The Young Citizens Foundation recognizes that there are other foundations doing terrific citizenship and leadership work with Canada’s youth. The YCF is an independent ally of these organizations in performing their missions. While The Young Citizens Foundation is not corporately associated with these organizations and is not a member of the societies that govern these organizations, it does admire their missions and the work that they do.
One of those is The Vimy Foundation.
The Vimy Foundation, founded in 2005, is a national, bilingual foundation based in Montreal with directors and members across the country. The mission of The Vimy Foundation is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, a milestone where Canada came of age and was then recognized on the world stage.
The Vimy Foundation carries out its mission by:
- spreading awareness through its educational programs.
- spreading awareness through its educational programs, both domestic and overseas;
- spreading awareness through distributing souvenir items such as Vimy pins and Pilgrimage medals;
- spreading awareness through promoting greater recognition of April 9th as Vimy Day; and
- spreading awareness through planning events for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle in 2017.
The Vimy Foundation supported the Encounters With Canada’s ‘Vimy-Canada Coming of Age’ theme weeks that took place at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa both in 2011 and 2012. Not only did the The Vimy Foundation financially support the program itself but in 2012 it also paid for the registration fees for those Encounters With Canada students who won The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize and also for the runner-ups. The Young Citizens Foundation subsidized the registration fees of the students from across the country who attended those weeks.
What is the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize?
The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize competition is the Foundation’s flagship program. Providing young students with a historical perspective second to none, the annual scholarship brings together youth from Canada, the United Kingdom and France, so that they can better appreciate the intertwined history of their three nations and come to understand the bravery and sacrifice of war.
The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize competition also builds upon the legacy of Lord Beaverbrook, (1879-1964), a prominent Canadian historical figure known for his creativity, ambition, leadership and vibrant energy. Born in Canada of modest background, Max Aitken rose as a successful entrepreneur, both in Canada and the United Kingdom where he became an influential newspaper publisher, important Government minister and friend and close colleague of Winston Churchill during World War II.
The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize is awarded on the basis of essay submissions and interviews. Participants must be 15-17 years old with a 70% grade average at school and proven leadership skills. Winners take part in an intensive scholarship program in Europe, participating in educational seminars and museum events, including visits to the iconic Vimy War Memorial and other historic battlefields and gravesites, in England, Belgium and France.
Over the last several years, the reach of the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize has continued to increase. In 2012 alone, the Foundation saw an increase of 100% in submissions from students, with applications from nine provinces and one territory. The Foundation has now had a total of 95 Vimy Prize winners from across Canada, in France and in the United Kingdom.
For most students, the best memories are those of meeting veterans, historians, scholars and specialists on the ground, as well as visiting Vimy, diverse cemeteries and studying the battlefields. Alumni from the Vimy Prize competition often become ambassadors for the Vimy Foundation following their scholarship. Their continued participation in Vimy Foundation activities is a great asset to the future of the organization.
The Beaverbrook Prize Winners for 2012 were:
The Beaverbrook Prize Winners for 2012 were:
Justine Cowitz, Calgary, AB
Riam Kim-McLeod, Vancouver, BC
Seshu Iyengar, Fredericton, NB
Alexander Cohen, Ottawa, ON
Kyra Simone, Niagara on the Lake, ON
Angie Tang, Richmond Hill, ON
Jean-Michel Athot, Grande Rivière, QC
Philippe Brock, Montreal, QC
Djavan Habel-Thurton, Montreal, QC
Pierre Kochel, Whitehorse, Yukon
Greg Huvenaars, Yellowknife, NWT
Saieda Fahima Begum, Hamilton, Ontario
Honorable Mention Winners for 2012:
Jacob (Jake) Squire
The Beaverbrook Prize Winners for 2011 were: