Nearly 500 members of military families will be taking on Parliament Hill not only for a day of enjoyment on Sept. 10, but to convey a powerful message to the government: how vital military families are in supporting the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
“One of the things we really want to do is build awareness across the general Candian public and the government that military families play a significant role in supporting the CAF. In a way, too, we also wanted to identify military families and say thank you and bring everyone together to have a positive and joyful event that has a really strong public message,” said Tamara Kleinschmidt, Executive Director of the Trenton MFRC.
The Trenton MFRC along with the Valcartier MFRC have played a crucial role in bringing about this event. The idea stemmed from the public consultations that the Department of National Defence held earlier this year to determine future policies relating to the CAF. At the time, MFRCS across the country also sent in an official brief stating the importance of including military families in DND policy.
Hundreds of families are expected to attend the event from outside Ottawa, travelling from cities like Trenton, Montreal and Valcartier.
Several dignitaries and senior leadership are expected to be at the event including former Senator Lucie Pépin.
“I think all of us are hoping, first and foremost, that we have a large group of military families that have a great day and feel recognized for the efforts they put in but secondly we have an opportunity for the Canadian public to increase their awareness in regards to the role they play in supporting the CAF,” said Kleinschmidt.
The day will consist of informal games and activities for families along with speeches and a recognition of the 25th anniversary of Military Family Services.
“It really is a celebration of where we’ve been and where we’ve come to. So building on that and building into the future,” added Kleinschmidt.
Pending on the success of the event, Kleinschmidt hopes that the picnic could become an annual event for military families.
The picnic on Parliament Hill will take place Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To RSVP for the event contact Nathalie Vallée at [email protected] or contact your local MFRC.