National LGBTQ2+ monument design unveiled

National LGBTQ2+ monument design unveiled

Canada News Wire

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 24, 2022

The LGBTQ2+ National Monument will be a visible landmark in Ottawa commemorating the history of discrimination faced by generations of LGBTQ2+ people Canada

OTTAWA (ON), March 24, 2022 /CNW/ – A bold and dynamic design has been chosen for the national LGBTQ2+ monument to be built downtown Ottawa. Today, the Honorable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honorable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, as well as the project sponsor, the LGBT Purge Fund, unveiled “Thunderhead” as the winning concept.

This design is inspired by the symbolism of a thundercloud, which embodies the strength, activism and hope of LGBTQ2+ communities. It will be a lasting testament to the courage and humanity of those who have been wronged by the LGBT purge, homophobic and transphobic laws and norms, and from Canada colonial history. Elements include a sculpture that creates the imprint of a thundercloud in a mirror tile, a pathway through a landscaped park that traces the history of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada and a healing circle surrounded by stones hand-picked by Two-Spirit Elders. The area around the monument will allow for large gatherings, performances and places for quiet reflection.

“Thunderhead” was designed by a team based in Winnipeg including Liz Wreford, Pierre Sampson and Taylor LaRocque of Public City; visual artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan; and Albert McLeodsubject matter expert and advisor for Indigenous and Two-Spirit people.

The winning design was selected by a judging panel who evaluated the five finalist designs against the criteria identified in the RFP. As part of its deliberations, the jury also considered the results of an online survey open to stakeholders and the public, as well as feedback received from participants in the Monument’s Indigenous Circle and the Monument’s Advisory Committee, which includes LGBT Purge survivors and affected community members.

The jury included experts in the fields of landscape architecture, visual arts, architecture and urban design, as well as survivors of the LGBT purge, representatives of key stakeholder groups and subject matter experts .


“Congratulations to the team for their inclusive, innovative and thoughtful design. The concept truly expresses the monument’s goals to educate, commemorate, celebrate and inspire, and provides a safe space for celebration and reflection. This monument will be the first of its kind It will forever serve as a testament to the strength, courage and determination of the LGBTQ2+ community in Canada.”

—The Honorable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Congratulations Team Wreford! I am moved by the stories that inspired your design and look forward to the ceremonies and commemorations that will fill the space. Your design embodies resilience, truth and hope to a A pivotal time in our history. As your “Thunderhead” design demonstrates, we recognize the wrongs of the past and are committed to building a better future. This monument is an important step towards honoring the survivors and building an environment inclusive Canada who stands with LGBTQ2 communities from coast to coast. »

—The Honorable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“We are thrilled with the powerful, captivating and extraordinary design that the Wreford team has come up with. Their design concept not only embraces the vision of this landmark, but it is a beautiful and important landmark for the LGBTQ2+ community. both a beacon of inspiration and a reminder of the pain of discrimination. We already dream of the day when the monument will be open to all to visit and experience. We are also grateful for the passionate and bold designs proposed by the other four design teams, and we feel honored by their impressive contributions.”

—Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund

“We are both proud and honored to have been chosen to create this monument to the resilience of the LGBTQ2+ community. We look forward to continuing to work with our amazing team and community stakeholders in the design of the Thunderhead Disco Ball. This monument will be a symbol of celebration and a space for reflection, healing, activism and performance for generations to come.”

—Liz Wreford, Principal Landscape Architect at Public City

Fast facts

The LGBT Purge Fund is a non-profit corporation established in 2018 to manage commemoration and reconciliation projects mandated by the terms of the LGBT Purge class action settlement. The Fund is responsible for the construction of a national LGBTQ2+ monument that “will commemorate the historic discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canadaincluding in regards to the LGBT Purge. » As the promoter of the project, the LGBT Purge Fund provides a minimum of $8 million for the project and is working with Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission to ensure that the monument meets the objectives of the settlement agreement and embodies the vision developed with Purge survivors and from Canada wider LGBTQ2+ community.

The LGBTQ2+ National Monument will tell the story of generations of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada who have been persecuted, abused, dismissed and marginalized because of who they love and how they identify. It will recognize the historic discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2+ communities and the abuses perpetrated by the Canadian state, including during the LGBT Purge. While acknowledging the ongoing hurts and injustices, the National LGBTQ2+ Monument will educate, commemorate, celebrate and inspire diversity and inclusion in Canadian society. It will be guided by the principles of inclusion, autochthony, visibility and timelessness.

The monument will be located on the northeast side of Wellington Street, next to the Ottawa River, near the Judiciary Precinct. The LGBT Purge Fund selected the site after consultation with LGBTQ2+ communities. The National Capital Commission approved the site selection in January 2020.

The LGBT purge refers to the period when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian federal public service were systematically discriminated against, harassed and often fired as sanctioned policy and practice. , because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Over time, survivors and their allies have worked hard to gain apologies, gain recognition, obtain compensation, and change Canadian law. A groundbreaking legal agreement was reached in 2018. Canada was the first country in the world to award substantial compensation for harm inflicted on its own people over decades of state-sponsored discrimination.

The next steps are the development of the detailed design of the winning concept followed by the construction of the monument. It should be finished in 2025.

The milestones of this project may need to be adjusted given the COVID-19 pandemic. All decisions on these matters will be made after advice from public health authorities.

Related links

Survey results

Upcoming projects: The LGBTQ2+ National Monument

LGBT Purge Fund on the National LGBTQ2+ Monument

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

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