Author: Leanne Piper

Publication Date: 2015

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One hundred years ago, Lt.-Col. John McCrae raised his pen and lit a torch that still burns today. McCrae was still reeling from the death of his friend Lt. Alexis Helmer on May 2nd, 19l5 when, according to popular account, he wrote "In Flanders Fields" on the back step of an ambulance amidst the chaos and casualties of the Second Battle of Ypres (Belgium). McCrae was serving a military doctor and second-in-command of the lst Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. The centenary anniversary of the writing and publication of "In Flanders Fields" will be celebrated across Canada in 2015. Locally, Guelph will host a number of special celebrations, as follows:

Until August 9:
"Remembering In Flanders Fields" is a juried art show featuring works of art inspired by McCrae's poem, at the Guelph Civic Museum.

April 24 to August 9:
"Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times-Italian Canadian Experiences During WWII" This exhibition from the Columbus Centre will be on display at Guelph Civic Museum.

Thursday, May 28:
Smile Theatre presents "In Flanders Fields" at Knox Presbyterian Church, A production by Nicky Phillips and Robert Gontier, this one- act musical is set during the Second Battle of Ypres and weaves through the story of McCrae's life and the events that inspired the lamous poem. The event is hosted by Knox Presb¡erian Church and sponsored by the Guelph Historical Society.

May 2015:
A newly-renovated McCrae House will reopen with new permanent exhibitions about lohn McCrae's life in Guelph and his medical, military and artistic pursuits.

July 2 through August 8:
'A Night in Flanders'l an original one-act play by local playwright Donald Macrae, will take place in the McCrae House backyard Wednesdays to Saturdays at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at

Sunday, August 2:
Eighth Annual Kirking: John Galt Day Sunday
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 161 Norfolk St. (home congregation of McCrae family)

August 21 - November 15:
"figtrting In Flanders-Gas. Mud. Memory", and exhibition from the Canadian War Museum at the Guelph Civic Museum.

Saturday, September 26:
"Merrymaking at the Museum: 1915" will feature live music and live and silent auctions to support Guelph Museums. Tickets at
Sunday, September 27:
John McCrae Guelph Tour. Participants can walk, bike or drive from site to site for an animated tour of important landmarks in ]ohn McCrae's life. Tickets available online at starting july 2.
October 2 to 10:
"In the Footsteps of John McCrae: Tour of France and Belgium 1 Guelph Museums is partnering with Frederick Travel Waterloo to offer travel to Europe with Guelph Museums'curator and renowned John McCrae expert, Bev Dietrich, visiting important First World War landmarks, and the places where lohn McCrae served as a soldier and docto¡ including where he was inspired to write "ln Èlanders Fieldsl' To registe¡ contact Ingrid Nardella at Frederick Travel,'
November 11:
Remembrance Day ceremonies at McCrae House and McCrae Memorial Gardens. Services are coordinated by the Royal Canadian Legion and John McCrae Public School'

The Lt.-Col. John McCrae Statue Project

To honour and memorialize the 100th Anniversary of Lt.-Col. lohn McCrae's writing and publication of "In Flan{ers Fields'l the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery commissioned renowned sculptor Ruth Abernethy to create a statue of McCrae. From her studio in Wellesle¡ Ontario, the art has gradually taken shape, while simultaneous fundraising has taken place and site preparations have been completed. Two locations-Ottawa and Guelph-will honour McCrae nationally and locally.

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Each statue will be unveiled at a special ceremony: 


May 3, 2015
National Artillery Memorial, Ottawa, ON, Canada 

June 25, 2015
Guelph Civic Museum, Guelph, ON, Canada