RCA Heritage Fund
The RCA Heritage Fund (“the Heritage Fund” or, “the Fund””) is a non-public property (NPP) entity of the Canadian Armed Forces as defined by the National Defence Act.
It comprises monies collected for the purpose of supporting the non-public affairs of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.
Such monies are derived from voluntary contributions from members of the Regimental Family and Friends of the Regiment.
As a Canadian Armed Forces NPP entity, the RCA Heritage Fund is categorized by the Canada Revenue Agency as a “qualified donee”. As such, contributions or donations to the Fund attract Official Income Tax Receipts issued by RHQ RCA on behalf of the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services (CFMWS) Non-public Funds Accounting Office in Shilo, MB. Consolidated tax receipts will be sent to donors in the December/January period as many contributors provide support multiple times throughout the year.
The RCA Heritage Fund is operated as an account of the Canadian Forces Central Fund (CFCF) – also an NPP entity. RCA Heritage Fund monies on account with the CFCF attract investment (largely interest) income which is spent on current programmes or re-invested in proportion as may, from time to time, be decided. (At present, fifty percent of income is re-invested.)
The RCA Heritage Fund is governed and managed in accordance with Canadian Armed Forces NPP regulations and the Fund constitution. Expenditures are further guided by the RCA Family Strategy.
Fund expenditures focus on supporting Line of Operation 5 of the RCA Family Strategy – Celebrate Our Heritage.
Expenditures are also made in support of Line of Operation 3 – Nurture the Regimental Family Institution and Line of Operation 3 – Connect with Canadians
In accordance with these guidelines, expenditures currently fund the following programmes, projects and activities.
Recently Completed Projects
Statutes to the Memory of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
“His heart was with the guns” – so wrote Sir Andrew Macphail of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. McCrae’s distinguished record of service to The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, as a member of the Regiment for over 17 years, and later, as devoted surgeon to 1st Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, is a source of great pride to all Canadian Gunners. We were delighted by the outcome of our collaboration with the Royal Canadian Medical Service, the Governments of Canada and Flanders and with artist and sculptor Ruth Abernethy that saw raised, in our Nation’s Capital, adjacent to the National Artillery Memorial, and in McCrae’s hometown of Guelph, in the 100th anniversary year of the First Battle of Ypres, a fitting tribute to a Gunner, Physician and Poet whose sentiments, expressed so eloquently in the form of “In Flanders Fields”, have profoundly and enduringly shaped the practice of remembrance in Canada and abroad and which have given immortal voice to those who have, down the years, made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our values and way of life.
Gift of a McCrae Statue Maquette to the Captain General
In 2016, the Colonel Commandant was honoured by the opportunity to present to the Captain General a maquette of the John McCrae statues the Regiment erected in Ottawa and Guelph. The base of the maquette is inspired by one of the plinths which comprise the Royal Artillery Memorial in Hyde Park and is fashioned from the same stone.
Gift of a McCrae Statue Maquette to the Royal Regiment of Artillery
Our Allied Regiment, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, celebrated in 2016, the 300th anniversary of its foundation. To mark the occasion, we also presented the RA a maquette of the John McCrae Statue. Our gift was presented to the Master Gunner St James’s Park at the RA Officers’ Mess in Larkhill on St Barbara’s Day 2016.
Instructor-in-Gunnery & Assistant Instructor in Gunnery Forage Cap History
The Gunnery Staff have long been an integral component of the artillery training system. We were therefore pleased when Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) John Dick wrote, at his own expense, an illustrated history of the distinctive Instructor-in-Gunner and Assistant Instructor-in-Gunnery forage caps. The Heritage Fund purchased existing copies and the copyright to Lieutenant-Colonel Dick’s book with a view to presenting copies to each graduate of the IG and AIG course.
Battle of Vimy Ridge Commemoration
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, over 100 members of the Regimental Family (serving, retired, family members and friends) made a pilgrimage to France and Flanders where not only did they attend the centenary ceremonies at Vimy on 9 April, but also did they visit and study the battlefields of Juno Beach, Verrières Ridge, Dieppe, Ypres, and the Somme. The Heritage Fund underwrote the participation of ten junior members of the Regiment hand-picked, on the basis of merit.
Drum Major’s Sash for The RCA Band
In preparation for the RCA Band’s performance of Public Duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and other sites in London in 2017, the Heritage Fund purchased a new Drum Major’s Sash to complement the Band’s newly procured full dress uniforms.
Battle of Hill 70 Monument
Gunners were essential to the great but unsung Canadian victory at Hill 70 in August 1917. We were therefore proud to be able to contribute some $16,000 to the Hill 70 project to help ensure this chapter in the Regiment’s history is not forgotten.
Battle of Passchendaele 100th Anniversary Commemorative Salute
In November 2017, a detachment of four members of 1 RCHA travelled to Fort Seclin near Lille, France where they manned an historic 4.5-inch howitzer and joined with gunners from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Belgium in firing a 100-gun salute to mark the centenary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele on November 10th and as a tribute to the lives lost and the suffering endured by Gunners. This was a privately conceived and planned event conducted under the patronage of the Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. The Heritage Fund covered the detachment’s expenses. Like the Vimy Commemoration, this was a once in a lifetime leadership and professional development opportunity for the contingent commander and detachment members.
