Every year, approximately two weeks before Remembrance Day, November 11, The Royal Canadian Legion conducts its annual Poppy & Remembrance Campaign. The campaign is designed to raise funds for needy Canadian ex service members and their dependents as well as Commonwealth veterans of World War II who may be eligible for assistance.
Poppies are distributed for donations. This venerable symbol of Remembrance is provided for public or personal display as either a lapel poppy, or as included in wreaths, crosses and sprays which are laid at cenotaphs or other memorials at home and abroad. In some instances, such as the case of school children, the poppies are distributed without donations being requested in order to foster the tradition of Remembrance in Canada.
The poppy is a symbol of tribute to the more than 117,000 Canadians who have died in the service of the country, either in the military, the merchant navy or other war time agencies which supported the war effort. Funds collected are held in trust and distributed in accordance with the rules established for the trusts. Branches or groups of branches can establish a trust fund and manage the funds accordingly. Remembrance material is manufactured commercially, and the lapel poppies are assembled by home workers, many of whom are veterans.
The history of the poppy and its significance can be found on the Legion's web site at www.legion.ca. More than 15 million poppies and 68,000 wreaths, crosses and sprays are distributed across Canada and overseas annually.
More than $4 million in campaign funds are also distributed annually in accordance with the rules in place. Some of the activities supported are: