The National Holocaust Remembrance Day Program represents one of the main programs of CSYV that shares the facts and universal lessons of the Shoah. While keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Program instills in Canadians the values of respect for human rights. This program serves as a vehicle to educate the next generation of Canadians about the dangers of intolerance, ethnic discrimination and social exclusion.
In 2003 the Government of Canada passed a bill establishing a National Holocaust Memorial Day. Since then, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem has carried out the annual National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony on behalf of the government. The Ceremony commemorates the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and pays tribute to the survivors who rebuilt their lives in Canada, many of whom attend the event. The program includes a personal account by a Holocaust survivor of his/her experiences during the Holocaust, as well as addresses by the leaders of Canadian major political parties thereby stressing the importance of Holocaust remembrance in Canada.
The 2017 National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony
Close to 700 guests attended the Ceremony including Holocaust survivors and their families, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, the Hon. Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, H.E. Nimrod Barkan, Ambassador of Israel to Canada, over 50 representatives of diplomatic missions in Canada, Cabinet ministers, Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, close to 60 members of Parliament, and hundreds of students and community members from across Ontario and Quebec. Members of the Canadian government lit 6 candles on the Yad Vashem Menorah in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Prior to the Ceremony, more than 190 high school students of varied faiths and cultures, from schools across Canada met with Holocaust Survivors to participate in “Ambassadors of Change” program. Survivors shared their first-hand experience of the Shoah and students participated in a discussion regarding the relevance of the Holocaust’s lessons in today’s world and ways they can promote tolerance and inclusion within their own communities. To learn more about the CSYV Ambassadors of Change program click here.
The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem thanks the following members of the Zachor Coalition for their collaboration and commitment to Zachor: The Azrieli Foundation; Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel; Boys Town Jerusalem; Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP); Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW); Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee; Canadian Race Relations Foundation; Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship; Chenstochover Aid Society; CIJA; Embassy of Israel; Emunah Canada; Facing History and Ourselves; International Christian Embassy Jerusalem-Canada; I Can Talk To Strangers; Jewish Federation of Ottawa; Jewish National Fund of Canada; Jewish War Veterans Of Canada-Ottawa Post; Lodzer Centre Congregation; Maramoresher Society of Toronto; The Memory Project; Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre; and Na’amat Canada.