Team Stimson

To learn more about the Monument, please visit the National Monument to Canada's Mission in Afghanistan page.

Images of the Design Concept

Team members

  • Adrian Stimson, Visual Artist
  • MBTW Group, Landscape Architects
  • LeuWebb Projects, Public Art Coordinators

Design intent

Drawing on elements of healing from the concept of the Medicine Wheel, our design takes the form of a circular, sacred space of safety, a “home base” of reflection, memory, and contemplation. Entering through one of its four portals, you are in an interior area parallel to the safe space found within a forward operating base. This area is the sanctuary where the fallen are remembered. Corten steel walls surround and protect the space.

Inscribed on the walls of three of the quadrants is the year, names of the fallen and maple leaves, in several rows. The fourth southeast quadrant wall facing the direction of Afghanistan is dedicated to fallen Afghan Allies. In the centre, four bronze flak jackets stand draped on crosses, utilitarian yet poignant reminders of protection. Taken together, this Monument creates a powerful opportunity to honour and reflect, to seek balance and healing, for all Canadians.

Transcript of the National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan Team Stimson video

Video length: 1:31 minutes

The visual elements are photographs and 3D animation.

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “My name is Adrian Stimson, Siksika artist with a history in the Canadian Forces.”

[Text on screen: National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan Design Proposal]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “My own experience in Afghanistan informs my art and I consider this to be a meaningful evolution of that.”

[Text on screen: Adrian Stimson

MBTW Group & LeuWebb Projects]

[Aerial approach to the monument site and view of an Indigenous Medicine Wheel overlaid on the monument site. Rendering of an aerial view of the monument portals with cardinal points]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “Our circular design is drawn from the Medicine Wheel, with four portals oriented in the cardinal directions.

Each portal has two walls presenting stories from both Canadian and Afghanistan perspectives, all within a landscape of Native plantings.”

[Rendering of aerial view of monument site showing monument elements and landscape]

[Text on screen: NORTH

The Intellectual

  • Education on conflict
  • Understanding the mission]

[Rendering of a monument wall with inscriptions and interior view of the monument space]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “The north explores the intellectual aspects of war.”

[Text on screen: EAST

The Emotional

  • Stories from Canadian families
  • Afghan poems

[Close-up view of people reading inscriptions on a monument wall]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “The east, the emotional, with stories from families and Afghan poetry.”

[Text on screen: South

The Spiritual

  • Identified faiths and identities]

[Rendering of a person looking at an inscription on a monument wall]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “The south is for spiritual reflection.

[Text on screen: West

The Physical

  • Veteran quotes
  • Mental health resources]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “And the west relates to the physical. Veterans, PTSD, and mental health.”

[Photographs of Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan]

[Rendering of tall monument wall inscribed with names of the fallen]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “The interior evokes the feeling of safety within a forward operating base. Curved corten steel walls feature names of the fallen.”

[Rendering of bronze sculptural elements on a circular raised surface]

[Photographs of flak jackets worn during the Mission]

[Rendering of overhead view of raised map of Afghanistan surrounded by maple leafs]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “In the center, four bronze flak jackets stand draped on crosses. I saw these first-hand, utilitarian, and yet poignant reminders of protection. They encircle a map of Afghanistan and 13 maple leaves: one for each province and territory and the thirteen-year mission.”

[Rendering of the four monument portals with the sculptural elements on the middle]

[Photographs of Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan]

[Rendering of aerial view of monument design in different seasons]

Voice of Adrian Stimson: “Each portal is an entrance unto itself yet taken together they create a deeper opportunity to honour and reflect, to seek balance and healing for all Canadians.”

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