Upcoming projects - Public art and monuments

List of upcoming projects

2SLGBTQI+ National Monument

The 2SLGBTQI+ National Monument will memorialize historic discrimination against 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada, including during the LGBT Purge. The Purge was a prolonged and widespread campaign led by the Government of Canada to identify and expel thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the federal public service. The Purge began in the 1950s and continued until the 1990s. The Monument will reflect the profound impacts of discrimination experienced by Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ communities, as well as celebrate the achievements of those who fought for equality, educate visitors, and inspire hope and change for the future.

Canadian Heritage is facilitating the development of the Monument in partnership with the LGBT Purge Fund, the project proponent and funder of the Monument. The National Capital Commission will be responsible for the design development and construction of the Monument.

The creation of the Monument is mandated by a Federal Court of Canada order. Completion of the Monument is planned for 2025.

The site

The Monument will be prominently located at the north-east side of the intersection of Wellington Street and Portage Bridge, close to the Ottawa River. Centrally located, this site offers views of the Judicial Precinct, a balance of public visibility and space for contemplation as well as the ability to host large gatherings.

Map showing the site of the monument
Map showing a close-up of where the monument will be located.

The design

Large, white column, surrounded by people walking and sitting on low walls along the walkway.
Concept drawing of Thunderhead

Thunderhead, a design created by Team Wreford (Public City, architecture and landscape architecture, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, visual artists, Albert McLeod, Indigenous and Two-Spirited People subject-matter expert and advisor) has been selected for this monument. This design draws on the symbolism of a thunderhead cloud, which embodies the strength, activism and hope of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. It will be a lasting testimony to the courage and humanity of those who were harmed by the LGBT Purge, homophobic and transphobic laws and norms and Canada’s colonial history. Elements include a sculpture that creates the imprint of a thunderhead cloud in mirrored tile, a pathway through a landscaped park that traces the history of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada and a healing circle ringed with stones hand-picked by Two-Spirit Elders. The Monument surroundings will allow for large gatherings, performances and places for quiet reflection.

See more concept images and a video of the design.

Design competition

Teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects, and other urban design professionals were invited to submit their credentials and examples of work on similar projects as part of a Request for Qualifications that closed on January 5, 2021.

Five teams were shortlisted to develop design concepts for this monument by a jury with expertise in the fields of visual arts, landscape architecture, architecture, urban design as well as LGBT Purge survivors, representatives from key stakeholder groups, and subject-matter specialists. Members of the jury were:

  • Aaron Betsky, architect
  • Maya Desai, urban designer and planner
  • Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Grant Fahlgren, landscape architect
  • Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M., O.N.B, subject-matter expert
  • Bernard Lamarche, art historian and curator
  • Ann-Marie Macdonald, O.C., author, actor, playwright, affected community member
  • Courtnay McFarlane, visual artist, poet and curator
  • Martine Roy, Chair of the Board of Directors, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Megan Torza, architect and urban designer

LGBT Purge survivors, 2SLGBTQI+ community members, stakeholders and rightsholders and people across Canada were invited to share their thoughts on the designs by taking a survey that ran from November 15 to November 28, 2021. You can view the November survey results here.

In its evaluation, the jury considered the results of this survey along with the comments from the Monument Advisory Committee and Indigenous Circle, the National Capital Commission's Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and experts in conservation, landscape, engineering and costing. Based on the jury's selection, the LGBT Purge Fund and the Government of Canada announced that the design created by Team Wreford was selected for the Monument.

The next steps are the detailed development of the winning design followed by construction of the Monument.

Global Affairs Canada Commemorative Artwork

The Global Affairs Canada Commemorative Artwork will be a lasting tribute to employees of the Government of Canada working in Global Affairs Canada missions abroad. It will recognize the dedication and sacrifices of these individuals and their families in their service to Canada.

Canadian Heritage is facilitating the development of the commemorative artwork in partnership with Global Affairs Canada. The National Capital Commission will be responsible for design development and construction.

The site

The commemorative artwork will be located on the grounds of 111 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.

Aerial view of the site for the artwork.
Close up of the site for the artwork

The design

Concept Image – Team MacLeod

The winning design was created by Team MacLeod. It is actually a solar device: the form and alignment of the sculpture is inspired by the analemma, the figure 8 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.

