Canada's participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945) touched every community in this country. We invite Canadians to join us in commemorating the remarkable people, places and events of the home front and overseas which have come to define Canada on the world stage over the past century.

World War heroes

Parks Canada invites Canadians to join us in commemorating individuals from all walks of life, who made unique contributions to Canada’s First and Second World War efforts.

Historic anniversaries

This year, many significant anniversaries give us pause to not only reflect on our history, but to also look ahead to the future of our country, who we want to be and what we want to accomplish.

Here are some of those events which have left their mark on the Canada we know today.

V-E Day celebrations, Ottawa, 8 May, 1945.
V-E Day celebrations, Ottawa, 8 May, 1945.
© Dept. of National Defense / LAC/ PA-114440

75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Parks Canada will commemorate this significant anniversary with Canadians by recognizing the crucial role Canada played in the Battle of the Atlantic, as well as the significance of Victory in Europe (VE Day) and Victory over Japan (VJ Day) which brought the war to an end.

The First and Second World Wars have touched the lives of many Canadians and were defining moments in the history of our country. Parks Canada honours our First and Second World War heritage through its Hometown Heroes and Home Port Heroes

Pic Island by Lawren Harris.
Pic Island by Lawren Harris, ca. 1924.
© McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1968.7.4

Centennial of the creation of the artist collective “Group of Seven”

This year, Canada celebrates the centennial of the founding of the Group of Seven, pioneers in defining a truly Canadian form of painting. In 1920, artists Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, Frank Johnston, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley presented their first exhibition as a group.

Inspired by the Canadian landscape, the group’s bold, modern style brought international attention to Canadian art. Step into some of the breathtaking landscapes of the Group of Seven at Parks Canada’s amazing places, such as Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Pukaskwa National Park.

Hockey at the 1920 Olympic Games.
1920 Olympics for hockey.
© Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

Centennial of Canada’s First Olympic Gold Medal in Hockey

Canada, represented by the Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Club, won the first ever gold medal awarded for ice hockey at the 1920 (summer) Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

Made up mainly of Icelandic-Canadian players who were also veterans of the Great War (1914-1918), the team crushed their opponents and returned to Canada receiving a hero’s welcome.

Canada also took home gold at the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924. Since the 1920 Olympic victory, Canada has won a combined total of 13 gold medals in men’s and women’s Olympic ice hockey competitions.

Canadian delegates, United Nations Conference on International Organization, June 1945.
Canadian delegates, United Nations Conference on International Organization, June 1945.
© LAC / C-022720

75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations

Canada is one of the founding members of the United Nations. On June 26, 1945, delegates from 50 countries, including our own Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and future prime minister Louis S. St. Laurent, met in San Francisco, and signed the UN Charter. It was later ratified on October 24 marking the official existence of the United Nations.

Canada continues to play an important role within the United Nations, including to promote and protect the common heritage of humankind. Parks Canada has either full or shared responsibilities for the management of 12 of Canada's 20 UNESCO World Heritage sites.