I paid a visit to the Canadian War Museum on Remembrance Day. The Museum has been here at its location west of the downtown core since 2005 after outgrowing its previous location. It looks like a bunker or a massive plane, depending on angle and perspective, and is well suited to its collection.
Two particular spaces inside are critical from the design, and the Memorial Hall is one of them. It is an austere space containing one artifact: the headstone for the Unknown Soldier who lies now in his tomb at the War Memorial (his gravesite in France has another tombstone marking the location and the reason the body has been moved). The building is designed with this room as a focal point- on November 11th, at eleven in the morning, sun will shine through the overhead window and illuminate the headstone. As you can see, on Remembrance Day, the headstone attracts poppies.
There was an exhibition going on in the temporary exhibit hall about Vimy Ridge and the commemoration of war dead. It begins with a painting, William Longstaff's Ghosts Of Vimy Ridge, which depict ghosts rising up from the ridge below the Memorial at night.
This year has been the centennial year of the pivotal battle for Canadians during the First World War. The Memorial at the battle site, designed by Walter Allward, attracted a large crowd upon its opening, and is still a place for pilgrimage today.
Several of Allward's smaller scale sculptures were on display as part of this exhibition, moved over from their usual location in Regeneration Hall.
This caught my eye.
This is a model of the Memorial itself.
This is a calfskin robe done for a World War One corporal of the Kainai First Nation, Mike Mountain Horse. It depicts twelve deeds the Indigenous warrior carried out during the war.
This quilt was nearby.
I finish with two more of Allward's sculpture sets.