Design competition and consultations

Teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects, and other urban design professionals were invited to submit their credentials and examples of prior work on similar projects as part of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that closed on January 20, 2021.

Four teams were shortlisted by the design competition jury to develop design concepts for the commemorative artwork. The design concepts were evaluated by the same jury that reviewed the RFQ submissions. The jury included experts in the fields of art and design and representatives from Global Affairs Canada and affected families:

  • Serge Belet, Senior Advisor Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at the National Gallery of Canada
  • Abbie Dann, President of the Canadian Ambassadors Alumni Association (AMBCANADA)
  • Michel Desloges, retired Canadian diplomat and representative of families of the fallen
  • Dr. Susan Fitzgerald, Architect and Assistant Professor of Architecture at Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Karen Wilson Baptist, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba

Families, stakeholders and all Canadians were invited to view the design concepts and share their thoughts in a survey that ran from December 2 to 16, 2021. You can view the December survey results here.

The jury considered the feedback from the survey along with the comments from the National Capital Commission's Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty, the Global Affairs Canada Fine Arts Advisory Committee, and experts in conservation, landscape, engineering and costing. Based on the jury's recommendation, the Government of Canada announced that the design presented by Team MacLeod has been selected for the commemorative artwork.

Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge

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.

Canadian Heritage is facilitating the development of the monument in partnership with Tribute to Liberty. The National Capital Commission will take responsibility for the construction of the Memorial.

The site

The Memorial will be built just west of the terraces of the Garden of the Provinces and Territories in Ottawa. This intimate site borders Confederation Boulevard and the Parliamentary and Judicial Precincts and is situated near key federal institutions, including Library and Archives Canada.

Aerial view with an arrow pointing to the site on the Garden of the Provinces and Territories for the Memorial.
Landscape of the Garden of the Provinces and Territories with Library and Archives building in the background.

The design

Concept drawing of "Arc of Memory"
Concept drawing of "Arc of Memory"

The winning design chosen for the Memorial to the Victims of Communism is "Arc of Memory." This concept was submitted by Team Raff, a group of architects and landscape architects based in Toronto that includes Paul Raff (artist and architect), Michael A. Ormston-Holloway (designer and certified arborist), Brett Hoornaert (landscape architectural intern) and Luke Kairys (landscape architect). "Arc of Memory" is a sculptural array of over 4,000 bronze rods intended to express the vastness of communist oppression and invite visitors to reflect on Canada as a free and welcoming country.

Design competition

In fall 2016, teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects, and other urban design professionals were invited to provide their credentials and examples of prior work.

A distinguished jury of design professionals and content specialists was assembled to evaluate the concepts for this competition. The jury was composed of five members: Alexandra Badzak (Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Art Gallery); Larry Beasley, C.M. (retired Director of Planning for the City of Vancouver); Ruth Derksen, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia); Ludwik Klimkowski, (Board Chair of Tribute to Liberty); Ted Merrick (Director of the design studio at Ferris + Associates).

A public viewing of the finalists' design concepts was held on March 2, 2017, where attendees could view the presentations, meet the design teams, and share their thoughts. Canadians from across the country were also invited to comment on the designs through an online survey that ran from March 2–10, 2017. The survey results are available here.

The jury considered this feedback along with the comments from the National Capital Commission's Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and experts in conservation, landscape, engineering and costing. Based on the jury's recommendation, the Government of Canada announced that the design presented by Team Raff has been selected for the future Memorial.

National Monument to Canada's Mission in Afghanistan

The National Monument to Canada's Mission in Afghanistan will serve as a testament to the commitment and sacrifice of Canadian Armed Forces members, police officers, public servants and civilians who served in Canada's mission in Afghanistan. The Monument will also recognize the strong support offered by Canadians at home to those who served during the mission.

Canadian Heritage is facilitating the development of the Monument in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada. The National Capital Commission will take responsibility for the development of design and construction of the Monument, with completion expected in 2024.

Please note: Key milestones for this monument may need to be adjusted given the COVID-19 pandemic. All decisions on these matters will be made under advisement from public health authorities.

