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The Gregg Centre

Study tours

Battlefields, ruins, and monuments from Canada's wars at home and across Europe are the classroom for our War and Society Study Tour Program.

Our belief is that we cannot understand the war and its impact on local society without visiting the particular sites associated with the battles. Geography, after all, shapes how towns and cities are built and it also shapes how commanders approach battle. Thus, all of our study tours consider both the military aspect of the campaign and its impact on the local social, cultural, and geography of the area.

Our faculty have been running tours for more than two decades, and collectively we have more than 70 years of experience running tours locally and abroad. The Gregg Centre and partner institutions run a range of study tour programs for students, the general public, Canadian Forces members and high school history teachers. Contact to see how you can become involved or support student participation in our tours.


Established in 1992, the Canadian Battlefields Foundation undertakes programs to commemorate and promote public awareness of Canada's role in the Second World War. As part of its mandate to raise awareness, the CBF has established battlefield viewing sites in Normandy and sponsors annual undergraduate study tours of Europe. The foundation sends twelve students on study tours of Europe each year.

The Gregg Centre is a partner organization to the CBF and sends both staff and students to participate on Foundation study tours.

The Gregg Centre has sponsored undergraduate students to attend the Canadian Centre for Diversity's March of Remembrance and Hope (MRH). This study tour enables students to explore first-hand one of the most tragic and important events in history. The MRH Canada is a weeklong study and leadership mission in Germany and Poland. Its goal is to educate students from all backgrounds about the horrors of antisemitism and racism, and to teach them about the consequences of hatred, bigotry and prejudice.

In addition to the study tour programs listed above, staff of The Gregg Centre also act as guides and historical expertise for other battlefield study tour organizations.

The Operation Husky: Sicily 1943 Can/Am staff ride was designed in 2006 for civilian graduate students and officers in the Canadian and American armies. The unique education and professional development exercise is conducted semi-annually on location in Sicily and Italy. The objective of the tour is to bring together civilian graduate-level students and military officers from Canada and the United States with the aim of exposing participants to distinct national approaches of war that are both complementary and conflicting. The combination of civilian and military students allows for the interchange of academic and professional perspectives on the application of policy on the battlefield.

The topic and location are ideal to study multi-national, coalition, joint-service warfare in a remote theatre where rugged terrain, extreme climatic conditions and limited infrastructure joined forces with a skillful German opponent. Participants are introduced to the challenge of coordinating military operations with diplomatic efforts to negotiate Italy’s surrender and Allied Military Government operations to deliver aid, reconstruct basic services and maintain public order behind the front. This tour is run on location in Sicily to illustrate how the physical space shaped planning, decision-making, and outcomes.

For more information, contact Cindy Brown at

Developed as part of the University of New Brunswick's Intersession in Rome program, The Second World War in Italy is taught on location throughout Italy at important Canadian battlefield sites as well as points of interest for Italy's Second World War. Although the course is geared towards the undergraduate level, the general public can take the course as an audit.

Taught on location throughout Italy, the course truly explores the war and society problem by studying the Canadian army and other coalition forces in Italy but also the Italian social situation in Italy from the rise and fall of fascism to the brutal civil war of 1943 to 1945. Lasting reminders of Italy's brutal, but little-known, civil war are evident throughout its cities and countryside. In addition, Italy's unique geography made Second World War battles there especially difficult. Thus, the wartime legacy and Italian terrain provide students with an ideal classroom and subject for studying the war in Italy.

The Second World War in Italy is taught every other year and is available next in May 2024.

The Gregg Centre has been involved in the delivery of a teachers' professional development study tour in France and Flanders since 2007. This unique opportunity for teachers is held annually in July.

Since 2007, the tour has brought hundreds of high school teachers from across the country to important Canadian sites such as Vimy, Ypres, Passchendaele, Dieppe and the landing beaches in Normandy to hear the latest research on the wars by professional historians and also discuss the latest pedagogical thinking at the elementary, middle and high school levels. For more on our philosophy related to the latest in scholarly research and the latest in history education, please see the article written by tour leaders Blake Seward, Cindy Brown, Alan Sears, and Lee Windsor: Crossing Boundaries on the Battlefield: The Possibilities of Teacher Study Tours for Substantial Professional Learning.

Between 2012-2014, with the support of John and Pattie Cleghorn, this tour evolved into the Cleghorn War and Memory Study Tour of France and Belgium to include BEd and MEd candidates, who can participate for credit towards their Education degrees. Within that time frame, the name changed to War and the Canadian Experience: A Teachers' Professional Development Tour of France and Flanders to better reflect our program and pedagogy. If you would like to find out how you can be sponsored on this tour, or would like to be a sponsor, contact

The objective of the program is threefold: to introduce teachers to the latest and greatest research on the topic of the First World War and Second World War on the ground in France and Belgium, to allow them to focus on how they can integrate the new research into their classrooms, and to discuss with other teachers and prospective teachers across Canada how they can enhance their own teaching. Pedagogically and methodologically, the program is delivered to suit theories of historical consciousness as developed by Peter Seixas and others.

The program, formerly sponsored by Veterans’ Affairs Canada and by Historica (2006-2008) and then Historica-Dominion Institute (2009-2011), has been a huge success and has inspired many of its former participants to initiate their own study tours for their students. More importantly, however, nearly all of the former participants have reported that the program has drastically re-invigorated their career and has provided more options for the classroom and enhanced relationships between school and community.

In 2015, thanks to a generous donation of $125,000 from John and Lucinda Flemer, the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society has applied the successful model from the War and the Canadian Experience in France and Flanders tour to a tour in the Netherlands.

In addition to considering the latest in scholarly research and the latest in pedagogical thinking, the tour, which will run in 2015, 2017, and 2019, will consider the special relationship that formed between the Netherlands and Canada which began during the war.

The tour will consider the Scheldt offensive, the Canadian assault on Walcheren Island, Operation Market Garden at Arnhem, Nijmegen, Canada's 1944-45 winter front, Canada's forgotten Battle for the Rhineland across the German border in Feb-March 1945, the battle for the urban centre of Apeldoorn, and Groningen and the Canadian effort to liberate the Northeast of the Netherlands in the last days of the war. In addition, the program will consider the Holocaust, the resistance in the Netherlands, the Canadian humanitarian aid effort, civilian reconstruction after the war, among other themes. Finally, tour participants will be required to deliver soldier biographies at the gravesite of the fallen and lead a daily seminar on pedagogical questions.

Bursaries of $2,000 each will be awarded to successful applicants to cover costs of the tour.