Not Forgotten: Canadians More Likely To Attend Remembrance Day Service Than Pre-Pandemic
Toronto, ON, November 7, 2023 – Canadians are increasingly making an effort to attend official Remembrance Day Services on November 11th this year according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Historica Canada. Four in ten (37%) Canadians say they will attend an official Remembrance Day service on November 11th this year. The pandemic slowed down attendance over recent years but the proportion intending to attend a service this year is higher than even pre-pandemic levels, when three in 10 (29%) said they would attend in 2017, dropping to around a quarter (26%) in 2016.
Eight in ten (80%) Canadians say it’s important to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies now while there are still Second World War veterans present. However, agreement with this statement has dropped from 2017 when four in ten (41%) strongly agreed with this statement, dropping by nine points this year to 32%.
A majority (72%) will wear a poppy in the lead up to Remembrance Day although this too has fallen in the last seven years by 5 points (77% in 2016 & 2017), even among older Canadians (88% in 2017 vs 79% in 2023). Regional differences show those in Ontario (80%) and British Columbia (86%) are significantly more likely to wear a poppy than those in Quebec (44%).
"We’re encouraged to see the rise in people intending to attend Remembrance ceremonies this year", said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. "What we really take away from this poll is the high interest in seeing Canada do more to recognize and honour our veterans of all wars and conflicts’.
Remembrance Day is the same today as in the past, but half do not see modern veterans in the same way as Second World War veterans
This year’s poll also reflects that while eight in 10 (82%) Canadians consider Remembrance Day to still be as relevant today as when it first began shortly after the First World War, half (52%) think modern veterans are not seen the same way as Second World War veterans. Millennials and Boomers show a ten-point difference in whether they think modern veterans are seen the same way as Second World War veterans, (52% Millennials vs 42% Boomers).
Young Canadians believe they understand the sacrifices of those who have fought and died in wars – older Canadians disagree
Young people’s understanding of Canada’s veterans and a military history are a dividing issue among different age groups. Half (51%) of Canadians believe Canada’s youth do a good job of honouring Canada’s veterans, but this is felt more strongly among younger than older age groups. Similarly, four in 10 (41%) of Canadians believe that Canadians under 30 understand the sacrifices of those who have fought and died in wars and again this is felt more strongly among younger adults.
However, 52% of those aged 18-34 say that knowing that there are very few Second World War veterans alive make them more likely to want to learn about the Second World War, compared to 45% of those aged 35-54 and 37% of those aged 55+, and to want to speak to a veteran of the Second World War (52% aged 18-34 vs 33% aged 55+).
Almost half of Canadians say they know more about American military history than Canadian military history
Six in ten (57%) say they were taught about Canadian military history in high school yet almost half (46%) say they know more about American military history than Canadian military history. Males (54%) are more likely to know more about American military history than Canadian military history compared to females (37%) as are younger generations. Seven in 10 (69%) 18 to 34 year olds say they were taught about Canadian military history in high school compared to half (50%) of Canadians aged 55+, but younger generations are also more likely to say they know more about American than Canadians military history (56% 18-34 vs 37% 55+).
However, there is almost complete agreement that Canada should be doing more to educate young people about our military history (87%) and that Canada’s involvement in global conflicts should be taught in schools (88%).
Six in 10 (57%) believe that compared to other countries, Canada does enough to honour its veterans, dropping to 46% among those aged 55+. However, Canadians are in favour of other actions to commemorate Remembrance Day but also modern veterans and personnel who have died in conflicts around the world:
- 90% think that Canada should record the stories of service of modern veterans (Afghanistan & Peacekeepers) for students to access;
- 86% would support Remembrance Day being made a national statutory holiday;
- 83% think Canada should build a national memorial listing the names of all military personnel who have died in in conflicts around the world in modern times (conflicts from Korean War onwards including Afghanistan). This is up 7 points from 2016;
- 87% think Canadians should do more to honour those who fought and those who have died in war (up 2 points from 2016);
- 85% think Canada should do more to honour its veterans.
Historica Canada is a charitable organization that offers programs in both official languages that you can use to explore, learn, reflect on our history, and consider what it means to be Canadian. The Heritage Minutes collection is a bilingual Canadian series comprised of 60-second short films, each depicting a significant person, event or story in Canadian history.
Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).
About the study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 20 and 24, 2023, on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. 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 Canadians aged 18+ 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.