Jamie Swift on The Vimy Trap

The Royal Oak Pub. the Canal branch, 221 Echo Drive, Ottawa


The story of the bloody 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge is, according to many of today’s tellings, a heroic founding moment for Canada. This noble, birth-of-a-nation narrative is regularly applied to the Great War in general. Yet this mythical tale is rather new. “Vimyism”—today’s official story of glorious, martial patriotism—contrasts sharply with the complex ways in which veterans, artists, clerics, and even politicians who had supported the war interpreted its meaning over the decades.

Kingston writer Jamie Swift is the author of numerous books and lectures at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. He is the co-author (with Ian McKay) of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in the Age of Anxiety.

Co-sponsored by L’Institut Rideau Institute, Group of 78, Citizens for Public Justice, The Vimy Ridge Anti-War Project, Ottawa.