Number of Canadians planning to attend Remembrance Day services climbing as the centenary of the First World War armistice approaches

November 6, 2017

Number of Canadians planning to attend Remembrance Day services climbing as the centenary of the First World War armistice approaches

Toronto – November 6, 2017 – A Historica Canada poll commissioned ahead of November 11th has found three in ten Canadians (29%) plan to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony this year, up three points from 2016. The increase comes in a year marked by the 100th anniversaries of the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, and the 75th anniversary of Dieppe.


The poll, conducted by Ipsos, also found more Canadians plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies next year – the centenary of the First World War armistice – with 35 per cent saying they will do so.


The increase may be influenced by the changing face of veterans. For more than eight in ten (84%) Canadians, there is a sense that it is important to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies now because of the declining number of Second World War veterans – most of whom are well into their nineties. However, nine in ten (94%) agree that on Remembrance Day it is just as important to honour soldiers who have served in recent conflict as veterans of the First or Second World Wars.


“We’re pleased to see increased engagement among Canadians around Remembrance Day,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith. “In recent years we’ve seen a huge uptick in requests for visits from veterans and Canadian Forces members through The Memory Project speakers bureau – this year our speakers are reaching more than 300,000 Canadians.”


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:

  • Half (49%) of Canadians have attended a Remembrance Day ceremony in the past by choice (in other words, not as part of a school assembly)
  • Nearly nine in ten (87%) agree that Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the horrors of conflict.
  • A quarter of Canadians (26%) have visited the National War Memorial in Ottawa (+2 pts since 2016)
  • Two in ten (18%) have visited an overseas war memorial
  • When asked about the role Canada played in the D-Day invasion, just over half (54%) of Canadians can correctly identify Juno Beach as the landing place for Canadian forces

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 24 and October 26, 2017, on behalf of Historica Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 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

Senior Communications Coordinator

T. 1-866-701-1867 x 261