Winning design for the Global Affairs Canada Commemorative Artwork Revealed

News release

GATINEAU, April 25, 2022

Government of Canada employees responsible for promoting and defending Canadian interests and values abroad can face significant safety, security, and health risks. As a lasting tribute to those who have died in service to Canada, Global Affairs Canada has commissioned a commemorative artwork to recognize the dedication and sacrifices of these employees and their families, while also honouring those who have died in service to Canada.

In recognition of the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace that took place Sunday, April 24, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, today revealed that a design by Team MacLeod has been selected by the jury for the Global Affairs Canada Commemorative Artwork.

The winning artwork by Team MacLeod is a solar device. The form and alignment of the sculpture is inspired by the analemma, the figure-eight shape created by tracing the sun’s annual movement relative to a fixed point in space and time. The analemma is used throughout the project to explore the notions of the infinite related to the persistence of love and memory.

A globe-shaped void at the center of the work expresses the absence of the missing loved ones. Within this inner chamber of remembrance, the names of those who died in service at Global Affairs Canada missions abroad are aligned to the noonday sun on their date of death. A ceremonial forecourt and pathway, as well as a garden of reflection, surround the artwork and will foster a sense of connection between those who visit the artwork and those who served the Government of Canada around the world and their families.

Team MacLeod comprises Polymetis, an artist from Toronto; James B. Lennox & Associates, landscape architecture from Ottawa; and GRC Architects, also from Ottawa.

In making a final selection, the jury considered results of an online public and stakeholder survey that ran from December 2 to 16, 2021. They also received presentations from each team and considered comments from the National Capital Commission's Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and the Global Affairs Canada Fine Arts Advisory Committee, as well as experts in conservation, landscape, engineering and costing. 

Quotes

“The dedication and sacrifice of employees at Canadian missions will be reflected in this unique and evocative design. I hope it will be a source of comfort to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives while in service abroad. I congratulate Team MacLeod on this beautiful concept that aligns the names of lost loved ones with the sun. I also express my heartfelt thanks to the other three design teams for their work on this project. Each concept was honest, heartfelt and deeply appreciated.”

 —Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Government of Canada employees make great sacrifices throughout their careers to serve our country. They operate around the world, often in difficult or unstable environments, and their contribution to Canadian diplomacy is invaluable. The artwork design unveiled today will lead to a lasting tribute to honour the exceptional work of employees and the dedication of their families at Canada’s missions abroad.”

—Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“We are honoured to have been chosen to create a commemorative memorial artwork that will recognize individuals who served Global Affairs Canada abroad and died in service to their country. In this moment of global unrest, we must pay respect to those who left the familiarity of life within these borders and risked their lives overseas; and remember the many sacrifices of their loved ones. As a solemn space for quiet reflection and collective remembrance, a tribute to the persistence of love and memory, the memorial will initiate a perpetual dialogue between the names of those lost and the sun.”

—Michaela MacLeod, artist, Team MacLeod

Quick facts

  • The artwork will be built at 111 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, on the grounds of a Global Affairs Canada office building on Green Island, where the Rideau River empties into the Ottawa River. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

  • The Team MacLeod proposal was selected from designs presented by four teams that were short-listed in 2020. The jury that selected the teams and the final design includes professionals in art and design, federal employees who served in Canadian missions, and the families of those who died or were injured while serving abroad. A list of names that will be inscribed within the artwork is under development. 

  • Global Affairs Canada manages Canada’s international platform—a global network of 178 missions in 110 countries that supports the international work of the department and 37 partner departments, agencies and co-locators.

    Global Affairs Canada manages diplomatic relations, promotes international trade and provides consular support. It also leads international development, humanitarian, and peace and security assistance efforts. 

Associated links

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
laura.scaffidi@pch.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca

Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adrien.Blanchard@international.gc.ca

Media Relations
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca

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