by Capt R.R.J. (Rick) Dumas, MMM, CD, ADC
Adjutant, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI)
During the evening of 9 February 2017, at Hawrelak Park, the Silver Skate Festival presented and unveiled by way of a lighting ceremony, a commemorative snow sculpture of the Canadian Vimy Ridge Memorial, in partnership with Veterans' Affairs. It was in observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first occasion whereby all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in battle, as a cohesive formation. It has become a Canadian national symbol of achievement and sacrifice. Not the Germans, French or British - but the Canadian "shock troops" were the first to make the breach, largely due to several Canadian innovations. The Canadian Corps suffered a total 10,602 casualties: 3,598 were killed and 7,004 were wounded. Today, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial is Canada's largest and principal overseas war memorial. The sculpture is approximately 16 feet high and 12 feet wide. Despite its small population at the time, Edmontonians made an enormous contribution to the Great War.