On 100th anniversary of the armistice, Remembrance Day attendance set to soar

November 8, 2018

On 100th anniversary of the armistice, Remembrance Day attendance set to soar

Toronto – November 8, 2018 – As the world marks 100 years since the guns fell silent across Europe, four in ten Canadians (39%) say they will attend a Remembrance Day this year, in a new poll conducted by Ipsos for Historica Canada. That represents a 10% climb from the previous year, and it’s likely the anniversary plays a role – more than half of Canadians (52%) could identify 1918 as the year that brought an end to the First World War. Millennials (aged 18-34) slightly edge out older age groups as the most likely to participate with 41% planning to attend.


While there are no more First World War veterans left alive, six in ten Canadians (57%) believe that the impact of the Great War is still felt. Two thirds of Canadians (66%) believe that fewer people will attend Remembrance Day ceremonies when veterans of the Second World War are no longer present – Baby Boomers aged 55+ are more likely to feel this way (69%) than those aged 18-54 (63%). The majority of Canadians however (85%) feel that Remembrance Day is as relevant today as when it first began


"It’s striking – and gratifying – to see that even as the distance between the World Wars and the present grows greater, so does the degree of engagement and remembrance among Canadians," said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. “2018 was also a record year for our Memory Project Speakers Bureau, which helped veterans and Canadian Forces members share their stories with 460,000 Canadians.”


Canadians overwhelmingly agree (93%) that hearing a veteran speak is the best way to for youth to understand conflict. There is also an uptick this year in the number of people planning to don a poppy at 83%, up 6 points over last year.


The survey also found some generational differences in how Canadians remember. The most likely group in terms of age to attend official services are Millennials (age 18-34) at 37 per cent, ahead of Gen X’ers (age 35-54) at 23 per cent and Baby Boomers (55 and over) at 29 per cent.  Those age groups reverse that order when it comes to whether they will wear a poppy: 88 per cent of Baby Boomers plan to do so, measured against 72 per cent of Gen X’ers and 70 per cent of Millennials.


Other findings include:

  • In B.C., six in ten (64%) have visited a cenotaph or war memorial, compared to 46% nationwide
  • Millennials (18-34) are more likely to say youth understand the sacrifices of those who fought and died in war and conflict at 60%, compared to 43% overall
  • Nearly half of Atlantic Canadians (48%) know someone who has served overseas in the last 20 years, while the national average is 35%
  • Three in ten (28%) say they will attend a commemoration for D-Day 75 next June

Historica Canada offers programs that you can use to explore, learn and reflect on our history and what it means to be Canadian.  


Full poll results are available here.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 25 and October 29, 2018, on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,002 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information:

Andrea Hall

Assistant Manager, Communications and Programs


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