The Military Museums

The Mural project was launched in November 2005 as a fundraising project for the new Founders' Gallery at the Military Museums. The process of installing the Mural panels began in November 2006, and the completed mural was unveiled in the atrium of The Military Museums on 9 November 2007. 

The 240 tiles that represent Canada’s military history from the War of 1812 to present day operations are highlighted by an interactive display in the Museum's atrium. The collective stories reveal the different theatres of war Canadians have been involved in for nearly 200 years, including both overseas and domestic operations.

 

The Mural Project was initiated to raise funds for the creation of the Founders’ Gallery at the Military Museums. As the project evolved, it became clear that this was an opportunity to fulfill my vision to bring Canadian military history to the public in a creative and captivating way.

A tremendous team of volunteers embraced my vision and worked diligently to support this project in the early years and I am sincerely grateful for their devoted efforts, in particular, Ian Watson, who has devoted himself to this project and has been invaluable to the development of the Interactive Display. I am also very grateful to another volunteer, Marg Liessens who has provided invaluable support with proof-reading and content management.

I’d like to thank all of those who sponsored paintings in the Mural, for their generous donations and for stepping forward to participate in this unique initiative. The Mural Project would also not have been possible without the initial support of The Bank of Montreal, whose faith in our project enabled us to get the Mural launched. We have since exceeded our fundraising goal by raising over 600,000 dollars. I would also like to express my great appreciation for Digital Heritage in the initial development of our Interactive Display.

I understand the importance of legacy and remembrance, but I never predicted the impact this project would have on the families and friends who participated by paying tribute to the veterans in their lives, and to the shared history that is important to all of us.

These digital pages will continue to evolve over the years and will help viewers better understand the great challenges, tragedies and accomplishments inherent in armed conflict. What began as a fundraising endeavor has become a powerful memorial to generations of Canadians who answered the call, who fought valiantly, often at great cost, for their country and for a better world.

My hope is to give viewers a sense for the realities of war, of the the human cost and the innocence of the enthusiastic young men who enlisted versus the wiser, battle weary men who returned. And, of course, to honour those who did not return.

Karen Storwick
Director, Mural Project

LavoieLewis Lavoie was born in 1965 in St. Albert, Alberta, and is an established portrait painter and book illustrator. He is best known for his mural mosaics, which he engineers and executes for special projects across the country. Over the years, Lewis has been honoured with many awards for artistic merit.

Perhaps Lewis’ greatest challenge and achievement to date has been The Military Museums Mural, commissioned by The Military Museums in Calgary where he combined both personal legacy and military history to create an extraordinary educational exhibit for permanent display.

Incredibly, Lewis was able to capture and incorporate the distinct requests of our many sponsors, a difficult task for any artist. His accomplishment in bringing all the individual panels together to create the larger mural honouring each branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, is truly exceptional.

The mural comprises 240 separate images that together create the mosaic of the servicemen from each branch of the armed forces. Lewis Lavois painted 227 of the panels over a two-year period between 2005 - 2007. The remaining thirteen panels were painted by guest artists, including five works of art by original war artists of the Second World War.

War ArtistsPanels
Bruno Bobak 236
Molly Lamb Bobak 166
Leonard Brooks 34
Patrick Cowley-Brown 195
Robert Hyndman 47
Guest ArtistsPanels
Bill Bewick 203, 234
Don Connolly 221
Paul Houle 198
Tag Kim 205, 211, 212, 213

About The Artists

afghan

The Afghanistan tribute #126 is of special and enduring significance for visitors to the Mural and indeed to all Canadians. Sponsored by General Walter Natynczyk (Retd), this panel honours the fallen soldiers and service personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2011.

The Mural Committee continues to welcome biographies, photos and family messages from relatives, family members and service personnel for the Afghanistan Fallen. If you would like to submit additional material to honour one of the Afghanistan Fallen, please contact the TMM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our sincerest thanks to all the families and service personnel who have helped out with their story submissions and photos in honour of Canada's heroes.

mural-team

The Military Museum's Mural project has been developed by a team of volunteers who have devoted themselves to making this legacy project possible. The primary Mural development team consists of four people:

Karen Storwick, Founder and Director of the Mural Project
Ian Watson, Content and Software developer
Marg Liessens, Content Management
Rob Alexander, Writer and Author

About The Team

The Mural Development Team is profoundly grateful for our many devoted volunteers without whom the fulfillment of our vision would not be possible:

