Vimy Ridge Sculpture
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE SILVER SKATE FESTIVAL
LIGHTING OF SCULPTURE
The opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 7 pm to 9 pm in the Silver Linings tent in Hawrelak Park in conjunction with the welcoming of local and international artists to our snow sculpture symposium and the lighting of the snow sculpture. The symposium theme "Brave New World" will tie in nicely with the events at Vimy Ridge and the freedoms and liberties we as Canadians garner through the efforts of our military.
Minister of Seniors, Lori Sigurdson and Honourable Mayor Don Iveson have confirmed his attendance and we are expecting representation from other levels of government. Other guests will include sponsors, grantors, snow sculpture artists, artists, athletes and representation from the military.In fifteen years, between the Census of 1901 and 1916, Northern Alberta had an increase in population from 37,000 to 234,000. Edmonton was the only city in the region, and served not just as the provincial capital, but as commercial and transportation hub for the federal electoral districts of Battle River, Edmonton East, Edmonton West, Strathcona, and Victoria.
A small (never more than 500 soldiers) Edmonton- based, part-time Canadian Militia began its formation in 1906, and during the Great War 1914-1918 raised 14,000 volunteers in twelve battalions of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and recruited drafts to augment other Canadian Expeditionary Force combat arms and support services.
One battalion of infantry, numbering 1200 all ranks, the 49th Canadian Infantry Battalion (now known as The Loyal Edmonton Regiment), and 190 men of the 19th Alberta Dragoons Special Service Squadron fought at Vimy Ridge. Soldiers of the 31st (Alberta) Canadian Infantry Battalion, about 1 in 3 from the Edmonton region, also fought in this seminal battle.
The Canadians took the enemy trenches, gained control and held the high ground that dominated the region. They then stormed down the ridge and fought through and beyond the village of Vimy. Many Edmonton members of the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance (Western Universities) worked under enemy fire to bring back wounded soldiers. A year later, in March and April 1918, possession of Vimy Ridge by the Canadians prevented the German Army from attempting to break the Allied Power’s defensive Western Front line at Vimy during the enemy’s final, and ultimately unsuccessful, major push to win the war.
Commemorative snow sculpture
created by Brian McAthur and Dawn Detarando