We know that Remembrance Day is an annual event and that getting ready might be somewhat repetitive. However, there are so many moving parts that there is something new or different to factor in each year.
Last year, of course, it was the Covid-19 restrictions that made us adapt - and we discovered live-streaming, which we are planning on doing again this year. Covid-19 and the Delta variant are still with us, and thankfully many have been double vaccinated, which may mean that we can have a bigger event this year.
I had the privilege recently of being present when one of our NSVCC executives met with the sound engineer and the videographer to discuss this year's event. We met at the Cenotaph and mapped out the difference between a 'full event' and a 'restricted' event.
What's the difference?
The full event includes a "march on" at the Cenotaph with the full participation of various organisations, including the JP Fell Pipeband, Cadets, Navy League, RCMP and RCMP Veterans, and North Vancouver City and District Fire and EHS. It includes the presence of the public, which in past years has been up to 15,000!
The ceremony concludes with a parade to the JP Fell armouries in the 1500 block of Forbes in North Vancouver.
Last year the restricted event we hosted was one of the very few approved by the Ministry of Health and was watched online by many community members who would normally have been in attendance.
No such approval is needed for this year, even though we still have to abide by the health restrictions in place in November!
So planning an event of this size is tricky - not due to the size but because of not knowing what will happen next. It's a bit like everyday life really, we plan for the worst, hope for the best and keep soldiering on.
Regardless of size, we are focused on maintaining the tradition of a well thought out community ceremony on November 11th, which we have maintained since 1948.