvement on Nov. 11. Calderone’s branch has been promoting Remembrance Day to young people for over 20 years.
LISTEN: Royal Canadian Legion district chairman Joe Calderone discusses prizes.
“We have a poster contest where students do up posters for Remembrance Day. They’re graded and can go as far as the Dominion of Canada,” said Calderone. “They do get a little monetary prize from their branches if they participate in it.”
Calderone agrees with incentives such as prizes because they reward student participation.
“I don’t see (anything) wrong with handing out a prize, even for Remembrance Day because the students put a lot of work into it and it’s just a small token of appreciation that they’re involved and encourages them to continue,” said Calderone.
Calderone said during veterans’ week, Helen Pierce, Royal Canadian Legion youth and education chairman for east Toronto showcases many displays of military artifacts at branch 11.
“We get information out to schools and if they want to participate, they take part in the campaign,” said Calderone. “I think it’s a great thing. We also sponsor cadets.”
Veterans Affairs Canada’s promotional campaign this year will cost $3.5 million and involves broadcasters like MuchMusic, CBC News reported.
The Partnership with MuchMusic started Oct. 15 and runs until Sunday.
“MuchMusic’s top VJ, Lauren Toyota, will be recognizing Canadian veterans for their service through a “live hit spot” at 11 a.m.,” said Simon Forsyth, Veterans Affairs Canada media relations officer.
“She’ll prompt viewers to pause for a moment of silence. Much is also encouraging youth to Tweet and share their thoughts about remembrance,” Forsyth said.
Forsyth said that a Twitter campaign promoted by Much VJs asks teenagers to tweet with the hash tag #iremember.