Team Raff’s Arc of Memory Design Selected for the Memorial to the Victims of Communism

News Release

OTTAWA, May 17, 2017

A significant step toward the realization of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge, was taken today as Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament (Parkdale–High Park), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, unveiled the winner of the design contest. In addition, Tribute to Liberty, the charity established to create the memorial, indicated its support by announcing it has transferred the first installment of $1 million for the project.

Last fall, five designs were shortlisted, each presenting a different way of expressing the flight from oppressive regimes to the openness and democracy of Canada. In March 2017, the public was invited to have their say on the designs—results can be found here—and a jury of design professionals and content specialists provided expert input.

The Arc of Memory, a sculptural array of bronze rods configured into a gigantic arc, created by Team Raff, is intended as a dynamic living calendar that would commemorate moments of suffering and injustice that eventually resolve into reflection and gratitude.

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism will be built on a site on the west side of the Garden of the Provinces and Territories in Ottawa.


Arc of Memory is an evocative concept that has taken an abstract theme and made it personal and accessible to all Canadians. I wish to congratulate all the design teams for their commitment and vision. I would also like to thank the expert jury, who had a very difficult decision to make.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“I am confident that this design will honour the millions of Canadians who fled injustice and suffered under repressive communist regimes. This memorial will be a tribute both to those who fled and to the Canadians who welcomed them into our beautiful country.”

—Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament (Parkdale–High Park)

“Memorials are an essential part of our national landscape and serve as important gathering points for Canadian events and Canada's citizens. Canada, our home, opened its arms to generation upon generation of people from around the world that came seeking refuge from the pain and suffering inflicted by evil communist regimes. Now, through this uniquely Canadian project, we will commemorate every day, month and year of our ancestors' lives, pay homage to our fellow Canadians, and above all, pay tribute to liberty by commemorating those who provided an opportunity for a better future in the free and democratic society in which we live.”

—Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty

Quick Facts

  • The Arc of Memory features two gently curving wall-like metal frames totalling 21 metres in length and almost 4 metres in height. The walls support more than 4000 short bronze rods densely arranged along 365 steel fins, each one pointing at a unique angle of the sun, for every hour of every day, across a year.

  • The memorial would be split in the middle at winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, inviting visitors to step through in a metaphorical journey from darkness and oppression to lightness and liberty.

  • The Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

  • The Department of Canadian Heritage is developing this project on behalf of Tribute to Liberty and in partnership with the National Capital Commission.

Associated Links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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