Walk-thru Remembrance Day display at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Walk-thru Remembrance Day display in Saskatoon'
Walk-thru Remembrance Day display in Saskatoon
WATCH: A Remembrance Day: Walk-thru Visual Display at SaskTel Centre honours and tells stories of those who have served. Global News Morning got a preview and had a closer look at a display of two Indigenous soldiers – Nov 11, 2021

Remembrance Day may look different this year but there are still many ways to honour past and present veterans in Saskatoon.

The traditional ceremony at SaskTel Centre will not be held this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

However, a walk-thru display is available at the Saskatoon venue on Thursday, Nov. 11.

“Unfortunately, the COVID restrictions both last year and this year made it almost impossible to host the traditional Remembrance Day ceremony here in the arena,” Canadian Remembrance Projects volunteer director Brian Swidrovich said.

“It first started in this particular facility back in 1995 … so it’s sad that we can’t continue that.

Story continues below advertisement

“But at this point in time, a walk-thru in the facility for families to come and still remember their family, the fallen families and/or relatives or friends or just veterans in general … This was a good alternative.”

SaskTel Centre said roughly 50 large format visuals dispersed throughout the main concourse represent poignant reminders of the service and sacrifice of all veterans as well as the commitment and contributions of current Canadian Armed Forces and emergency personnel.

“(One) particular visual that people would see in the walk-thru depicts pretty much what it says, ‘once a soldier, always a soldier,'” Swidrovich said.

“So, whether a man or woman served and in sacrificed in World War One, World War Two, Korea, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, anywhere else in the world, Canadians need to remember their service and sacrifice.”

Click to play video: 'Anniversary for Saskatoon neighbourhood that welcomed in war veterans'
Anniversary for Saskatoon neighbourhood that welcomed in war veterans

It is the second straight year that the annual Remembrance Day event at SaskTel Center will not be in-person.

Story continues below advertisement

“In past years, when we were able to have a physical Remembrance Day service, we actually ended up having the largest indoor Remembrance Day service in Canada. We would get usually between 8,000 to … 11,000 people out,” Saskatoon Remembrance Day Citizens Committee Chair Brent Wignes said.

“The last year and this year, with some of the COVID restrictions, we thought it most prudent to stay with a virtual rendition of Remembrance Day.

“You have to remember that we actually include about 1,000 people of different organizations down on the floor and they have various rules and regulations that they have to follow,” Wignes said.

The 2021 ceremony is available online and features interviews with veterans.

Click to play video: 'War veteran on service, importance of Remembrance Day'
War veteran on service, importance of Remembrance Day

Wignes said the pre-taped performance won’t be exactly like the ones before the pandemic, but that shouldn’t matter.

Story continues below advertisement

“It doesn’t matter about a building. The real true meaning of remembrance is taking that time to remember. Doesn’t matter how you do it or where you do it. Just stop for a moment and reflect,” Wignes said.

“From the information we got back from last year … we did have a lot of people saying that they watched either online or through Shaw, and we thought it was quite well received.

“We realize it’s not the same. You don’t have the same atmosphere that you do for a physical service, but the main point is … an act of remembrance. Take time, take just a few minutes of time to remember those (who made the ultimate sacrifice).”

The free memorial display opened at noon and goes until 5 p.m.

As per the Saskatchewan government’s public health order, SaskTel Centre will be verifying all attendees have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or they must present a negative test prior to entry. In addition, masks are required for all guests aged two years old and over.

Click to play video: 'Poppy’s history as a symbol of remembrance'
Poppy’s history as a symbol of remembrance

Sponsored content