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Mural of Honour
The Military Museums - Mural of Honour
The Mural project was launched in November 2005 to raise funds for the Founders’ Gallery at the Military Museums. The Mural was installed partially completed in the foyer of the Military Museums in Calgary in November 2006. After many months of work, the completed mural was unveiled on 9 November 2007.
The mural comprises 240 separate images in a 20-foot by 12-foot mosaic. Thirteen tiles were painted by guest artists, including five works of art by original war artists of the Second World War. All other images were painted by Lewis Lavoie over a two-year period.
The 240 tiles that represent Canada’s military history from the Battle of 1812 to present day operations are highlighted by the interactive display. The collective stories reveal the different theatres of war Canadians have been involved in for over nearly 200 years, including both overseas and domestic operations. This ongoing project continues to be a work in progress, as more historical material, sponsor's stories, and writer's documents are added to this growing and significant tribute.
Lewis Lavoie and Karen Storwick discuss the inspiration behind the Mural and its significance today in honouring veterans.
The Mural Project was initiated to raise funds for the creation of the Founders’ Gallery at the Military Museums. As the project evolved, it became clear that this was an opportunity to fulfill my vision to bring Canadian military history to the public in a creative and captivating way.
A tremendous team of volunteers embraced my vision and worked diligently to support this project in the early years and I am sincerely grateful for their devoted efforts, in particular, Ian Watson, who has devoted himself to this project and has been invaluable to the development of the Interactive Display. I am also very grateful to another volunteer, Marg Liessens who has provided invaluable support with proof-reading and content management.
I’d like to thank all of those who sponsored paintings in the Mural, for their generous donations and for stepping forward and participating in this unique initiative. The Mural Project would not have been possible without the generous support of The Bank of Montreal. Their faith in our ambition enabled us to get the Mural launched. We have since exceeded our fundraising goal by raising over 600,000 dollars in funds.
I would also like to express my great appreciation for the outstanding creative work from Digital Heritage in the initial development of our Interactive Display.
I understand the importance of legacy and remembrance, but I never predicted the impact this project would have on the families and friends who participated by paying tribute to the veterans in their lives, and to the shared history that is important to all of us.
These digital pages will continue to evolve over the years and will help viewers better understand the great challenges, tragedies and accomplishments inherent in armed conflict. What began as a fundraising endeavor has become a powerful memorial to generations of Canadians who answered the call, who fought valiantly, often at great cost, for their country and for a better world.
My hope is to give viewers a sense for the realities of war, of the the human cost and the innocence of the enthusiastic young men who enlisted versus the wiser, battle weary men who returned. And, of course, to honour those who did not return.
Director, Mural Project
Lewis Lavoie was born in 1965 in St. Albert, Alberta, and is an established portrait painter and book illustrator. He is best known for his mural mosaics, which he engineers and executes for special projects across the country. Over the years, Lewis has been honoured with many awards for artistic merit.
Perhaps Lewis’ greatest challenge and achievement to date has been The Military Museums Mural, commissioned by The Military Museums in Calgary where he combined both personal legacy and military history to create an extraordinary educational exhibit for permanent display.
Incredibly, Lewis was able to capture and incorporate the distinct requests of our many sponsors, a difficult task for any artist. His accomplishment in bringing all the individual panels together to create the larger mural honouring each branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, is truly exceptional.
As part of the Mural project, the Military Museums was honoured to have five official war artists and four guest artists accept our invitation to submit paintings for The Military Museums Mural of Honour.
The Afghanistan tribute #126 is of special and enduring
significance for visitors to the Mural and indeed to all Canadians. Sponsored by General Walter Natynczyk, this panel in the mural honours the fallen soldiers and service personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2011.
This tribute remains a work in progress as stories and biographies of Afghanistan personnel killed in service to our country are received and added to this growing commemoration.
Our sincerest thanks to all the families and service personnel who have helped out with their story submissions and photos in honour of Canada's heroes.
The Military Museum's Mural project has been and continues to be developed by a team of dedicated volunteers who have devoted themselves to making this legacy project possible.
The primary Mural development team consists of three people,
The Mural Development Team is profoundly grateful for our many devoted volunteers without whom the fulfillment of our vision would not be possible:
Dorothy Cameron; Assistant Mural Painter
Yana Doyle; Research Assistant/Writer, Afghanistan Tribute
Cyndy Butler; Research and Writing Assistant
Dennis Apedaile: Research Advisor
Rob Alexander: Writer
Tex Leugner: Writer
Joylyn Leugner: Administrative Assistant
Adam Lajeunesse: Writer
Jacqui Lane: Writer
Stan Scislowski: Writer
Meighen McCrae: Writer
Barry Ashton: Writer/Editor, Army
Donald Norrie: Writer/Editor, Air Force
John Farnham: Writer/Editor, Air Force
Dan Dempsey: Writer, Air Force
Al Judson: Writer/Editor, Army
Frank Saies Jones: Writer/Editor, Navy
Alan McDonald: Writer (deceased)
Peggy Watson: Writer
Eric Wicherts: Writer
Robyn Williams: Writer
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