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July 21, 2017

The Belgian Embassy and Encounters with Canada send five young Canadians to Flanders

Ottawa, July 21 2017 – On Belgian National Day, the five winners of the contest In Flanders Fields were received at the residence of Belgian Ambassador Raoul Delcorde. Aged 16 to 18, winners Jennifer Chou from Surrey (BC), Reilly Fitch from Canning (NS), Brianna Harte from Witless Bay (NL), Alexandria Masse from Windsor (ON) and Hélène Côté from Drummond (NB), will fly on an all-expense-paid trip to Belgium in late July, where they will visit First World War commemorative sites. They will receive their prize from Mr. William Amos, Pontiac MP, representing the honorable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, in front of special guests and dignitaries on July 21 at 5:45 pm at 260, Park rd., in Rockliffe Park, Ottawa.

This contest was organized by the Belgian Embassy and Encounters with Canada (EWC) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the second Battle of Flanders in which Canadian troops fought, notably in Passchendaele. EWC alumni were invited to participate, by submitting artwork inspired by John McRae’s poem In Flanders Fields. Close to 200 creative pieces of artwork were submitted from all over Canada. Poems, essays, paintings, multimedia projects, dances and songs were evaluated by the jury, consisting of Ambassador Delcorde, Historica Canada President and CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith and Belgian-Canadian artist Isabelle Regout.

The poem In Flanders Fields is a touching testimonial to the friendship between two peoples and a symbol of Canada’s involvement in the liberation of Belgium during the First World War. Young Canadians from all over the country participated in our contest, showing how incredibly inspiring this beautiful poem is. I hope the trip to Belgium will result in the five winners discovering the friendship between our two peoples, forged over a century ago in the fight for freedom.
Raoul Delcorde, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium

EWC alumni contest response was fantastic! With 3200 participants attending our program each year, we reach thousands of youth all over Canada, resulting in a large number of artworks being submitted. Their enthusiasm and creativity touched me greatly.

For 35 years, Encounters with Canada, a program of Historica Canada, has been hosting teenagers at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa. Since 1982, over 107,000 youth from all over the country have participated in this bilingual program, allowing them to explore careers, to develop leadership skills and to discover important Canadian cultural, political and historic institutions.