A tableau of period photographs and poppies will be projected onto the exterior of a Victoria cathedral this weekend.
Each evening from Friday until Remembrance Day on Monday, images will be projected onto the southern wall of Christ Church Cathedral in view of the church’s south lawn at the corner of Quadra Street and Burdett Avenue.
The goal of the show, called Remembrance Illuminated, is to honour Canada’s military commitments and sacrifices.
“Think of it as a PowerPoint projection on steroids,” said Michael Utgaard, Christ Church parishioner and volunteer director of the project.
The enormous images will be shown in a 20-minute loop repeating over two hours. Many will be photos of Canadian soldiers, including Victorians, taken during the First World War, Second World War, the Korean War, peacekeeping missions and in Afghanistan.
Throughout the show, images of poppies will be projected along with the photos.
Utgaard, now 73 and retired from a career in visual arts, said planning for the show began nine months ago. From the church’s arts committee, he contacted a local film company, a parishioner with an electrical company and another with scaffolds to make it happen.
“I guess you could say I’m the brains that brought it on, but really, there was such a broad number of people who were involved.”
John Azar, a Friend of Christ Church Cathedral and a volunteer at the Regimental Museum of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) at the Bay Street Armoury, stepped in to supply photos to be projected.
Azar said he looked through the pictures on file at the Canadian Scottish museum and selected images to illustrate the variety of people involved in Canada’s military engagements. Many images are of the Canadian Scottish, a regiment that originated in Victoria and Western Canada.
He said he worked to get images of men and women from beyond the Canadian Scottish, including a picture of his own father during his Second World War duty driving trucks and delivering letters.
“I wanted to make a good cross-section of the contributions and sacrifices that were made,” said Azar.
The first show on Friday, which also happens to be National Aboriginal Veterans Day, will feature a singer performing the Honour Song with lyrics in the language of Mi’kmaq-speaking peoples.
Members of the Canadian Scottish Regimental Pipe Band will provide music.
Rev. Ansley Tucker, dean of Christ Church Cathedral, said she is glad to see the church being used to spread a message at Remembrance Day to the community.
“The church has space and heart and soul to pause and recognize loss and to honour the bravery of people willing to put their own lives on the line for values they hold dear,” said Tucker.
“These are things that are part of our core message, adherence to our values and willingness to make sacrifice for others.”
Remembrance Illuminated runs Nov. 8-11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.