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Revealing Five Proposed Designs for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument
From: Canadian Heritage
The Canadian and international arts and design community has stepped forward with five proposals for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument. Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, along with project proponent the LGBT Purge Fund, revealed the shortlisted teams’ designs for this new national monument that will be located in downtown Ottawa.
LGBTQ2+ communities and people across Canada have until November 28, 2021, to share their thoughts on the proposed designs through an online survey. The jury will consider the survey responses as part of the process of selecting the winning design. The jury includes experts in the fields of visual arts, landscape architecture, architecture and urban design, as well as LGBT Purge survivors, representatives from key stakeholder groups and subject-matter specialists.
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 acknowledge historic discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2+ communities and the abuse perpetrated by the Canadian state, including during the LGBT Purge. While recognizing enduring injury and injustice, the LGBTQ2+ National Monument will educate, memorialize, celebrate and inspire diversity and inclusion in Canadian society. It will be guided by principles of inclusion, Indigeneity, visibility and timelessness.
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 a matter of policy and sanctioned practice, due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Over time, survivors and their allies worked hard to secure apologies, gain recognition, win compensation and change Canadian law. A ground-breaking legal settlement was reached in 2018. Canada was the first country in the world to provide substantial compensation for the harm inflicted on its own people through decades of state-sponsored discrimination.
The LGBT Purge Fund is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2018 to manage memorialization and reconciliation projects mandated by the settlement. The Fund is responsible for building an LGBTQ2+ National Monument that will “memorialize the historical discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, including with respect to the LGBT Purge.” As the project proponent, the LGBT Purge Fund is providing $8 million for the project and is working with Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission to ensure the Monument meets the objectives of the settlement agreement and embodies the vision developed with Purge survivors and Canada’s wider LGBTQ2+ community.
“I am delighted and humbled by the thoughtfulness and creativity of the five shortlisted teams’ designs. Each design offers a unique perspective on how to translate the vision of the monument into a lived, tangible commemorative experience. I hope LGBTQ2+ communities will feel that some or all of these designs express the pain the community has experienced while instilling pride and hope for the future. I would like to thank all the design teams that applied to this competition and wish them the best.”
—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“The systemic injustices that occurred from the 1950s to the 1990s in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the federal public service during the LGBT Purge should never be forgotten. While we cannot right the wrongs of the past, this monument will serve as an educational tool and a reminder that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. The five shortlisted designs show the pain endured during this dark time, but also the resilience of gender and sexually diverse communities from coast to coast to coast. We will continue to work alongside the LGBT Purge Fund and LGBTQ2 organizations across the country to build a more inclusive Canada.”
—The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“The five proposed designs for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument are inspiring, creative and powerful. The LGBT Purge Fund is grateful to the design teams for answering the challenge of realizing the vision for this monument and for creating such evocative designs that tell the story of discrimination against LGBTQ2+ communities in Canada. We are now at an exciting stage in the process where we need to hear from people across this country. We want as many people as possible to have their say on these designs and be part of the next chapter of this story.”
—Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund
- The monument site is located at the northeast side of Wellington Street near the Portage Bridge, next to the Ottawa River, close to the Judicial Precinct. The LGBT Purge Fund selected the site after consultations with LGBTQ2+ communities. The National Capital Commission approved the choice of the site in January 2020.
- The winning design is scheduled to be announced in winter 2022.
- The monument is scheduled to be completed in 2025.
- Key milestones for this project may need to be adjusted given the COVID-19 pandemic. All decisions on these matters will be made under advisement from public health authorities.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
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