Remembrance Day 2018: Whats happening in Guelph

Remembrance Day 2018: What\s happening in Guelph
Wave of bells to ring out across Canada to mark 100 years since WWI
A downtown church in Calgary has chosen to showcase poppies in a unique way ahead of Remembrance Day.

What started as a project with a few volunteers making knitted poppies has blossomed into a global effort with poppies being sent from around the world.

Streams of poppies have been tied to netting and draped outside and inside the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.

Remembrance Day 2018: How should you wear a poppy?

The poppy project was the brainchild of church member Pippa Fitzgerald Finch, who had seen something similar in England and has personal reasons for remembrance.

My father was involved in the Second World War, he was in Burma and my stepson was in the Afghan war, she told CTV News.

It was amazing how many people said, Oh, could I join and start knitting? We now have over a hundred people who have contributed.

Alongside the knitted and crocheted poppies from Calgary are contributions from all over Alberta and British Columbia, as well as 25 poppies from New Zealand.

As Canadians get ready to mark the centenary of Armistice Day, which saw the end of conflict in the First World War, this breathtaking display gives Calgarians the opportunity to pause and remember the sacrifice of so many.

Rev. Leighton Lee explained how important Remembrance Day is at his church, the regimental chapel of the Calgary Highlanders.

Its a major anniversary as we commemorate the Armistice, so theres no more fitting tribute really than to do something like this, he said.

Were very proud of it but were also extremely moved by the reaction people have on the street, stopping to look, to touch, take photographs and admire.

The poppies will remain in place until November 11 then carefully taken down and put away, to be brought out for next year.

The poppy project was the brainchild of church member Pippa Fitzgerald Finch, who had seen something similar in England and has personal reasons for remembrance.

Streams of poppies have been tied to netting and draped outside and inside the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary.

A downtown church in Calgary has chosen to showcase poppies in a unique way ahead of Remembrance Day.

News of the end of fighting in the First World War travelled through Europe, in part, by the eruption of church bells that people rang in celebration.

A century later, bells in communities across Canada will chime 100 times as the sun slips under the horizon this Sunday to mark each year since the armistice.

The Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada have been encouraging legions, churches, spiritual centres and community centres to take part in the initiative, called "Bells of Peace." They're asking Canadians to ring or play bells at five-second intervals starting at sunset on Sunday. 

"We just want to emulate [the bells in Europe] as a tribute to those that fell and gave us the ability to be here and enjoy what we have today," said Chief Petty Officer Ben Broome, who works with the navy in Halifax and is part of the UN-NATO Veterans group in Nova Scotia. 

Since the timing will coincide with sunset, the chorus will begin in St. John's and move westward. 

"It would be nice to think that we could stop for a moment and reflect, [on] those grandmothers, those grandfathers, those mums, dads, uncles, brothers and sisters. If it wasn't for the sacrifices they made we wouldn't be speaking today. It would be a completely different world."

The Peace Tower's carillon on Parliament Hill will chime, as will bells in Mons, Belgium, as "symbols of victory, relief and joy on the 100th anniversary of the armistice," Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan said in a statement.

The legion expects hundreds of communities to take part across Canada at sunset, meaning bells will start ringing at 4:29 p.m. local time in Newfoundland, and the wave of bells will run across the country for more than four hours until sunset in B.C.  

In Halifax, Broome contacted naval and municipal leaders after learning about the plan in October, concerned the project wasn't adequately publicized.

In part through his efforts, bells on naval ships on Halifax's waterfront will sound continually for a minute prior to sundown, in additional to the daily sunset ceremony where ships flags are lowered. 

Jay Tofflemire, first vice president of the Royal Canadian Legion, Nova Scotia and Nunavut Command, said many churches have transitioned to electronic systems that don't require people to ring physical bells. He said the legion is still encouraging community organizations to play recorded bell tones in the spirit of the event. 

Tofflemire said the legion has also been working with schools to help students to research and place flags on the graves of First World War veterans. 

"We're hoping with the ringing of the bells people will pause and go, 'Now I know what this is for,'" he said. 

Broome hopes people who hear the bells also take the opportunity to educate young people about what they mean. 

"Bring them into the scope of responsibility to try to carry this forward so the atrocities of war don't repeat," he said. 

Now in his 36th year of service in the navy, Broome plans to be in Fort Needham Park in Halifax's north end. The park commemorates the 1917 Halifax Explosion — which killed 2,000 people and injured another 9,000. Two vessels — SS Imo and the explosive-laden SS Mont-Blan  — collided in the nearby harbour. 

"That was the absolute closest that anything from World War I, physically touched Canadian soil. So the ringing of those bells was of paramount importance to me," Broome said. 

Elizabeth McMillan is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Over the past nine years, she has reported from the edge of the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic Coast and loves sharing people's stories. She can be reached at [email protected]

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.