Welcome to the Canadian ServiceWomen’s Salute Legacy Campaign website with information about 2018 and Canada 150 2017 events, servicewomen’s military history, personal stories, research, art, artifact catalogue, and representation.

Our objective is to Know, Honour, and Strengthen former and current Canadian Armed Forces servicewomen’s contribution to Canada.


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December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute Reception & Dinner

472 former or current servicewomen, dignitaries, and supporters attended the sold-out December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute – Hommages Aux Femmes Militaires Reception and Dinner held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Its goal was to publicly recognize and celebrate military women’s 132-year, historic, and continuing service to Canada. It was a moment in time for servicewomen and their supporters to enjoy being the primary authors, protagonists, and tellers of a larger extraordinary story “Our Past Our Story Our Future”.

View December 13 2017 Servicewomen’s Salute full programme

View December 13 2017 photos generously taken by photographer Ross Macdonald

All December 13 2017 photos taken by Cpl Levarre Macdonald Canadian Force Joint Imagery Centre are coming soon.

View Lobby December 13 2017 Thematic Displays illustrating servicewomen’s historic contribution to Canada

Beginning at 1730hrs, December 13 2017 Servicewomen’s Salute guests gathered in the Canadian War Museum’s Lobby to meet with friends, military family members, colleagues, invited special guests and dignitaries, enjoy music played by Governor General’s Foot Guards Band musicians, and visit and talk with representatives at 12 Servicewomen’s Salute Thematic Displays. Volunteer retired and current servicemen assisted guests on arrival and departure.  12 Army, Air, and Navy Cadets and CIL officers assisted attendees’ registration.

12 Army, Air, and Navy Cadets and their CIL Officers registered guests, formed a colour party, and assisted guests to seating in the LeBreton Gallery
Honourable Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan meet with CAF servicewomen before his welcoming speech
Veterans Affairs Canada Honourable Seamus O’Reagan and members of It’s Just 700 Table
Rt Honourable David Johnston, Governor-General Foot Guards’ Regiment officers and Band musicians
Deputy Minister Veterans Affairs and General (Retired) Walter Natynczyk (right) mingles with guests






Deputy Minister of National Defence Jody Thomas (centre), Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett (right) speak with Organizing Committee members Maj (ret’d) Chantal Mercier (far left) and LCdr (ret’d) Rosemary Park (second left) RE28-2017-0326-009
Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
© 2017 DND-MDN Canada




Proud to have served. Honoured and fun to attend
Dorothy Gummersall Royal Canadian Navy Nursing Sister retired (Ret’d) Dorothy Gummersall  RE28-2017-0326-002
Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
© 2017 DND-MDN Canada

An auspicious gathering of servicewomen and men of Private to General ranks, with equal numbers of former service and current servicewomen, plus Members of Parliament, Senator Pamela Wallin, former Governor- General David Johnston andHonorary Naval Captain Sharon Johnston, DND and Veterans Affairs dignitaries, researchers, War Museum historians and Museum Friends, fantastic civilian supporters, and multi-generation service families attended















Master of Ceremonies Major (Retired) Sandra Perron welcomes guests RE28-2017-0326-013 Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
© 2017 DND-MDN Canada














Major (ret’d) Sandra Perron, Canada’s first female Infantry Officer, award-winning author, and evening Master of Ceremonies began the evening’s formal programme welcoming attendees, and introducing Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan

The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan Minister of National Defence speaks on the impact of women in the Canadian Armed Forces. RE28-2017-0326-019 Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre © 2017 DND-MDN Canada







At 1850hrs, guests and the Dinner’s Head Table were piped in to the museum’s LeBreton Gallery. The Dinner programme began with a Territorial Acknowledgement of the land, unceded traditional Algonquin Anishinaabeg territory, on which we gathered.  Canadian War Museum WWI historian Dr. Mélanie Morin-Pelletier welcomed guests on behalf of the museum.

Dr. Melanie Morin-Pelletier welcomes all guests during the Servicewomen’s Salute Dinner to the National War Museum
RE28-2017-0326-025 Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre © 2017 DND-MDN Canada







RSVP regrets sent by retired Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps, and the Honourable Sheila Copps were read out by Master of Ceremonies Major(ret’d) Perron. The GGFG flute quartet played O Canada to the standing audience, and Chaplain Colonel Barbara Putnam led the saying of Grace.

Canadian Armed Forces Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance, and Honorary Naval Captain Sharon Johnston  then gave invited speeches offering contemporary and historic reasons supporting the Canada 150 event’s celebration.

As guests enjoyed their 3-course dinner and wine, a Photo Montage, and WWII recruiting video were shown on the Gallery’s stage screen .

Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance makes a speech during the Servicewomen’s Salute Dinner RE28-2017-0326-037
Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
© 2017 DND-MDN Canada







Honorary Captain (Navy) (HCapt(N)) Sharon Johnston (right) Guest Speaker at the Servicewomen’s Salute Dinner with Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett (left) Defence Champion for Women RE28-2017-0326-004
Photo by Corporal Levarre McDonald
Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre
© 2017 DND-MDN Canada








Brigadier-General Carignan gives final Invited Speech of the evening. Click here to view the speech


Chief of Staff Army Operations Brigadier-General Jenny Carignan   gave the final invited speech of the evening to reflect on how far we have come as a country, and what can lie ahead for future CAF servicewomen and men.



