Guelph celebrates In Flanders Fields through Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge

GUELPH, ON, April 27, 2015 –  The Honourable William Winegard will read “In Flanders Fields” at tonight’s meeting of Guelph City Council, marking the 100th anniversary of the poem and Guelph’s participation in the Canada-wide Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge.

Guelph is one of about 70 communities across Canada participating in the Challenge, which is a national celebration of UNESCO’s World Poetry Day (March 21) and National Poetry Month in April. Begun in 2012, the Challenge is an annual initiative of the League of Canadian Poets through which municipal councils across Canada open their Council meetings with a reading from a local poet. Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi issued the Challenge this year.

“For this year’s Challenge, it seemed natural to take this opportunity to honour one of Guelph’s most beloved poets, John McCrae, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the writing of In Flanders Fields,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “The Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge celebrates the contributions of poems, poets and writers to Canada’s cultural life. What better example of this than Guelph’s own John McCrae, whose seminal poem is revered the world over.”

He added, “Council is thrilled to welcome William Winegard to our meeting tonight. I can’t think of a more fitting person to do a reading of In Flanders Fields.”

The Honourable William Winegard, P.C., O.C., PhD is the Honorary Chair of the fundraising committee for Guelph’s new LCol. John McCrae statue, to be unveiled at the Guelph Civic Museum on June 25. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1942-1945, becoming the youngest qualified navigating officer in the Canadian Navy. One of the University of Guelph’s founding presidents, Winegard served as Guelph’s Member of Parliament and a Minister of the Crown, and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.

This is the fourth year the City of Guelph has participated in the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge.

A list of events and exhibits celebrating In Flanders Fields at 100 can be found at

For more information:
Kate Sullivan
Communications Assistant
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2558