For the first time, Remembrance Day poppies have gone digital in a campaign meant to complement the traditional lapel poppy pin.
Available now until Nov. 11, the digital poppies enable Canadians to personalize, dedicate and share their poppies online – all while still raising funds for the Royal Canadian Legion.
“For every Canadian, the bright red poppy stands for our country's greatest values, and the debt we owe to the brave souls who put everything on the line to fight for us," said Don Cherry in a press release.
"I'm dedicating my digital Poppy to my great Uncle, Sergeant Thomas William MacKenzie who died in battle four days before Armistice Day in 1918."
Canadians can go online to www.MyPoppy.ca to create their own poppy and donate to the legion. Once downloaded, the digital poppy can be posted to social media feeds including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Digital poppy images can also be used as profile images.
"Canadians have enthusiastically supported the Legion's lapel Poppy campaign for many years and the traditional 'on-street' donations will continue across the country. But in an increasingly cashless society, we wanted to give people another way to support their Veterans," said Danny Martin, deputy director of The Royal Canadian Legion.
"The Legion's new digital poppy campaign will allow people to donate online and share their remembrance in a meaningful, personalized manner."
Many other well-known Canadian personalities are supporting the digital poppy campaign including Margaret Atwood, Sandra Oh, Ron MacLean and Justin Bieber.
"I'm dedicating my digital poppy to Brigadier General T.G. Gibson, my spouse Graeme's father," said Atwood, Canadian literary icon.
"He fought in (the Second World War) in Italy and then through Holland and into Germany. The main street of Deventer in Holland is named after him, as he and his troops were able to liberate it without destroying it, thanks to information smuggled to him by the Resistance. There are many Canadian soldiers buried there, and the schoolchildren place white roses on their graves every Easter."
All funds raised from the traditional lapel poppy and the new digital poppy will be directed to the legion’s Poppy Fund. This is the first time Canadians have been able to donate online to the annual fundraiser.