New poppy campaign initiatives seek to modernize the tradition of remembrance

The shift to eco-friendly materials and a new digital engagement strategy are among new initiatives the Royal Canadian Legion hopes to breathe new life into the 2022 National Poppy Movement.

The annual event honoring fallen soldiers officially kicked off Friday and will run until Memorial Day, and organizers said they hope the feature launching this year will help re-engage Canadians to pay tribute to veterans past and present.

The Corps has reduced the number of traditional poppy boxes across the country where people can donate cash and receive poppy needles, rolling out just over 27,000, compared to about 34,000 in 2021. But the new campaign will feature the introduction of biodegradable poppies and garlands made from natural materials such as paper, moss and bamboo.

It will also include “Poppy Stories,” a program that allows people to scan lapel poppies with their smartphones and get information about real Canadian veterans, including anecdotes about their lives, their role in the military, where they served and what they The passion is what it is.

“The various initiatives are a way to engage more Canadians of all generations and engage young people in the commemoration,” said Nujma Bond, communications manager at the Corps’ national headquarters.

“We hope that as we modernize the way we remember and the materials we use to remember, it will also carry on the Canadian tradition of memory.”

For the third year in a row, the group will also have boxes that can accept payments from tap-enabled devices or cards. The Corps said 1,000 of these boxes would be placed this year, the same number as in 2021, when much of the country was still operating under public health restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadians can also donate to the campaign at, where they can create digital poppies, add custom memorials for veterans, and share them on social media.

While regional restrictions still need to be noted, fewer public health measures mean more volunteers will be present in the poppy boxes in person, interacting with passersby and encouraging donations.

“This is an opportunity to share more stories, so people can meet veterans, have positive conversations, and learn more about the people who serve us,” Bond said.

The Corps said this year’s poppy supply will include both traditional and eco-friendly versions, noting that it hopes to deplete old stocks before turning exclusively to sustainable materials for future campaigns.

The group did not have final figures raised from last year’s campaign, but Bond said the Corps typically raises nearly $20 million in any given year from poppy campaigns to support veterans, their families and communities.

Veterans Services Officer Brent Craig, a veterans service officer at the Westborough Division of West Ottawa, said the funds go directly to a range of programs that help veterans meet a variety of needs. , including assistance with the paperwork process when applying for benefits or peer support with Veterans Affairs Canada.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of veterans who helped with the Poppy Movement, and they came to the box, and they’re all very grateful that the Poppy Movement exists,” said Craig, whose father served in the Air Force and his grandfather served in World War II. European service.

Ron Anderson, 78, has served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 38 years, serving as a member of the artillery and air force in Europe. This is his 22nd year running the Poppy campaign for the Legion’s St. James branch in Winnipeg, and he said he expects to see a surge in volunteer numbers, public participation and donations by the end of the campaign compared to the past two years.

Veterans especially welcome the return of traditional poppy boxes, he said, adding that he and his former soldiers had more meaningful interactions with the public and their service was enhanced when they put on uniforms and volunteered to campaign. Many thanks.

“Being able to support these veterans who need our help means a lot to me,” Anderson said. “No one likes needing help, but because of need, through the environment, people do need help, and we’re happy to use the poppy money we earn to help our veterans.”

Memorial Day

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