The RCA Heritage Campaign
The RCA Heritage Programme and Campaign
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Honorary Chair, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Heritage Campaign -
Lieutenant-General (Retd) Jan Arp, CMM, CD
I am honoured to serve as the National Chair of the Royal Canadian Artillery Heritage Campaign. I can think of no more important role than of honouring our past and making it relevant for today and the future.
In July 2010, our Colonel Commandant and the Chair of the Artillery Council jointly signed the RCA Family Strategy, setting out for us all a vision of the Regimental Family of The RCA. That vision is inclusive and the work that is being done with the RCA Heritage Campaign is but one element of it.
Let me step back for a moment. The Family Strategy is the product of considerable work over the past few years by many components of the Regimental Family; serving and retired, regular and reserve, Honorary Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels, and the RCA Association. It is a reflection of the tremendous work done by soldiers at war in Afghanistan and those deployed to assist the civil authority here at home and on various security missions internationally. Those soldiers form the operational elements of the Royal Regiment. But there are other parts to this Family. We recognize that “…we need moral and institutional support such that we may manoeuvre that operational arm effectively. That is our rationale … in defining who we are, that is the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, as a Family, as an Institution.”
Some years ago we began work on a Heritage Programme which was focussed primarily on the RCA Museum and the need to preserve, interpret, tell and promote the story of the Gunners of Canada. Our thinking has matured and we now realize that our aim was too limited with that programme. For some time now we have been working toward a renewed Heritage Programme based in the Family Strategy.
The purpose of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Heritage Programme is to celebrate our heritage, enable those who serve today, and secure the future for those to come.
The Heritage Programme is not about the operational elements of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. It is about the informal institution – the extended Regimental Family – which stands behind the serving soldiers and their units and promotes their efficiency and welfare.
It is about celebrating our heritage and, in so doing, honouring the service, commitment and sacrifice of the Gunners throughout our shared Canadian history. It is about their contribution to Canada and telling their stories.
It is about enabling the soldier to serve without extra worries about the home front so that duty can be the first concern. It is about nurturing that extended Regimental Family – contributing to the pride and unity of that Family now and tomorrow with the aim of ensuring that the serving soldiers know that it will support them and their individual families in times of trial – today and tomorrow.
It is also about connecting Gunners to their fellow citizens and enabling a Canadian understanding of how those Gunners have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the fabric of the nation.
It is about remembering; it is about service, commitment and sacrifice; it is also about looking to the future and continuing those contributions to Canada.
If the Heritage Programme is to succeed it must be funded adequately. The task of raising those funds falls to the Heritage Campaign. The aim of this funding is to support work on Lines of Operation 3, 4 and 5 of the Family Strategy, namely:
- Nurture the Family Institution
- Connect with Canadians
- Celebrate our Heritage
To achieve our goals we seek the support of all members of the Regimental Family and indeed all Canadians.
As plans are developed they will be placed on this website.
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