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Gearing Up For Canada's Centennial Celebrations at AirVenture

AirVenture 2009

Epervier project

Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth

Canada’s Centennial celebrations at Oshkosh are taking shape, and excitement is beginning to build. So let’s take a look at the ‘item’ lists, and what we can look forward to:

A significant part of AeroShell Square - the central showcase ramp of AirVenture - has been allocated for a special showcase of the very best of Canadian aviation, old and new. The plan is to bring together a mix of stunning warbird aircraft; new innovations like the inspirational Epervier project; and Canadian classics such as the Beaver, Chipmunk, and Tiger Moth.

We’re also hoping to see a good representation of Canadian aircraft at the various aircraft venues around the grounds: homebuilt, vintage and classic, aerobatics, warbirds, ultra-lights, etc. EAA is planning to provide a special Red Maple Leaf prop card to identify Canadian aircraft on site.

The list of participating aircraft is still being developed but already it looks like Canadian Warplane Heritage will be at Oshkosh in some force with their Lancaster, Lysander, PBY, and B-25. Discussions with Michael Potter’s Gatineau collection about bringing several of their stunning warbirds are also at an advanced stage.

Unfortunately the Oshkosh display box is no longer large enough to permit a display from the Snowbirds. However, we are in active discussions with the RCAF about their participation in some other way.

At the conclusion of John Lovelace’s continent-spanning Century Flight on July 28, several members of the group, including John, are planning to fly down to Oshkosh. We hope to welcome the group sometime around Thursday July 30.

Several of the participating aircraft will fly at one time or another during the week, and flying the flag for Canada in the afternoon air shows will be former Snowbirds pilot Bud Granley and his son Ross, with their exciting dual Yak display.

Overall, it looks like this is likely to be a “banner year” for the participation of interesting Canadian aircraft at Oshkosh.

International Visitors Tent
The International Visitors Tent serves as a meeting and contact place for visitors from around the world. In 2009 we are encouraging all Canadian visitors to visit the tent, which will serve as our “hub” of Canadian activities. A special Canadian welcome pack will be available, containing free giveaways and registration details for all special activities. For example, we are hoping to have a special Canadian evening event in the wonderful EAA Museum, to include a performance of the popular stage act Billy Bishop Goes to War.

The International Visitors Tent is conveniently located at the base of the large new Oshkosh ATC tower (relocated in 2009 as part of the new site layout).

International Parade and Canadian Group Photograph
The International Visitors Tent is also the staging point for the annual International Parade, which takes place on Friday, July 31. We are hoping for maximum Canadian participation in the parade, to be immediately followed by a Canadian group photograph taken by the EAA photo team on AeroShell Square. Make sure you are there, and register for your own copy of this giant assembly!

Speakers and Special Presentation Forums, Workshops
Throughout the week, topics of interests to mark our Centennial will be presented at the various theaters, forums, and workshops around the grounds.

The schedules are still being created, but one known highlight will feature Ann Cooper, who has studied and written extensively about the first powered flight in Canada by the Aerial Experiment Association. Ann will speak to us, and have autographed copies of her book Stars of the Sky, Legends All available.

Your ideas?
It’s not too late to develop other ways to celebrate the centennial of Canadian aviation. Do you have a forum presentation to give, or an idea for how to enhance the activities? We are trying to think of some article of wear; a T-shirt, hat, pin, ribbon, etc. that will clearly distinguish the Canadians in the crowd. Any ideas? Let us know at cgyrv@yahoo.com.

A final thought…
To make this AirVenture stand out as a Canadian celebration, volunteers will be needed. Sign up at a ‘Volunteers needed’ kiosk, or ask where you can be of help. You will get more fun and joy out of it then you may expect. Every Oshkosh volunteer will tell you that their enjoyment of AirVenture means so much because of the friends made when they volunteer and work in an area specific to their interests.

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