District workers in Invermere hang veterans’ banners in the town. (Black Press Media file photo)

Village mulls veterans banner bid

The Village of Burns Lake is examining options for putting up Remembrance Day banners to honour local veterans.

The village council agreed at its Nov. 13 meeting to have staff research the costs for the project.

Other communities across Canada, including some in Ontario and Invermere in the Columbia Valley have rolled out the project.

READ MORE: Veteran banner program expands

Each banner consists of a large image of the veteran along with such information as his or her name, hometown and which war the veteran served in.

Chief Administrative Officer Sheryl Worthing told the council that the project would involve a lot of work, such as sourcing the photos, deciding whose image should go up and the cost of the actual banners.

Since there could be dozens of photos of veterans, Worthing estimated that it would cost around $20,000 in total to make all of the banners.

If Burns Lake goes ahead with the banners at a future date, they could be hung from poles around the village in mid-October and then taken down after Remembrance Day, Worthing added.

Down south in Invermere, 2019 was the third year that the local Royal Canadian Legion has put up the veterans banners, as Jerry Meadows, Poppy Remembrance Chair at the legion, told Lakes District News.

Invermere hung up 52 two-sided banners featuring 101 veterans this year. One of the banners is dedicated to the unknown soldier and has no image.

For most of the banners the veterans’ families provided the photos and writeups, and paid $150, Meadows said. A local print shop put the images and text on the banners, which are made of plasticized canvas. One completed, two-sided banner costs $300.

“The Legion has paid for some expenses, like First Nations veterans sponsorship. We raised some funds to make modification to our posts around town,” Meadows added.

The public response to the project has been very positive.

“Every tourist that comes to town says how fantastic it is. I had four people in on Saturday from Chilliwack and took 20 pictures and said they were going back to their legion to talk to them [about starting their own program],” Meadows explained.

Invermere resident Elinor Florence first brought the banner idea to the community after seeing it in Whitby, Ontario.

LOOK BACK: Honour Our Veterans Banners Take Flight!

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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