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Micro military museum moving to Parkland Mall

Veterans Voices of Canada’s History Interest and Learning Centre to relocate from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer
First World War helmet of the Nova Scotia 85th Battalion at Veterans Voices of Canada’s History Interest and Learning Centre. (Contributed)

Veterans Voices of Canada’s History Interest and Learning Centre will be relocating to Parkland Mall to bring more attention to veterans past and present.

Al Cameron, Veterans Voices of Canada founder, said the micro museum has been open for about nine months in Sylvan Lake but it wasn’t in a busy pedestrian area so it did not get as much foot traffic as he hoped to recognize the efforts of veterans.

“Our main drive is for local veterans to be honoured,” Cameron said.

He said sponsorship from Parkland Mall is helping to make the move possible, which will take a few months in order to prepare the mall site, located at unit 404, near Tip Top Tailors.

In the meantime, Veterans Voices of Canada and the Rude Awakening Tour will present the Portraits of Honour painting at the unit on Feb. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. The huge tapestry features the faces of the 158 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

He said as a nonprofit, Veterans Voices of Canada is always on the lookout for more sponsors as well as volunteers for the museum and donations of artifacts to help grow the collection. Some of the people who visited the museum in Sylvan Lake have been reminded of things they have tucked away in closets, attics, or trunks and donated them to the museum.

“If we pack away history, we forget it. It’s really important for those who can to present it in this way, and make sure Canadians remember and understand what the sacrifices were.”

Cameron said more events are planned for the museum, along with speakers and tours for schools and other groups.

“It will open up a lot of eyes.”

Cameron said Veterans Voices appreciates all the support it received in Sylvan Lake and that the non-profit will still be based in Sylvan Lake where Veterans Voices has held Flags of Remembrance ceremonies since 2014.

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Field case, medals and the tunic of Second World War veteran and South Alberta Regiment Vince Chaney donated to Veterans Voices of Canada’s History Interest and Learning Centre. (Contributed)

Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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