|Motto||"Memoriam eorum retinebimus" (Latin) |
"We Will Remember Them"
|Formation||November 25, 1925|
|Legal status||Nonprofit Organization|
Honourary Grand President
|Thomas D. Irvine, CD|
|Affiliations||Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League|
The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit Canadian ex-service organization (veterans' organization) founded in 1925. Membership includes people who have served as military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police, Royal Canadian Air, Army and Sea Cadets, direct relatives of members and also affiliated members. Membership is now also open to the general public.
In Canada, several veterans' organizations emerged during World War I. The Great War Veterans Association, co-founded in 1917 by Lillian Bilsky Freiman, was by 1919 the largest veterans' organization in Canada. Following World War I, 15 different organizations existed to aid returning veterans in Canada. Field Marshal Earl Haig, founder of the British Empire Service League (now known as the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League), visited Canada in 1925 and urged the organizations to merge. In the same year, the Dominion Veterans Alliance was created to unite these organizations.
In November 1925, the Canadian Legion was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League. The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League was incorporated by a special act of parliament the following year. The Legion grew steadily through the 1930s and then expanded rapidly following World War II. In 1960, Elizabeth II granted The Legion royal patronage and it became The Royal Canadian Legion.
On 10 November 1975 Canada Post issued "The Royal Canadian Legion, 1925-1975" designed by Rudy Kovach. The 8¢ stamps are perforated 13 and were printed by British American Bank Note Company.
The National Headquarters of The Royal Canadian Legion in Ottawa, Ontario features a Wall of Remembrance.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 593 erected a memorial in Ottawa dedicated to those who died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.
A number of military museums are co-located and affiliated with Royal Canadian Legions.
|Herman J. Good V.C Branch No.18 Royal Canadian Legion War Museum||Bathurst Gloucester||New Brunswick||Military||information, information|
|Royal Canadian Legion Military Museum||Grand Falls-Windsor||Newfoundland and Labrador||Military||information, information, operated by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 12|
|Royal Canadian Legion Military Museum||Dartmouth Halifax Regional Municipality Metro Halifax||Nova Scotia||Military||information[permanent dead link]|
|Hall of Remembrance Military Museum||Perth Eastern||Ontario||Military||website|
|Royal Canadian Legion Branch 72 Museum||Pembroke Eastern||Ontario||Military||website, information, open by request and for special events, local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion|
|Kensington Veterans Memorial Museum||Kensington Prince||Prince Edward Island||Military||website, adjacent to the Royal Canadian Legion, includes uniforms, medals, hand weapons, flags, photographs and maps|
|Royal Canadian Legion Museum||Saskatoon West Central||Saskatchewan||Military||website, uniforms, medals and memorabilia of the Royal Canadian Legion|
|Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 Museum (Ken Snider Memorial Museum)||Midland Central||Ontario||Military||website, information, open by request and for special events, local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion|
Most small towns and villages in Canada have at least one Legion Hall. Often the Legion Hall is a major community centre, combining the functions of a pub, pool hall, dance hall, bingo hall, banquet hall, and so on.
Legion Halls are numbered, for example "Branch 99 Royal Canadian Legion". This is not a nationwide numbering system, instead each provincial Command has its own numerical sequence. "Branch 99", therefore, can refer to any of several Legion Halls, as follows: Belleville, Ontario; Cowansville, Quebec; Lipton/Dysart, Saskatchewan; Coronation, Alberta (a branch that has closed); Sicamous, British Columbia; or Emo, Ontario (in the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Command).
The Royal Canadian Legion Maple Leaf Post-84 is located in Royal Oak, Michigan.
The Poppy image is a powerful symbol and easily recognizable in Canada as being associated with loss, sacrifice and remembrance. With the formation of the Legion in 1925 the Poppy was adopted as a national symbol of remembrance and the focal point of the Poppy Campaign. In 1948 the Government of Canada chose to award the trademark copyright of the Poppy to the Royal Canadian Legion - a move made to protect the image from misuse. This trademark copyright remains in effect today restricting its usage to remembrance within Canada and under the authority of the Royal Canadian Legion.
The Legion is responsible for Canada's remembrance poppy campaign which distributes plastic lapel poppies to be worn in the lead up to Remembrance Day. The poppy is worn on the left lapel, or as close to the heart as possible. The current lapel poppy has been manufactured since 1922--originally under the sponsorship of the Department of Soldiers Civil Re-establishment. Until 1996, the poppy material was manufactured at sheltered workshops operated by Veterans Affairs Canada. Poppies are distributed through retail outlets, workplaces, Legion branches, malls and other locations across Canada. Typically, the poppies are offered up for donation as a symbol of remembrance, using an honour system, with the poppies being left in open places with a receptacle for leaving a donation toward the campaign. Funds raised are used to support ex-service members in need  and to fund medical appliances and research, home services, care facilities and numerous other purposes benefiting veterans.
Members of the Legion perform graveside memorial ceremonies for veterans at cemeteries throughout Canada. The Legion also performs ceremonies annually at the gravesites of Canadian and British servicemen interred in the United States, generally on a Sunday in May.
In 1962 the Legion began a summer sports camp at the International Peace Garden which is run to this day, and has helped to train over 48,000 school age athletes. Several sports are offered over a five-week period. The program was founded by George Phillips and Fred Taylor.
The Legion supports the Lest We Forget Project in cooperation with the Canadian War Museum.
In 2015, the Royal Canadian Legion, donated $830,000 to the BCIT School of Business to fund the Legion Military Skills Conversion Program. This program helps Canadian veterans and reservists convert their military skills and knowledge into a business credential.
The Royal Canadian Legion provides assistance to Veterans and eligible family members in Reviews and Appeals before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. The RCL and the Bureau of Pensions Advocates often work together to prepare cases and represent Veteran clients before the Board when those clients wish to appeal disability pension and award decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Membership in The Royal Canadian Legion was originally restricted to ex-service members of Canada's Armed Forces and Merchant Navy. The organization is now open to members of the general public. There are four categories of membership.
Ordinary membership is open to anyone who has served or is serving in one of the following:
Individuals who do not qualify for ordinary membership can be associate members if one of the following applies:
Commonwealth subjects who do not qualify for ordinary or associate membership are eligible for affiliate membership.
Non-Commonwealth subjects from an Allied nation who support the aims and objects of The Royal Canadian Legion can apply for affiliate non-voting membership.
The 5P Legal Services Team provides assistance for veterans completing and submitting application forms and effective representation for veterans appearing at Veterans Review and Appeal Board hearings in Ottawa and Ontario.