Skip to main content

The mailer sent out by the Canadian War Museum featured a photo of an American soldier.Handout

The Canadian War Museum has apologized after issuing a fundraising appeal that included a photo of an American soldier.

The appeal, issued two weeks before Remembrance Day, was sent out with a letter to 150,000 households across the country aimed at raising money for the museum. The envelope contained a picture of a soldier in fatigues and helmet, his head bowed.

But Sylvie Madely, a spokeswoman for the war museum, said the museum was alerted to the fact that the helmet was one worn by American soldiers, not Canadian ones.

Ms. Madely said repeatedly the museum regretted the mistake. She explained that her staff were looking for stock photos of Canadian soldiers online, and that photo of the American soldier came up.

“So they assumed that it was a legitimate Canadian soldier,” she said.

“And what should have happened before we went to production was to actually have somebody [with expertise] from the war museum just review it, to be sure. And that wasn’t done, unfortunately.”

Ms. Madely said the museum hasn’t received a complaint. Instead a staffer at the war museum called her Tuesday morning and advised her of the error.

She said the American helmets are much rounder and deeper than the ones worn by Canadian soldiers.

Ms. Madely noted although the museum apologized in a statement hours after it found out the mistake, many people have received the letter and some have started to donate. “It was already too late.”

She added the museum has been holding this fundraising event for about 20 years and never encountered the same issue.

E-mails to several Royal Canadian Legion branches in B.C. for comment were not returned.