Italian Campaign Commemoration
On the Vimy model, the Heritage Fund underwrote the participation selected junior members of the Regiment in a pilgrimage to the Canadian battlefields in Italy from Sicily to Monte Cassino on the occasion of the campaign’s 75th anniversary.
Captain-General’s Diamond Jubilee Bursary
Five $1000 bursaries are made available annually to immediate family members of reserve component members of the Regiment.
Gunners of Canada – Volume III
Financial support to the publication by the Royal Canadian Artillery Association, on behalf of the Royal Regiment, of a third volume of “The Gunners of Canada” – the authorized history of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. A companion to Volumes I and II written by the distinguished Canadian military historian, Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, this volume will cover the period from 1967 to 2012. It will be comprehensive in scope, covering all units both Regular and Reserve and all artillery disciplines, specialties and equipments from field and air defence to locating, target acquisition and airspace control; from airborne batteries to air observation posts; and, from towed and self-propelled guns to mortars and missiles. Its content will include our contribution to commitments and operations at home and abroad as well as the evolution of artillery roles, organization, doctrine, tactics, training, equipment and ammunition. Our distinctive Gunner identity, regimental life and personalities will all be included. It will be published in English and in French.
With A Few Guns
A grant of $5000 has been provided an author to research and draft an account of the RCA’s service in Afghanistan 2006-2012. Upon completion of the draft, the Regiment will have the option of proceeding with full publication.
Support to the RCA Museum
The Heritage Fund makes an annual contribution to the RCA Museum – currently $17,000. These monies are used to hire two summer interns each year to assist with various aspects of museum operations. Not only does this programme contribute in a major way to the success of the Museum by virtue of the quality of the interns it attracts, but so too, does it help give a solid start to the working careers of some highly talented young people.
The Fund also helps the Museum to procure or refurbish artifacts. Recent examples include the procurement of an Ordnance 13-pounder 6-cwt QF Mk I Gun of the type used by the RCHA Brigade during the First World War and, the provision of custom-made wooden wheels which will help restore to running order the Museum’s 1921-22 Four Wheel Drive Auto Company Siege Artillery Tractor. The RCA Museum possesses one of the foremost collections of historical military vehicles in the country. Once restored, the Museum will include the Siege Artillery Tractor it its outreach programme as a prime mover of some of their First World War vintage guns.
Most recently, the Heritage Fund made a special contribution to the Museum to permit its acquisition at auction in London of the medal set of Major-General Thomas Bland Strange – first Commandant of A Battery and School of Gunnery and considered, “the father of the Canadian Artillery”.
Finally, the Fund is supportive of the RCA Museum’s collaboration with other museums, who because of their location or mission, also play an important role in preserving and interpreting the Regiment’s history. Current targets are Fort Henry in Kingston and Le Parc d’artillerie in Quebec City – both chosen for their connection to the establishment of A and B Batteries in 1871 and the subsequent significant presence of the Regiment in these cities. An early success was achieved on 9 July 2018 with the opening at Fort Henry of a new museum gallery and exhibit entitled “Kingston and its Gunners”. The exhibit contains more than fifty artifacts on long-term loan from the RCA Museum.
Support to the Regimental Communications Programme
The current strength of The Royal Regiment is more than 4300 all ranks serving, in two languages, in 24 regular and reserve units from Victoria to Yarmouth as well as at RHQ RCA and in extra-regimental employment positions. There is also the Band, the Museum, and many thousands of retired members plus Honoraries and Friends of the Regiment. The purpose of the Regimental Communications Programme to help keep these members of the Regimental Family up to date with regimental affairs and promote the unity of regimental thought, word and action. An integrated RCA/RCAA website (The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery), an e-newsletter (Canadian Gunner News) and an association management software package (Member 365) are key components of the Programme the costs of which are shared between the RCA Association, the RCA Regimental Fund and the RCA Heritage Fund.
Normandy Campaign Commemoration
On the Vimy model, a battlefield study for 75 Gunners (participation from all units of the RCA) on the 75th anniversary of the Normandy battles in 2019. Funding will support the participation of selected junior regular and reserve component members of the Regiment.
Point 67 Normandy Battlefield 25 Pounder Monument
The Regiment will place a 25-Pounder Gun at the Canadian Battlefields Foundation Normandy Viewing Area on Verrières Ridge (Point 67) in Normandy. The dedication of this monument gun will take place as part of our Normandy Campaign Commemoration project.
Liberation of the Netherlands Commemoration
On the Vimy model, funding will support the participation of selected ten junior regular force members of the Regiment in a tour of the Canadian battlefields in the Netherlands on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Holland in 2020.
150th Anniversary of A and B Batteries
Funding of events, in 2021, in Shilo, Kingston, Quebec City and possibly Ottawa commemorating the establishment of A and B Batteries – the first elements of Canada’s professional army. Planning is at an early stage; however, one likely aspect of this project will be the addition to the RCHA Memorial in Kingston of the names of members of RCHA regiments and batteries who died on active service in Korea and Afghanistan.