Portraits of Honour at the JBC

Canada’s Portraits of Honour Travels to France for Special Exhibition
Renowned Canadian Artist Exhibits his Mural Commemorating the War in Afghanistan at the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy

COURSEULLES-SUR-MER, NORMANDY – SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 – The Juno Beach Centre Association unveiled today a special exhibition of Canada’s “Portraits Of Honour” which will be on display from September 21 to October 13, 2013.

Presenting the “Portraits of Honour”, an original oil painting by renowned artist David Sopha, in France is an opportunity to show the world how Canadians remember those who have made the supreme sacrifice for freedom and democracy. It is especially symbolic to showcase Portraits of Honour at the Juno Beach Centre, which pays homage to the nearly 45,000 Canadians who died during the Second World War, of which 5,500 lost their lives during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day. Captured in oils and on canvas, Canada’s modern day fallen soldiers are honoured on the same ground as their fellow countrymen who helped liberate Europe 70 years ago.

Upon close inspection, thousands of poppies are visible throughout the painting. Each petal represents the over 116,000 Canadians who lost their lives in the wars of the 20th century. They also represent the long tradition of military service in Canada – from the First World War to today.

With Portraits of Honour, Mr. Sopha strives to educate and share the stories of Canadian servicemen and women to insure their sacrifices are not forgotten. It features the faces of all 158 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew who lost their lives during the War in Afghanistan. The work is intended to help bring closure to the families of the soldiers and offer an opportunity for Canadians to recognize and remember the service and devotion of Canada’s present day uniformed men and women. While in residency at the Juno Beach Centre, Mr. Sopha will continue to paint as he strives to tell the stories of our fallen heroes.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: David Sopha is a former Naval Reservist of the Royal Canadian Navy who has been painting for past 38 years. Having worked as a commercial airbrush artist for 38 years, this mural is Mr. Sopha’s first excursion into the world of oil painting.

ABOUT THE JUNO BEACH CENTRE: In 2003, the Juno Beach Centre Association was established by veterans with a vision to create a permanent memorial to all Canadians who served Canada during the Second World War and preserve this legacy for future generations through education. The Centre in Normandy pays homage to the nearly 45,000 Canadians who died during the Second World War, of which 5,500 lost their lives during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day. At the same time, it showcases today’s Canada and allows visitors from all over the world to learn more about Canadian values and culture. A decade later, the Centre has welcomed over half a million visitors and has been designated a site of national historic significance to Canada.

For more information:

Jenna Zuschlag Misener
Executive Manager, The Juno Beach Centre Association
Contact: +1 (416) 576-4052
jmisener@junobeach.org

Beth-Ann Gowing
Public Relations Reprehensive – Portraits Of Honour
+1 (519) 221-1434
beth.poh@gmail.com