Dr. Geoffrey Bird is an associate professor and the director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality. His research interests include heritage tourism, remembrance tourism, community development, poverty alleviation and sustainable tourism. Bird has over 25 years working in tourism, primarily in education and training development and delivery, serving in government, the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Bird has worked on three Canadian International Development Agency-funded tourism training projects in Vietnam and Malaysia. His research in war heritage involves partners such as Parks Canada, the BC Heritage Branch, Valour Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Prior to Royal Roads, Bird spent seven years with the Ministry of Advanced Education managing policy and planning for public post-secondary tourism and hospitality education. He led the international implementation of the SuperHost Programs at Tourism BC and has also operated his own heritage tour company. He also served as convenor of the Tourism Management Diploma and Degree Programs at Capilano College for six years. Bird has also been involved with consulting opportunities in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and across Canada. At the beginning of his career, he was a heritage guide at the Vimy Ridge National Memorial Site in France. Over the past few years, he has served twice as a visiting professor at Munich University of Applied Sciences and as a visiting scholar at Monash University, Melbourne. Bird has a PhD from the University of Brighton where he studied the relationship between tourism, remembrance and landscapes of war. He also holds an MSc in Training from the University of Leicester, U.K., where he studied tourism education policy and planning. His BA Honours degree in International Development is from the University of Guelph with a minor in French Literature. To access the documentary directed and produced by Geoffrey Bird, War Memories across Canada, visit the War Heritage Research Initiative website.

Recent Submissions

  • Where the Decisions were Made 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister. He led Canada for a total of twenty-one years over three terms: 1921-26, 1926-30 and 1935-48. King conducted most of his parliamentary work from his ...
  • Japanese Canadian Internment 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Mary Kitagawa was seven years old when she was detained in a livestock barn at Vancouver’s Hastings Park. She remembers the stench of the buildings when she dragged her suitcase through the barn door in April, 1942. Mary ...
  • The Great Equalizer 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Over 7300 Métis men and women who contributed to Canada’s war efforts from the First World War to the present day, are commemorated at the Métis Veterans Memorial Monument in Batoche in Saskatchewan. Specifically, during ...
  • The Longest Battle 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Built in 1940 as a convoy escort ship, HMCS Sackville is the last of a fleet of 123 Canadian corvettes. In 1985, the HMCS Sackville was restored to its original condition and docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and thus made ...
  • Coast Defence 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    During the Second World War Fort Rodd Hill in Victoria, BC became a significant point of national defence. Built by Britain’s Royal Navy in the 1890s, Fort Rodd Hill was updated in the early 1940s to defend the coast against ...
  • One Name on a Memorial 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Across Canada, lists of names are carefully carved into memorials. Russell McConnell is such a name and researching his story and those of others allows us to reveal who these men and women are, and what we might share in ...
  • Aerodrome of Democracy 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    130,000 pilots and other aircrew through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) trained in Canada during the Second World War. Because of the wide-open spaces, proximity to American technology, and that it ...
  • Mobilizing for War 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    In the late-1930s, the Lincoln and Welland Regiment of St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake consisted of part-time soldiers who trained a few days a year. By 1939, when Canada joined the Second World War, the regiment ...
  • Canadian Women’s Army Corps 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    During the Second World War, the Canadian government recognized that allowing women to serve in the military, in non-combat roles, would free men to fight overseas. The Canadian Army created the Canadian Women’s Army Corps ...
  • Machines of the Air War 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    During the Second World War, Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) created a specialized unit called Bomber Command. The RAF’s mission was to conduct nighttime air attacks on enemy targets in occupied Europe. One-third of RAF ...
  • Soldier Factory 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    On August 4, 1914 Great Britain declared war on Germany. This meant that all of the dominions of Great Britain, including Canada, were now at war with Germany. At that time, Sir Sam Hughes was Canada’s Minister of Militia ...
  • Heart of the Nation 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    On Parliament Hill, at the heart of the Peace Tower, is a sanctuary created for remembrance and reflection. The Memorial Chamber was originally designed and dedicated to the Canadians who died during the First World War. ...
  • Conclusion and Credits 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
  • Internment 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    During the First World War, Canada was part of the British Empire and fought with Britain against Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. These four countries were known as the Central Powers. The Canadian ...
  • Training Polish Soldiers 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    In 1917, more than 22,000 Polish volunteers came to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario to train for the First World War. These men were special because although most of them were Polish immigrants, they lived in the United ...
  • War Horses 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Soldiers weren’t the only ones who risked their lives on First World War battlefields. Thousands of Canadian horses also served the war effort. They transported men, hauled equipment, and towed heavy guns and ambulances. ...
  • Dominion Arsenal 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    During the First World War, thousands of Canadian men went overseas to fight. These men left their lives and jobs behind. Many Canadian women went to work to fill the jobs left by the men. For some of these women, it was ...
  • When They Marched to War 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Harry Ferguson was a Lieutenant in the 26th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. On Saturday, June 12, 1915, Harry and his fellow soldiers marched through the city of Saint John, New Brunswick. It was their send-off ...
  • Sniper from Rigolet 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    Lance Corporal John Shiwak of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment is a decorated First World War hero. He is from the remote Inuit community of Rigolet, Labrador. Shiwak’s skill as a marksman earned him the reputation as one ...
  • Chinese Labour Corps 

    Geoff Bird (War Heritage Research Initiative, 2018-02-03)
    In 1917, 80,000 men from China arrived in Canada. They were on their way to France to work as labourers. They were a secret group called The Chinese Labour Corps (CLC). The arrived in British Columbia, where they were ...

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