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Virtual poppies drop on Hill

Virtual Poppies drop on hill
Images of falling poppies are projected on the Centre Block.
Richard Lawrence, courtesy of Dominion Command

Every night of the 2016 poppy campaign, people living in or visiting Ottawa were able to see a spectacular show of poppies being virtually dropped on the Parliament Buildings.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 11, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., images of 117,000 poppies were projected on the Hill, each one representing one of Canada’s fallen.

“The virtual poppy drop [is] a stunning, large-scale reminder of the sacrifices of Canada’s veterans with the added significance of having that display on the Peace Tower and Centre Block of our Parliament Buildings,” said Dominion President Dave Flannigan.

“Dominion Command is always looking for ways to perpetuate remembrance,” said Director of Administration Steven Clark. “At the 2012 dominion convention in Halifax, we had an actual poppy drop during the opening ceremonies. It was very moving and that inspired us.”

Clark said Dominion Command looked at ways to bring the concept to the national Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, including a physical poppy drop. When the logistics of that proved too difficult, Dominion Command started to look at a virtual drop. “We thought of projecting it on the National War Memorial itself, but that had its challenges.”

Dominion Command then approached the Department of Canadian Heritage which oversees the sound and light show that is projected on the Parliament Buildings during the summer and the Christmas lights which are projected in December. In the end, the department agreed to use its equipment to project the images during the poppy campaign.

Dominion Command worked with HyperActive Productions which had created a virtual poppy drop for the 2016 dominion convention in St. John’s., N.L., in 2016 to create the three-hour spectacle.

In addition to the cascading poppies, two video screens were erected to show the Legion’s Virtual Wall of Honour and Remembrance, a photo montage of Canadian veterans throughout the years.



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