It’s difficult to know whether to be amused or appalled by news reports that members of a focus group could mistake images of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial for the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and object to images of Walter Allward’s magnificent statues that grace the twin pylons at Vimy.
The image of the Vimy Memorial is central on a new $20 bill, one of a series the Bank of Canada has designed to celebrate Canada’ achievements.
According to news reports, The Bank of Canada formed a focus group to gauge Canadians’ reactions to the new designs. It found Canadians who did not recognize the Vimy Memorial and criticized the nudity of Allward’s sculptures in The Chorus, women representing Truth, Faith, Justice, Charity, Knowledge, Honour, Hope and Peace.
Ironically, distribution of the image on the new $20 bill would certainly raise the profile of the Vimy Memorial among Canadians. The Bank of Canada’s online video will certainly contribute to the education of Canadians unfamiliar with the monument and Canada’s role in the First World War.
“The Bank is proud to memorialize this pivotal moment in Canadian history and to feature the inspiring Canadian National Vimy Memorial on the new $20 bank note,” said Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney at the unveiling of the bill.
Two of the figures below, Peace (top) and Honour, were shot by Legion Magazine during a commemorative tour that included the Vimy National Memorial.