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Discover Canada's Contribution in World War I and World War II at the VMC!

Discover Canada's contribution in both world wars at the Virtual Museum of Canada. With a host of images, museum exhibits and games, the VMC is an excellent resource to find information about Canada's contribution to World War I and World War II.

World War I
Log onto the VMC and discover the important role that Canada played in the First World War. The Image Gallery contains images of World War I relics. A more extensive assortment of images relating to World War I is available in the Community Memories section, as are a number of exhibits provided by regional museums throughout Canada. Click on A Mother's War, and discover the impact on Canadian community life during the war, though diaries written by a mother awaiting her sons' return from the battlefields in World War I.

Dugout Near Nijmegen
Dugout Near Nijmegen
Captain David (Alex) Alexander Colville
January 7, 1945
Canadian War Museum

From the Remembrances: Canada and the Second World War Virtual Exhibit.
World War II
Visit the VMC Exhibits section and find Canadian museum exhibits pertaining to Canada's involvement in World War II. Discover Open Hearts - Closed Doors: the War Orphans Project, and share in the stories of young Jewish orphans upon their arrival to Canada after fleeing the devastation of Europe after World War II; or Remembrances: Canada and the Second World War, an exhibit which demonstrates the human aspect and experience of war through collections from more than a dozen Canadian Regimental Museums from across Canada. A selection of games in the Fun and Games section also supports Canada's involvement in World War II. Maneuver your own tank and experience what it was like to be on the front line in Armoured Warrior. Explore the virtual radar room and operate other World War II technologies of the H.M.C.S. Sackville naval ship in 3D Corvette; or put your knowledge of military history to the test by playing crossword puzzles, trivia games, word searches and more with Remembrances -- Kitbag Challenge and more!

More World War I & II resources:

Over The Top
The Canadian War Museum presents an opportunity for an interactive adventure: Over the Top! Students can discover what life was like in the trenches during the First World War, and make decisions that will determine their survival.

The Poster War Virtual Exhibit
What is a propaganda poster? What does it look like? What was its role in World War I? These questions and more are answered in this site created by the Provincial Museum of Alberta.

Democracy at War: Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War
Culled from more than 140,000 newspaper articles, this archive collection at the Canadian War Museum website paints a picture of the Second World War in a pre-TV, pre-Internet world.

Part of the Virtual Museum of CanadaOpen Hearts - Closed Doors: The war orphans project
Activities, lesson plans and various educational resources offer teachers and their students at intermediate and secondary levels an opportunity to understand the history of Canadian immigration policies: past and present.

Personal Stories

Museum of the regiments
Learn about several regiments and their participation in various wars. Testimonies, photographs, poems and texts provide many ways to explore the elements of war. Teachers from the third grade to secondary levels will find educational resources, lesson plans and material for the classroom. (available in English only)

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
This museum is the only one of its kind in the world that commemorates the courage of those who fought with the air force during the Second World War and who were trained by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Discover the everyday lives of these soldiers. (available in English only)

The Macdonald Papers
The life of Bruce MacDonald is clearly detailed in this biography through his correspondence, photographs and narrative texts. Learn about the man who wore many professional hats: lawyer, judge, and lieutenant colonel.

Equipment

H.M.C.S. Haida Historical Naval Ship
Visit this irreplaceable historic artefact, recognized by the Canadian Historic Sites and Monuments Board as the last of World War II tribal class destroyers. The ship represents a life style, however transient, of more than a generation of Canadians who served in Canada's Navy between 1943 and 1963. The thousands of men who sailed in Haida represented a cross section of Canadian society during that period. (available in English only)

We also recommend:

View the online resources curated by the National Archives of Canada, including War Artists, War Diaries, and more...

The Memory Project allows one to discover a digital repository of stories submitted by students and veterans.

Curriculum information:

Use this material in your class where learning outcomes require students to:
  • describe Canada's role in international conflicts, including World War I and World War II, and assess the impact on Canada
  • explain the social, economic, and political effects of World
  • War I on the post-war world
  • describe the significance of technology developed prior to and during World War II
  • demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of life on the home front
  • demonstrate a knowledge of Canada's military contributions
  • in World War I and World War II (e.g., Ypres, Somme, Dieppe, D-Day, Sicily);
  • evaluate Canada's role in the Allied victories of World War I and World War II (e.g., Vimy Ridge, D-Day, liberation of Holland, release of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps);