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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Poppy Project returns to Old Town starting Nov. 1
Janet Guy, Ann Lorenc and Hilary Bellis stitched poppies together Wednesday morning as part of the museum’s poppy brigade. JULIA SACCO

A project that begin three years ago to honour soldiers who have fought on behalf of Canada around the world has now grown to amass over 6,000 poppies in a handmade collection of decorations.

The results of this endeavour, called the Poppy Project, will be on display in three locations around Niagara-on-the-Lake this November as part of Remembrance Day commemorations.

A team of more than 40 volunteers works together every year to knit, crochet and sew thousands of poppies together into multiple cascading nets of poppies each 14 feet long, and dozens of poppy wreaths.

The project is spearheaded by the NOTL Museum, where one of the nets will be on display this November – along with other displays at the old Court House on Queen Street and at the Royal Canadian Legion branch 124.

This fall, the volunteer team – nicknamed the Poppy Brigade – worked together for eight weeks to complete the project and get ready for the installation.

“Our amazing volunteers created more than 2,000 poppies again this year,” said Barbara Worthy, the project’s co-ordinator. This brings the total to 6,000 this year.

“And, the wreath ladies once again braved poison ivy and rose thorns to harvest and dry even more grape vines for the dozens of wreaths,” she said in a news release.

The poppy nets will be hung on Tuesday, Nov. 1, weather permitting, starting at the Court House, then moving to the museum and then the Legion. The museum invites the public to come and watch.

The Poppy Project was created to complement the annual Legion poppy fundraising campaign.

“I have been a volunteer on this project since it began,” said Dee Steele.

“For me, this is how I can honour those men and women who fought for our freedom. This is my way of giving back. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten.”

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