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October marks Latin American Heritage Month, a time to highlight the many contributions of the Latin American community in Canada. For the Defence Team, it’s also a time to honour our Veterans and to learn from our comrades and colleagues. This year, the host nation for Latin American Heritage Month is Argentina.

Did you know?

Members of the Latin American community served in the First and Second World Wars, and many came voluntarily to Canada to enlist in the Canadian military. For most, Spanish was their first language, which wasn’t widely spoken in Canada at the time. Their ability to share their culture, while adapting to life in Canada’s military, was remarkable.

Latin Americans in Canada

Many Canadians of Latin American descent arrived here in the late 20th century. Those who maintain their culture today self-identify as Latin American, though their ancestors may have originated from other continents. In the 2021 Census, just over half a million people (580,000) reported being Latin American. There are also Indigenous Peoples who identify as Latin Americans.

Events, services and ceremonies

Every year, the Latin American Heritage Month planning committee – which includes Department of National Defence employees, Canadian Armed Forces members and others from the community – coordinates and participates in local and national events to mark the month and honour our Veterans.

Here are some upcoming events you may participate in and attend:

Toronto – Latin Fall Fiesta and Parade 2023

The parade assembly area will be at the intersection of Bloor and St. George streets. The parade route is from Bloor St. to Yonge St., and then on Yonge St. to Dundas Square, where everyone is invited to celebrate a phenomenal Latin Fiesta with music, dance, handcrafts, food and Latin American traditions.

Fiesta: September 30 and October 1, at Dundas Square

Parade: October 1, 11:00 am, at the intersection of Bloor St and Yonge St.

Military members will lead the parade: if you would like to participate, email

For information, visit the Hispanic Canadian Heritage Council’s website

Ottawa – Field of Sacrifice, a photographic exhibitions

The photography exhibit Field of Sacrifice, honouring Latin American soldiers in World Wars, will be displayed in the National Capital Region.

October 3 to 13: Building 5, Carling Campus, 60 Moodie Drive

October 17 to 27: Concourse area, Pearkes Building, 101 Colonel By Drive

Ottawa – Annual Remembrance Ceremony for the Latin-American Community in Canada

Hosted by the National Military Cemetery, the contributions of Latin Americans to the defence of Canada dating back to the First World War will be honoured.

October 15 at 10:45 am at the Cross of Sacrifice of the Veterans Section, National Military Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Avenue

To attend this ceremony, please register your name on the event page on Veterans Affairs’ website.

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