The site

The Monument will be prominently located at LeBreton Flats across from the Canadian War Museum, on the east side of Booth Street, north of the National Holocaust Monument. With views of Parliament and other key federal institutions, the site will provide easy access to and high visibility to the Monument for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Aerial view of Wellington Street in Ottawa showing Parliament Hill and the Monument site
Aerial view showing Monument site area

Design competition and consultations

In January and February 2020, Veterans Affairs Canada led consultations with Veterans, affected families and other stakeholders on design considerations for the Monument. See the results of the consultations here.

Teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects, and other urban design professionals were invited to submit their credentials and examples of prior work on similar projects as part of a Request for Qualifications that closed on February 27, 2020.

Five teams were shortlisted by a jury of experts in the fields of arts and urban design and representatives from key stakeholder groups to develop design concepts for this monument. View the designs here.

Veterans, families of those who participated in the Mission, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, other stakeholders and the Canadian public were invited to participate in an online survey to share their thoughts about the finalists' design concepts. The survey ran May 20 to June 9, 2021.

The jury will consider this feedback along with the comments from the National Capital Commission's Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty and experts in conservation, landscape, engineering and costing. The winning design will be announced in fall 2021.

Members of the jury are:

  • Dr. Stephen Borys, Director and CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Virginia Burt, Landscape Architect and Principal, Virginia Burt Designs
  • Master Warrant Officer Steve Chagnon, Veteran of Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan
  • Reine Samson Dawe, representing the families of the fallen and 2019 National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother
  • Ambassador Arif Z. Lalani, Canada’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during the height of Canada’s military and civilian mission
  • Talbot Sweetapple, Architect and Partner, Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
  • Dr. Lee Windsor, Deputy Director of The Brigadier Milton Gregg VC Centre for the Study of War and Society, University of New Brunswick

Physical Tribute to Victims of Air Tragedies – Survey

Air disasters have taken the lives of too many Canadians and left countless families grieving the loss of their loved ones. In a statement delivered on January 8, 2021, the anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, the Prime Minister announced a series of commemorative initiatives to support families impacted by this and other air tragedies.

One such initiative is a physical tribute, located in Canada’s Capital Region, in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives in air tragedies. This tribute would provide a space for those affected by air tragedies to remember and honour the people who were lost. It could be a green space such as a garden, forest preserve, or gathering space; a built object or structure such as a plaque, artwork, or monument; or another tangible type of memorial such as a labyrinth or water feature.

The Government of Canada conducted a public consultation for this tribute from January 7 to February 7, 2022. The goal of the survey was to solicit feedback on the purpose and function of the commemoration, and to inform what type of physical tribute could be established. The results of the survey will be posted here in the coming months.

A statue showing three figures standing on a rock. The figures are a soldier holding hands with two children, a boy and a girl.
Silent Witness Memorial in Gander, Newfoundland
Credit: Gander Airport Historical Society
A person is outside, walking through a stone labyrinth set in a grassy lawn.
Boston College 9/11 Memorial Labyrinth in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Credit: Boston College, Office of University Communications
A large plaque sits on a stone plinth above cobblestone pavers. It is surrounded by fallen autumn leaves.
Air India Memorial plaque in Ottawa, Ontario

Residential Schools National Monument

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action #81 calls “upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools National Monument in the City of Ottawa to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.”

On August 10, 2021, the Government of Canada announced $20 million had been set aside to build the national monument.

Establishing a Vision for the Monument

A National Survivor Consultation Workshop was held on October 22, 2019. The Survivor-led visioning process was organized and facilitated by former TRC Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage. The workshop brought together First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representatives, and included perspectives from every region of Canada. Participants included members of the TRC Survivors Advisory Committee, Intergenerational Survivors, TRC Honorary Witnesses and representation from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Survivor-led Steering Committee

At the end April 2022 a Survivor-led Steering Committee was established to oversee the monument project through to its completion. It will oversee the implementation of the guiding vision established by the 2019 Workshop, ensuring the project remains grounded in Indigenous values. The 16-member Committee will also provide advice and guidance on such matters as site selection, the design competition process, and the development of educational content and programming.

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