A new digital project is allowing for Manitobans to honour and support veterans in a new way this year.
The digital project will allow residents of the province to support and remember the sacrifices of Manitoba veterans while bringing together communities that remain largely separated due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox and Jon Reyes, special envoy for military affairs, announced the project, to be called "Manitoba Remembers" Friday.
"We owe veterans our gratitude and respect, but under COVID-19 we cannot gather together to show them our appreciation as we have in the past," Cox says.
"We must not let this moment pass and I ask all Manitobans to join with us in taking a few moments to think about their sacrifice."
The men and women who have served in our Canadian Armed Forces have made huge sacrifices and paid the price so that all Canadians can enjoy the freedom we have today," Reyes says.
The project includes a digital photo frame that Manitobans can apply to their profile pictures on Facebook.
The province will also display the locally-crafted poppy blanket, an 85-foot creation that is made up of more than 8,000 hand-sewn poppies.
The blanket will be displayed on the grand staircase inside the Manitoba Legislature. While the building remains closed to the public at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions, photos of the blanket will be posted online for public viewing
Provincial archives will also be made available for the public to examine in honour of the veterans that have fought for Canada. The Archives of Manitoba, including the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, are opening online exhibits and digitized records for viewers to learn more from documentation of the wars Canada has participated in.
Images of upgraded and refurbished memorials from across Manitoba that have been dedicated to veterans will also be shared online for viewing.
The Manitoba government has also announced legislative amendments to the Municipal Assessment Act. These changes will exempt veterans' associations from payment of city property taxes in Manitoba and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
"Providing tax relief to veterans’ organizations and supporting the care and maintenance of community monuments are important ways we can show our appreciation to veterans while helping the Manitoba Legion and the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans (ANAVET) organizations that are facing serious financial challenges," says Reyes.
The provincial campaign was done in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Legion's national campaign of online methods to show support for legions and veterans.
Remembrance day is on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.