Welcome!

Welcome to the temporary Servicewomen’s Salute – Hommage aux Femmes Militaires Canada website! A new Portal website is in development and will be appearing shortly with a new look and more functions.

The Portal website will begin by including two public Search Directories listing helpful research understandings of current and veteran Canadian servicewomen’s lived experience, and local community-level services including peer supports available across Canada; a calendar of events occurring across Canada involving veteran and current servicewomen; story-telling and sharing of stories and artifacts.

In the interim, we will be describing here current Servicewomen’s Salute Canada activities, our multiple collaboration projects, and wonderful photos and mementos of the December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute Reception and Dinner held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital.

For more information and to view more photos, please visit our Facebook Page, Facebook Public Group Discussion, and Instagram site.

Our objective is to Know, Honour, and Strengthen the contribution of military women to Canada.

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”

History

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.

Photo Credit

An Invisible Force

Beginning in October 2018, seven media students at Ryerson University have been completing a photojournalism project to highlight and promote the stories of women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Supported by Servicewomen’s Salute Canada, the students have produced 21 photo-stories of veteran servicewomen, and are in post-production edits of the documentary titled “An Invisible Force”  about the three decisions of servicewomen to publicly describe their experiences following military sexual assault. Both photo-stories and documentary Trailer can be found on the student’s Peridot Productions An Invisible Force Facebook Page.

About

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

The 2017 Servicewomen’s Salute fact-finding exercise behind the Canada 150 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 over-reliance on the few wanting to tell their stories as a 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 chosen because  it allowed the centennial celebration of perhaps the most notable historical date for Canadian women – December 17 1917 when the first Canadian women ever exercised their full suffrage ie having all municipal, provincial, and national voting rights as a Canadian citizen of Canada:

1. 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 voted in both early balloting on December 5, 1917 or on the December 17, 1917 election date. As a result, they are the first ever women to have full voting rights in Canada;

2. As a result of the September 20 1917 Military Elections Act, an additional  50O,000-plus Canadian adult women of military family members serving overseas voted on December 17 1917, and so joined their military sisters as the first women in Canada to also receive full suffrage.

Since then, 2018 and 2019 Servicewomen’s Salute Canada Activities have included:

a. the start of building online, interactive SWS Search Directories of historical and contemporary resources describing Canadian military women’s history, lived experience, research, artistic expression, and artifact catalogue listings.

b. use of Servicewomen’s Salute Canada social media postings, discussions, and sharing to create greater public awareness of veteran and current servicewomen’s continuing contributions  to Canada, issues they continue to face, and their supporters.

c. Production of ‘An Invisible Force’ documentary and photo-21 stories of veteran servicewomen by Ryerson University’s Peridot Production media students’ team.

d.  Collaboration with academic researchers seeking to add  greater understandings of Canadian women’s military service.

e. Development of civilian work opportunities and peer-support networks for PRes and Regular Force, active and former service women.

f. Incorporation of Servicewomen’s Salute – Hommage aux Femmes Militaires Canada as a Military Member Association and employment social enterprise recognizing and supporting former and current Reserve and Regular Forces servicewomen’s loyalty and contribution to Canada.

Photo Credit