Welcome to Exercise Canadian Invasion!

Exercise Canadian Invasion is a series of not-for-profit international tours organized for youth members of the Canadian Cadet Organizations. Each ECI tour is lead by select Canadian Armed Forces Reservists and Civilian Instructors who volunteer their personal time to do so. ECI tours are primarily conducted in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, with a focus on learning about Canada’s contributions and sacrifices during the First and Second World Wars.

Participants will visit Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries, locations of Canadian military significance such as the Canadian National Memorial Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, Dieppe and Juno Beach. ECI tours are considered ‘optional training’ in the Cadet programme and as such are not funded by the Department of National Defense. As such, all participants cover the costs of the tour, hopefully with financial assistance through fundraising and community spirited corporate donations.

We do everything we can to keep the tour affordable to participants, from staying in military accommodations and student hostels, to hiring our own coach transportation directly and book economy air travel. The experience isn’t on the cheap though! Our participants experience many adventures on our tours, starting with a 12 month course of study, complete a 1,500 word essay, and sit two interview boards to qualify. And this is on top of the required eligibility requirements that tour applicants must meet.

During the tour, participants will lay wreaths at CWG Cemeteries, memorials and cenotaphs. We also visit battlefields, walk through the trenches and underground bunkers. We also visit museums, both military and cultural, and tour the communities, exploring the streets and shops, enjoy wonderful meals – and do a little shopping along the way! Exercise Canadian Invasion tours can be the experience of a life time for youth participants. Follow us here and visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/exercisecanadianinvasion to follow us and view previous tours.

About Exercise Canadian Invasion

Welcome to the website of Exercise Canadian Invasion!  

First, it is important for you to know that this is not a business enterprise, and the people who organize these adventures do so as volunteers, supporting various Squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, a national youth programme sponsored by the Department of National Defence.  

The activities are not part of the regular Cadet training programme, it is an optional activity for which the Cadet and staff participants pay to attend.  Whilst there are fundraising activities to support these initiatives, there is no cost to the Canadian taxpayer.  

ECI has been creating international educational, cultural and citizenship tours for Cadets since 2007, conducting the first tour in 2008 to the United Kingdom and France.  The tours are held over the annual March Break period, thus allowing the Cadet participants to enjoy up to ten days of interesting travel.  

Our focus is to excite the Cadet’s desire to learn about the sacrifices of Canadians over the last century.  Duty, sacrifice and honour is the corner stone of ECI tours, ensuring that the Cadet spends time walking the same ground that so many Canadians staged, fought and bled on.  For example, in the UK, we visit staging points, museums and other locations of historical significance to Canada.  In France, Belgium and beyond, we visit Commonwealth and Canadian War Graves, paying tribute, commemorating and remembering. 

You will also see that some of the ECI team provided support to our nation’s veterans during commemoratory return visits.  Like conventional ECI tours, the ECI team volunteered to do this without any form of compensation.

Our youth are the future.  To ensure that they can understand the challenges ahead of them, we feel that they also need to understand the challenges of the past, and in many cases the sacrifices that their forefathers paid for the freedom which they enjoy today.  

Please take a look at the various ECI series, view the photos, read the blogs, and feel free to share this website with family and friends. 

Thank you for visiting Exercise Canadian Invasion, enjoy your visit.