Canadian War Memorials Fund National Historic Event

A man sitting outside drawing in a destroyed city
Mr. Eric H. Kennington, Canadian War record artist at work, 1918
© Canadian Department of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / 3217366

The Canadian War Memorials Fund was designated a national historic event in 2014.

Historical importance: Canada’s first war art program.

Commemorative plaque: Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa, OntarioFootnote 1

Canadian War Memorials Fund

Created in 1916 by Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook), the Fund was Canada’s first war art program, establishing a tradition of commissioning artists to depict Canada at war. Over 100 artists, one-third of them Canadian, produced nearly 1,000 artworks for the Fund during the First World War. This initiative ensured a permanent legacy of Canadian art and a visual record of the country’s war effort, helping to foster a sense of national identity. By drawing media attention, supporting artists, and creating connections within the art world, the Fund nurtured the development of Canadian art.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
English plaque inscription
A war painting
The Battle of Vimy Ridge [painting], 1918
© Library and Archives Canada / 2895483
A war painting
"Battle of Courcelette" by Capt. Weiter [painting],1918-1919
© Canadian Department of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / 3521006

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process

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