The Beau­mont-Hamel com­mem­o­ra­tions’ artistic legacy

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Mark Dob­bin and Noreen Golf­man on be­half of the board of di­rec­tors Busi­ness & Arts New­found­land & Labrador

The com­mem­o­ra­tive events over the past sev­eral weeks lead­ing up to the cen­te­nary of the bat­tle at Beau­mont-Hamel have been a fit­ting and no­ble trib­ute to the men who served and all of those who sup­ported the war ef­fort.

The qual­ity of the com­mem­o­ra­tions will be matched by the en­dur­ing power of its artistic legacy: top-qual­ity film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions such as Bar­bara Do­ran’s “New­found­land at Ar­maged­don”; Mor­gan MacDon­ald’s sculp­ture of the Dan­ger Tree at Gren­fell Cam­pus in Cor­ner Brook; the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment Gallery at The Rooms, the largest in­stal­la­tion of its kind in the coun­try; Opera on the Avalon’s newly com­mis- sioned opera “Ours”; and more. All of these bril­liant pieces will ed­u­cate and en­lighten gen­er­a­tions to come.

Thanks to The Telegram’s weekly his­tor­i­cal in­serts, CBC’s ex­ten­sive and ex­cel­lent cov­er­age of the day’s events, both here and at Beau­mont-Hamel, and other me­dia cov­er­age, ev­ery­one at home and abroad was able to take part in com­mem­o­rat­ing this im­por­tant an­niver­sary.

The fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions of the Gill Rat­cliffe Foun­da­tion and com­pa­nies such as For­tis, BMO Fi­nan­cial Group, RBC and many oth­ers have pro­vided The Rooms with the nec­es­sary re­sources to re­search, col­lect, pre­serve and share the sto­ries of our war he­roes in the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment Gallery. Ad­di­tion­ally, pro­duc­tions such as “Ours” (which, at a to­tal cost of over $1.2 mil­lion, was the largest mu­si­cal com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Beau­mont-Hamel an­niver­sary) en­sure that their sac­ri­fice and legacy will never be for­got­ten. “Ours” was spon­sored by the City of St. John’s, the Govern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador and the Govern­ment of Canada, as well as by groups and busi­nesses such as the Pat­ten Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, Marco Group, Cox & Palmer, Steele Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Telus. These or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses rightly see their con­tri­bu­tions as in­vest­ments in our com­mu­nity.

The pro­vin­cial govern­ment, through the Depart­ment of Busi­ness, Tourism, Culture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, has also in­vested over $3 mil­lion to com­mem­o­rate and share the prov­ince’s First World War story through the Hon­our 100 pro­gram. Fur­ther­more, the Hon­our 100 Grants Pro­gram has pro­vided fund­ing to arts, heritage and com­mu­ni­ty­based groups over a two-year pe­riod for First World Warthemed projects.

The re­mark­able achieve­ments of the Beau­mont-Hamel com­mem­o­ra­tions re­sulted from the unit­ing of ex­cep­tional artists, mu­si­cians, film­mak­ers, writ­ers and his­to­ri­ans with so­cially minded busi­nesses, pri­vate cit­i­zens, me­dia part­ners and govern­ment at all lev­els. Busi­ness & Arts New­found­land & Labrador, at its core, is about bring­ing to­gether the re­sources of the busi­ness and arts com­mu­ni­ties to achieve great things. It’s about achiev­ing a syn­ergy that goes be­yond the sum of its parts, much like the com­mem­o­ra­tions we have wit­nessed these past days and weeks. Con­grat­u­la­tions to all.

The re­mark­able achieve­ments of the Beau­mont-Hamel com­mem­o­ra­tions re­sulted from the unit­ing of ex­cep­tional artists, mu­si­cians, film­mak­ers, writ­ers and his­to­ri­ans with so­cially minded busi­nesses, pri­vate cit­i­zens, me­dia part­ners and govern­ment at all lev­els.

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