Dorothy Cameron; Assistant Mural Painter
Yana Doyle; Research Assistant/Writer, Afghanistan Tribute
Cyndy Butler; Research and Writing Assistant
Dennis Apedaile: Research Advisor
Rob Alexander: Writer
Tex Leugner: Writer
Joylyn Leugner: Administrative Assistant
Adam Lajeunesse: Writer
Jacqui Lane: Writer
Stan Scislowski: Writer
Meighen McCrae: Writer
Barry Ashton: Writer/Editor, Army
Donald Norrie: Writer/Editor, Air Force
John Farnham: Writer/Editor, Air Force
Dan Dempsey: Writer, Air Force
Al Judson: Writer/Editor, Army
Frank Saies Jones: Writer/Editor, Navy
Alan McDonald: Writer (deceased)
Peggy Watson: Writer
Eric Wicherts: Writer
Robyn Williams: Writer

The Mural Artist: Lewis Lavoie

LavoieLewis Lavoie was born in 1965 in St. Albert, Alberta, and is an established portrait painter and book illustrator. He is best known for his mural mosaics, which he engineers and executes for special projects across the country. Over the years, Lewis has been honoured with many awards for artistic merit.

Perhaps Lewis’ greatest challenge and achievement to date has been The Military Museums Mural of Honour, where he combined both personal legacy and military history to create an extraordinary educational exhibit for permanent display.

Incredibly, Lewis was able to capture and incorporate the distinct requests of our many sponsors, a difficult task for any artist. His accomplishment in bringing all the individual panels together to create the larger mural honouring each branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, is truly exceptional.

Founder And Director Of The Mural Project

Inspired by the death of her great-uncle in Italy during the Second World War, Karen Storwick has become passionate about the preservation of Canadian Military History, honouring Canadian veterans and raising awareness of their dedication and sacrifice.

As a freelance Historian, Fundraiser and Project Manager, she works both as a volunteer and on contract with the Military Museums in Calgary. She is the Founder and Director of the Mural of Honour at the Military Museums and, through the project, raised over $650,000 for the Museum. Karen tours the virtual Mural of Honour through classrooms each year to teach students about 200 hundred years of Canadian history and the importance of Remembrance.

As well as her work at the Museum, Karen belongs to a group of historians, both Canadian and European, working toward the common goal of commemorating unmarked battlefields in Europe. As a volunteer, she assists in the coordination of annual Veteran’s Pilgrimages and Commemorative Ceremonies in Italy, producing plaques and fundraising to cover costs for the monuments.

Since 2006 she has traveled with over 70 veterans and their families on these pilgrimages, coordinated 5 plaques and monuments honouring Canadians in Italy and partnered in the unveiling of 5 others with her Italian colleagues.

As an extension to the work she does in Italy, Karen has developed an educational study program and tour itinerary for athletic teams and school children to honour the personal stories of soldiers buried in Villanova and study the battlefields of the Italian Campaign.

In a continuing effort to preserve the experiences and memories of veterans, Karen has an ongoing Oral History project, having completed over 300 oral histories of Second World War, Korean War and Afghanistan war veterans that will be donated to the Museum archives for research.

In 2012 Karen was awarded the Veteran's Affairs Commendation Medal for her work in the development of the Mural of Honour and the preservation of Canadian history in Italy. In 2017 Karen was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (civil Division).

When not devoting her time to her interest in Military History, Karen immerses herself in her other passions; her family, her dogs and making music.

Content and Software Developer

Ian began his career as a geophysicist in seismic exploration and has been a web developer for many years.

In 2005, Ian met Karen Storwick after hearing about the Mural fundraising project for The Military Museums, and shortly thereafter purchased what turned out to be the 6th panel Karen sold. He dedicated this panel to his two great grand-uncles who served in the First World War.

After hearing about Karen’s ambitious plans for the interactive version of the Mural, he suggested that if she ever needed help on the project, he’d be willing to volunteer. That phone call came shortly afterwards, and in 2006, Ian took on the task as primary content and software developer for the Mural Project.

Along with other volunteers, Ian considered this opportunity to be a privilege to help preserve the memories of selfless sacrifice of so many veterans and service personnel who have served our country.

Content Management

Marg was born and raised in London, Ontario and has lived there all of her life. Like most of the young girls at that time, she started work at London Life Insurance Company, intending to stay “just a year for experience”. Marg retired in 2006 after 42+ years; half of that time spent as an Executive Assistant – a role she thoroughly enjoyed.

Marg’s father, Albert Dorey, was a wireless operator/air gunner with the 431 Squadron of Bomber Command. He was KIA near the end of the Second World War. Marg’s Mother never talked about him and it wasn’t until her death in 1994 when Marg found a number of items related to her father, that her interest in the Air Force began to grow. Early in her marriage, and with her husband's encouragement, Marg visited his grave at the Becklingen War Cemetery in Germany while on a trip to Belgium in 1969.

