Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign officially begins on Friday, Oct. 29, Black Press file photo

Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign officially begins on Friday, Oct. 29, Black Press file photo

Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign set to launch

Unique new features will be part of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign which officially begins on Friday, Oct. 29.

New features are being implemented in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the poppy symbol this year and to increase the creative and convenient ways in which donors can support the yearly campaign.

“We are pleased to expand our poppy campaign this year and happy to once again work alongside some great partners to make it all happen,” said Dominion president Bruce Julian. “Because of these collective efforts, Canadians will be able to donate in new and engaging ways to support our veterans — even in the midst of the pandemic.”

Traditional poppy boxes will still be used for cash donations and lapel poppy distribution. As part of an ongoing pilot project launched in 2020, the Legion’s “Pay Tribute” tap and pay boxes will be featured once again. The digital boxes will offer new donation amount options and traditional poppies. The number of locations across the country will increase to 1,000.

Donors will also be able to donate directly through the Legion’s national website. Close to $20 million is donated during the National Poppy Campaign each year and goes directly into initiatives to support Canada’s veterans.

New “Immortal Poppy” and digital poppy

The Immortal Poppy is new this year and is on the cutting edge of digital art.

In recognition of the poppy’s 100th anniversary, 100 pieces of digital poppy artwork will be created and auctioned off to the highest bidders. Funds raised through the initial art offerings will go directly to the National Poppy Trust Fund.

“Technological advancements offer new opportunities, and we’re excited to provide multiple options to make it easy for people to support the campaign,” said Julian.

More information will be released in the coming weeks.

The 2021 digital poppy will remain part of the overall campaign. By visiting www.mypoppy.ca people will be able to donate to receive a digital poppy which can then be shared with friends and family through social media.

Funds raised through the digital poppy will go directly to the Legion National Foundation, a separate entity from the Legion but whose work also helps veterans, families and communities in a multitude of ways.

New Legion yard signs

The Legion has launched a respectful new way to help donors show their support. Attractive new yard signs are available to show caring for Canada’s veterans during the Remembrance period and beyond. The recyclable signs are now available through poppystore.ca. Some branches across the country are also selling them locally.

National proceeds go into general revenue to support the work of the Legion in helping veterans. Proceeds from local sales go directly to branches. To date, over 7,000 signs have been sold.

National ceremony, wreaths, ceremony locator

On Nov. 11, the Legion will offer a Facebook Live presentation of the National Remembrance Day Ceremony. It is anticipated that national broadcasters will cover the ceremony as in the past.

For the second year in a row, spectators will be discouraged from attending in person due to pandemic limitations. Those participating directly in the ceremony will be required to remain two metres apart and will need to wear masks unless performing certain duties. Other anticipated changes to the national ceremony this year will be released in the coming weeks and will be updated at Legion.ca.

People will still be able to take part in the national ceremony in a symbolic way by purchasing a memorial wreath that will be pre-positioned at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before the event. More details were available at Legion.ca starting Oct. 1.

The Legion is introducing a ceremony locator at Legion.ca this year. Branches will populate this page to allow Canadians to find a Legion-supported Remembrance ceremony closest to them. The Legion also recommends that people check with local Legion branches to verify restrictions related to gatherings during the pandemic.

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Royal Canadian Legion