An Indigenous blessing is conferred on the downtown Ottawa site where the "Arc of Memory" will be built.
OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2017 /CNW/ - In a moving ceremony that included an Indigenous blessing and the presentation of a plant that will be incorporated into the landscape, the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge came another step closer to realization today.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), joined Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty to dedicate the Memorial site, which is on the west side of the Garden of Provinces and Territories in Ottawa.
During the ceremony, a young person presented a plant to the dignitaries that symbolized the communities that fled oppression and were able to take root and flourish in Canada. This poignant image—a living plant presented in autumn—represents hope for the future.
Construction will begin in 2018, with the Memorial scheduled to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019.
The Department of Canadian Heritage facilitates the development of new commemorative monuments of national significance on federal land in Canada's Capital Region. The Department works with Tribute to Liberty, the charity raising funds for the Memorial, as well as the National Capital Commission, which is implicated in the development, implementation and day-to-day management of the Memorial.
"I am pleased that the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada a Land of Refuge is one step closer to becoming a reality with today's site dedication ceremony. This Memorial will be an evocative tribute to those who fled repressive regimes and made their lives in Canada. I thank Tribute to Liberty and all the communities for their support and vision."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"As one of the 8 million Canadians whose families have experienced the travesties of communism, it is a great honour to be part of this site dedication. The Memorial to the Victims of Communism will honour the victims and those survivors who chose Canada, a country that offers the basic rights of peace, democracy and most importantly, freedom, as their home. The individual stories attached to the Memorial will be shared with all Canadians and hold a permanent place in Canada's conscience in remembrance of those who suffered in oppressive states. We thank the Honourable Mélanie Joly, the federal government and our generous donors for making this dream a reality."
—Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty
The Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge will recognize Canada's international role as a place of refuge for people fleeing injustice and persecution and honour the millions who suffered under communist regimes.
The design of the Memorial, titled the "Arc of Memory," is a sculptural array of over 4,000 bronze rods configured into a sweeping arc. Created by Team Raff, it will commemorate the many moments of suffering and injustice and invite visitors to reflect on Canada as a free and welcoming country.
The design team is led by Paul Raff, artist and architect, and includes Michael A. Ormston Holloway, designer and certified arborist; Brett Hoornaert, landscape architect; and Luke Kairys, landscape architect.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only): Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]