Guelph Museums heading to Europe to mark McCrae’s 150th birthday

In honour of the 150th anniversary of John McCrae, Guelph Museums will head to Europe this summer for a guided tour that will trace McCrae’s footsteps in Belgium and France during the First World War.

The tour, which will run from Aug. 19 to 29, will explore the impacts of the First and Second World Wars on the ground in Europe and at home in Guelph, “contemporizing the McCrae narrative while reflecting on memorialization, remembrance, and untold stories,” a news release said.

Guelph Museums curator Dawn Owen and former curator and McCrae expert Bev Dietrich will provide guided interpretation, and the trip will include special access to museums and heritage sites, including Essex Field Dressing Station, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, In Flanders Fields Museum and Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.

There will also be music and theatre performance by Mike Ford and Murray Foster, whose “Sons of ’17” production has been featured in McCrae House Backyard Theatre events.

The tour will also include a memorial event at Lt. Colonel McCrae’s gravesite at Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

The McCrae 150 Memorial Tour marks the second time Guelph Museums has led a McCrae-inspired tour in Europe. In 2018, the museum guided 30 travellers on a sold-out trip to mark the 100th anniversary of the “In Flanders Fields” poet’s death.

The tour is offered in partnership with Frederick Travel Waterloo. To register, contact Scott Allen at Frederick Travel Waterloo at sco[email protected] or 519-745-1860, ext. 303, or 1-800-578-8958.

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