By chance, Marg happened to see a tiny advertisement for a battlefield tour in November 2005 and jumped at the chance to go again. As it turned out, Ian Watson was also on that tour and in conversation, he mentioned the Bomber Command Memorial in Nanton, Alberta. He also mentioned the Mural project at The Military Museums in Calgary.

During her first trip to Calgary, Marg visited The Military Museums and became intrigued by the Mural. Marg has since sponsored two panels, one of which is in memory of her Father and the rest of the Lancaster crew that perished.

Proof reading had always been a great part of Marg’s work as an executive assistant and so she volunteered to help. The rest, as they say, is history. Marg became a full time volunteer with the Mural Project in 2008.

When Marg retired in 2006, she also started a project to build a database of all 431 Squadron members that had fallen and photograph their grave markers to submit to Veterans Affairs for their Virtual War Memorial. When she realized that there was a fallen soldier from London, Ontario also buried in Becklingen War Cemetery in Germany whose grave marker had not been photographed, the project changed course to cover all those buried in Belgium, northern France, southern Netherlands and a couple of cemeteries in Germany that were on the way to Becklingen.

Marg and her late husband traveled many times over the years to Belgium and she has become very comfortable there. Since then, she has taken thousands of photographs of grave markers which have been submitted to the Virtual War Memorial.

In addition to traveling and photography, Marg is also an accomplished and enthusiastic ballroom dancer.

Return to the Mural of Honour

Writer and Author

Rob Alexander is a journalist, author, and historian. He grew up in Canmore, Alberta, steeped in the history of the Canadian West and the sights and sounds of a coal mining town. With an affinity for ruins and abandoned sites, he gravitated towards story and sense of place, leading him to explore and share the history and heritage of Western Canada and of the Bow Valley in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

He is the author of The History of Canmore. Rob also has a passion for military history. In 2014, the Canadian Community Newspaper Association recognized his story about his grandfather’s experience in Italy during the attack on Motta Montecorvino as Best Historical Story.

Rob lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter.

tmm-mural

The Mural of Honour began in 2006 and continues to be a work in progress. As new panel material is added and published, these changes will be recorded in the following list.

The most recent panel updates are included at the top. This list records only those panels modified since November 2011, when the Mural of Honour first went online.

Date PostedPanel NumberPanel Name
30 Oct 2018 152 First Nations
22 June 2018 107 Tony Kingsmill
25 May 2018 145 Mike Levy
16 May 2018 010 Queen Elizabeth II
14 Apr 2018 052 Heisler
30 Sept 2017 038 Moffat
18 Aug 2017 023 Holmes
15 July 2017 198 Snowbirds
25 Mar 2017 233 KOCR
14 Feb 2017 014 Alan Barr
6 Apr 2016 222 Andrew Mynarski
25 Oct 2015 074 Walker Brothers
20 Jun 2015 033 Hub Gray
27 Feb 2015 049 Hamilton Gault
29 Dec 2014 192 Ernie Bagstad
12 Apr 2014 208 Rudy Deutsch
12 Jan 2014 200 Nursing Sisters
10 Jan 2014 164 Seaman Buddies
12 Apr 2013 137 Lord Strathconas
10 Apr 2013 097 Ishar Singh
12 Mar 2013 120 Farrow
10 Feb 2013 154 Costeloe
08 Feb 2013 208 Deutsch
30 Dec 2012 209 Fowler
29 Dec 2012 012 Howards
27 Dec 2012 009 Remembrance
18 Nov 2012 228 Meyer Miller
13 Nov 2012 236 Bruno Bobak
13 Nov 2012 009 Remembrance
11 Nov 2012 166 The Poppy
29 Oct 2012 040 Frederick Guest
22 Oct 2012 120 Stanley Farrow
31 Aug 2012 023 Bofors
6 July 2012 011 Kapyong
3 July 2012 163 Fred McCall
5 May 2012 175 Vimy Ridge
23 Apr 2012 239 Wm McLean
7 Mar 2012 194 Mart Kenney
12 Feb 2012 203 Wilkinson
21 Dec 2011 125 War of 1812
10 Dec 2011 232 Brayfield
10 Dec 2011 006 BCATP

Canada's Volunteer Military

Throughout its history, Canada has been called upon to contribute to major armed conflicts around the world.

Fred McNeil

Flight Officer Archibald Harold Frederick McNeil was born in Saskatchewan and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in May 1940.

Bolingbroke

The Bolingbroke bomber was the Canadian version of the Bristol Blenheim IV light bomber, built by the Fairchild Aircraft Company of Longueuil, Quebec.

Billy Bishop

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