Lisgar Collegiate students perform special video tribute for Remembrance Day

OTTAWA — High school students from Lisgar Collegiate Institute, along with their teacher, who belong to a flute ensemble, took part in a special video tribute to commemorate the fallen soldiers who walked through the same halls and lived on the same streets, where they are growing up.

Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa has a long history. It opened in 1843.

Each year, the high school marks Remembrance Day with ceremonies, field trips to the cenotaph and live music performances in the auditorium. Events that could not proceed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Support and music teacher Lani Sommers, who heads up the flute ensemble, decided to create a video tribute for soldiers.

Eleven students were involved says Sommers, who is running the extracurricular program via video conferencing.

The students assembled and recorded their part, which Sommers edited together.

Lisgar has a hall, with the names of students that went to war, some who did not return.

Part of the tribute includes photos of students, like Isla Rennison, who took pictures and played music in front of the homes where these soldiers once lived.

“I went in front of the house of a soldier who is a Avro Lancaster bomber who died doing a top-secret mission,” says Rennison, a grade 10 student. “Being in front of that house really resonated with me because I know what it takes to be a pilot and I know that it takes such determination and to willingly give up your life for something like that really really means a lot.”

Rennison is an Air Cadet and both her parents are military fighter pilots. 

Claire Wang, who is in grade nine and also an Air Cadet, would normally be taking part in the Remembrance Day events in Navan, ON., events that are now online. Last year Wang was the guard for the Canadian flag.

“It was a very good way to honour the people who sacrificed their lives to make the country that we’re living in today,” says Wang, who took photos in front of soldier’s homes in uniform. “I was standing in front of their house holding this giant Canadian flag and I was thinking about how normal these people were before the war.”

For Grade 12 student, Annie Saint, she was surprised at how many soldiers lived nearby.

“I wanted to do something and take part in something that would be really special and that would be able to commemorate soldiers,” says Saint. “It really resonated with me that someone who lives in my neighbourhood and who went to my school fight for a country and died fighting for our country.”

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