Commissionaire Nick Dunning Ensures Veterans Won’t Be Forgotten

Even for busy Commissionaires, there is always time to take up a hobby.

Deciding to forgo stamp-collecting and knitting, Nick Dunning creates incredibly lifelike and historically accurate depictions of military battle scenes to honour Canada’s veterans.

Nick’s passion and hobby is fitting. His father spent time with the Royal Canadian Air Force and his mother mastered the fine art of copper-working in India.

But when it comes to his inspiration, Nick finds motivation through his appreciation for Canadian military efforts.

“It’s speaking to veterans,” said Dunning. “That’s the only way to get a real, visceral image.”

Nick spends over 100 hours on each project, and currently has four in progress. He donates his pieces to museums across the globe and has recently been asked to create a piece to honour the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. His goal is to complete these projects by summer so he can spend it with his wife the way they always do.

Each summer, Nick and his wife travel to different senior homes with his dioramas to give back to the military community.

“A lot of veteran voices are being lost,” said Dunning. “Nobody is approaching the men and women who so bravely represented our country on the world stage.”

Nick implores all his colleagues and friends to show their support and gratitude. “When you see a veteran, always shake their hand and say thank you,” says Dunning.

He feels that veterans are suffering in silence, and is moved when he can share his passion with them over the course of the summer.

One day, Nick dreams of taking the time to travel to Europe to visit the pieces he has donated to museums.

Until then, Nick will spend many more hours in “the bunker”—a term he uses to affectionately refer to his workspace—this spring. “We’re losing a lot of veterans and their stories,” he said.

“Continuing with my passion is my way of saying thanks to Canada’s veterans and I am glad I can help tell their story.”

Be sure to watch this video of Nick and his amazing work from Global News.