A new touchless way to donate… and iconic landmarks honour Veterans
OTTAWA, ON, 30 October 2020 – A pilot project to introduce new touchless donation boxes, and the lighting of iconic landmarks in Canada are innovations marking the launch of The Royal Canadian Legion National Poppy Campaign this year. Millions of poppies will be distributed in familiar and new locations across Canada.
“We have more than thirty important partners this year, and traditional donation boxes at 25,000 locations,” says Thomas D. Irvine, CD, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. “While we’ve had to make some changes because of the pandemic, there are several ways to donate and we are hopeful Canadians will respond as generously as they always do.”
A significant change will be the introduction of new touchless donation boxes in partnership with HSBC Bank Canada. There will be 250 “Pay Tribute” boxes across the country, including in most HSBC Bank branches, in several Ontario Legion Branches, and in some select retail locations. The boxes will accept fee-free touchless donations in two-dollar increments, from any tap-enabled device or card. Donors can also choose to take a lapel poppy from the box, as they would from a traditional box.
Along with traditional and electronic Pay Tribute boxes, donors can choose to donate online via Legion.ca. The digital poppy presented in partnership with HomeEquity Bank will also be available again this year at www.mypoppy.ca. It is a project of the Legion National Foundation – a charity also dedicated to supporting Veterans and promoting Remembrance.
Additional campaign highlights include:
- The Legion’s Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower will feature a digital light show with 117,000 virtual poppies representing each of Canada’s fallen since the beginning of the First World War. The display runs from October 30-November 11, from 6:30-9:30 pm ET, including until midnight on the 11th.Virtual poppies will also cascade down the Senate building at the same times, and on the National Art Centre’s “Kipnes Lantern” on November 11, from 7:00 am ET to midnight. Watch live on Oct. 30 on the Legion’s Facebook page.
- In honour of Canada’s veterans, the CN Tower will glow red on the first day of the National Poppy Campaign and again on Remembrance Day. A poppy will be projected on either side of the Tower each evening from November 6 to November 11 to honour our Fallen.
- The City of Toronto sign will be lit in red on October 30 and again on November 11.
- The Niagara Falls will be lit in red from 10:00-10:15 pm ET on October 30 to mark the launch of the Poppy Campaign. On Remembrance Day the Falls will also be lit in red hourly, beginning at 4:30 pm for the entire evening.
- The City of Ottawa sign will be lit in red from November 2 - November 11.
- The Calgary Tower will light up in red on October 30 and November 11.
- The Science World dome in Vancouver will light up in red on October 30 and November 11.
- BC Place Stadium will display a poppy design on November 11.
- The Canada Place Sails of Light will be illuminated red on November 11.
- The Clock Tower in Mississauga will be lit on November 11, pulsating in red.
- The Vancouver Convention Centre Olympic Cauldron will be lit in red from November 9 - November 12.
- Starting on Oct. 30 and running each night, two large screens on Parliament Hill will show the Virtual Wall of Honour, a silent video sharing the faces of Canadian Veterans who have passed, their photos submitted by people from across the country.
“Each year, Canadians show a tremendous amount of gratitude,” says Irvine. “Our fallen Veterans sacrificed for our freedoms and we will always remember them. Through donations to the campaign, Canadians support the Legion’s critical work to help ensure the well-being of serving Veterans. We thank them for their generosity.”
On the first night of the Poppy Drop, Dominion Carillonneur Dr. Andrea McCrady will also play “The Last Post” on the Peace Tower bells before the first poppy falls. Those unable to watch in person can tune in to Facebook Live on the Legion’s Facebook page.
The ceremonial start of the 2020 National Poppy Campaign took place on October 16, with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor-General of Canada, accepting the First Poppy from Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine.
Funds donated across the country during the National Poppy Campaign support Veterans and their families. Funds donated locally stay local.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With close to 260,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca; Nujma Bond 343-540-7604