The evening programme ended with closing remarks by Organizing Committee Lead LCdr (ret’d) Rosemary Park. Servicewomen’s Salute Organizing Committee members and Committee supporters (shown in the evening Programme) stood to receive the applause of guests.

Master of Ceremonies Major(ret’d) Perron  presented a thank-you tribute to LCdr (ret’d) Park commemorating the symbolism of the Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute event, and a personal poem and memento gifts for all attendees.







Broadcast difficulties prevented showing NATO College in Rome LGen Whitecross and staff’s video greeting, plus screening of the new November 2017 CAF recruiting video for women recruits.

December 13 2017 LGen Chris Whitecross Video Greeting to Attendees

December 13 2017 new CAF recruiting video screening

December 13 2017 Speakers’ Biographies and Tables’ History Quiz

December 12 2017 Head Table Dignitaries’ Biographies

A recording of LCol (ret’d) Susan Beharriell’s 1885-2017 storyline that includes reflections written by both Canadian Armed Forces servicewomen attending the October 8, 1992 Servicewomen’s Salute Dinner on Parliament Hill, and by servicewomen attending the December 13 2017 Dinner will be posted on the website.

37 of the 47 10-person Dinner Tables in the LeBreton Gallery had reserved Table name cards.  “Amazing Ladies”, “CFHS Social Workers”, “CSRT Chicks”, “Classede92”, “In Honour of Col Karen Ritchie”, “Its Just 700”, “Killers from the Sky” RCAF Women”, “Team Epic”, WomenStrong” and “WomenStrong2” were among those chosen.

We will never forget the precedent, loyalty and service to Canada expressed by the 308 attendees who attended the sold-out Canada 125 Servicewomen’s Salute October 8, 1992 Dinner held in the West Block Confederation Room on Parliament Hill. Continue reading “December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute Reception & Dinner”


This site and our Instagram (@servicewomensalute) provide a growing catalogue of Reserve and Regular Force servicewomen’s lived experience, historical, research, art, literature, and film resources and representation describing Canadian servicewomen’s military participation from 1885 to the present day.

The objective of a one-stop, interactive, and curated resource and network of expertise did not exist …Until now.

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Stories of Canada 150 Servicewomen Salute Reception & Dinner attendees are being collected to help tell our larger history in a presentation.  Click here to submit your own story .

Note: A password is required to access the submission form.  This password is sent to event ticket holders.  If you forget or misplace the password please contact info@servicewomensalute.ca and we will send it to you. 

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Servicewomen’s Salute – Hommage aux Femmes Militaires began in 2017 as a citizen-led volunteer Canada 150 Campaign To Know, Honour, and Strengthen the historic, and continuing contributions of former and current Canadian Armed Forces servicewomen to Canada.

The 2017 Servicewomen’s Salute fact-finding exercise behind this Legacy Campaign found significant offers of help and interest by former and current servicewomen and men,  Members of Parliament and Senators, Canadian War Museum, local museums and archives, public libraries, Military Gals Facebook site Administrators, Historica Canada, Nursing Sisters Association of Canada, WRCNS Toronto branch, HMCS York and Carleton, many university researchers, Women in Defence and Security, and ‘hidden gems’ of Canadian history, archived local records and artwork located all over Canada. We found many many former and current women with hugely fascinating stories, and shared much laughter.

The fact-finding exercise also found:

  • gaps in recording and accessing Canadian military women’s 132-year history;
  • very rare public celebration of servicewomen’s unique historical and contemporary contributions to Canada;
  • no coordination or  aggregated collection of whole-of-community resources in Canada supporting former or current servicewomen’s interests, goals, and issues; and,
  • no ongoing opportunity for servicewomen to share, digitally record, enjoy and benefit from their reflections and insights arising from their experiences as military members.

Also evident was rare external leadership and supporting voices in the public narrative about Canadian military women, and their service to Canada.

The Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute Organizing Committee ended the Canada 150 sesquicentennial year by staging the Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute at the Canadian War Museum honouring and recognizing Canadian Armed Forces servicewomen.

December 13, 2017 was expressly chosen because it was the centennial week of Canadian women granted full suffrage ie municipal, provincial, and national voting rights in Canada as a result of the September 20 1917 Military Voters Act.

An estimated 504 Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters serving overseas in France were therefore the first Canadian women to vote early on December 5, 1917.

Because of the September 20 1917 Military Elections Act, an additional  50O,000-plus Canadian adult women of military family members serving overseas were also allowed to vote on December 17 2017.

Upcoming 2018 Servicewomen’s Salute Activities include:

a. creation of an online, interactive SWS Search Directory of historical and contemporary resources describing Canadian military women’s history, lived experience, research, artistic expression, and artifact catalogue listings.

b. Ryerson University Media Production student team’s production of ‘Mini-docs’ and recorded interviews, plus other oral history collection, and personal narrative digital story workshops for exhibition at a December 2018 event.

c.  Incorporation of a Servicewomen’s Salute Member Association to recognize and support former and current Reserve and Regular Forces servicewomen’s loyalty and contribution to Canada.

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