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Canada Holds National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony


On 23 April, Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney joined Holocaust survivors from across the country at the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa to light candles in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

“I was honored to pay tribute to both Holocaust victims and survivors,” said Minister Kenney. “Our Government is committed to ensuring that their stories are preserved for future generations so that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten, especially as Holocaust denial, antisemitism, and anti-Zionism persist,” he added.

The annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, hosted by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem and the Zachor Coalition, commemorates Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day – a day to reflect on the unique horror of the Holocaust, remember the victims, honor the survivors, and to recognize the righteous who bravely risked their lives to save others.

Earlier in the day, Minister Kenney presented certificates to a group of survivors in recognition of their courage, strength and resilience, and for contributing to Holocaust remembrance through the sharing of their personal stories.

In the 1980s, a number of organizations in Canada began to record the testimonies of Holocaust survivors for future generations, and in the coming year, as Canada serves as Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) under the leadership of Mario Silva, the Government will work with community partners to encourage further efforts to preserve survivor testimony.

A National Holocaust Monument will also be erected in Ottawa, the location of which was announced during the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony by the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

On 24 April, Minister Kenney also announced, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, funding of almost $200,000 that will enable Canadian museums to contribute to a key international research effort on the provenance of Holocaust-era works of art. 

In partnership with six Canadian museums, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization will undertake research and develop best-practice guidelines to help the Canadian museum community address the issue of Nazi-looted art.

“Our Government is proud to support projects that enable Canadian museums and art galleries to further their research on the provenance of art. It is an important initiative for researchers and heirs around the world who are trying to identify and locate artworks and other cultural artifacts displaced during the Holocaust,” said Minister Kenney.