From 1995 to 2017, the Canada Remembers International Air Show “Tribute to Heroes” event was committed to honoring and remembering those who served in the Canadian Armed Forces. After a 23-year run, the show has announced that it has officially ended.
Starting out as a small, local show in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the show quickly grew into a nationally recognized air show built around its commitment to the nation’s veterans. The event coupled commemorative ceremonies such as the Parade of Heroes and Acts of Remembrance with aerial performances by North American military and civilian performers.
“The rise in national attention for what was quickly acknowledged as Canada’s largest annual Tribute to Veterans was unexpected; within four years (in 1999), the Canada Remembers International Air Show was nationally recognized by the Federal Government’s Millennium Bureau as one of Canada’s Top 10 Outdoor Attractions and Saskatchewan’s #1 Outdoor Event,” air show organizer Brian Swidrovich said. “We were fortunate that our local community supporters as well as the United States and Canadian Armed Forces acknowledged the higher purpose of the project and welcomed this little Saskatoon event into the fold with major air show status.”
For Swidrovich, some of the best moments of the show’s career included being the first air show to happen at an arena, the first indoor air show, and the first Canadian air show to be held at a race track. However, the ultimate reward came back to its dedication to Canada’s veterans.
Additionally, the show led the development of a documentary series composed of interviews with veterans in attendance at the Canada Remembers International Air Show.
“The decision to invite Thomega Entertainment, a local Film Production Company, to record interviews with veterans attending the air show, may be my proudest accomplishment,” Swidrovich said. “After 20 years and hundreds of interviews, all with the air show as a unique and engaging backdrop, the project has since turned into a complete six-disc Canada Remembers DVD Documentary Series, accompanied by an Education Plan that teachers can use to educate students on the heroism, service and sacrifices made by Canadian and Allied veterans.”
In June 2018, the Royal Canadian Legion endorsed the educational aspect of the Canada Remembers documentary series and has begun working to ensure that Canada’s 20,000 schools all receive a copy.
The final Canada Remembers International Air Show occurred from Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11, 2017. The show was centered around both celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary as well as continuing its 22-year tradition in honoring the nation’s veterans.