Video - Commemorations in Canada’s capital


Transcript of Commemorations in Canada’s capital, an additional educational resource for The Gathering Place: An Exploration of Canada’s Capital

[Text on screen: Commemorations]

Narrator: “Hello! Bonjour! My name is Francine Lefebvre. I am in charge of commemorative monuments on federal lands in Canada’s Capital Region, Ottawa-Gatineau. My team helps create monuments to honour people, ideas and events that are important to Canadians.”

[A woman is speaking on screen in front of Women Are Persons!a monument to the Famous Five. Switch to voiceover while a series of photos is being shown on screen.]

Narrator: “Building a monument that tells a Canadian story is an exciting process that takes time. A small monument might take two years to complete, while a larger one can take more than five years! Each monument tells a different story, but they all start with the same goal – to recognize something that is important to Canadians.”

[Animals in War Dedication and Reconciliation, Peacekeeping Monument.]

Narrator: “Ideas for monuments can come from different places. The government may wish to commemorate an event, such as the First World War.”

[National War Memorial]

Narrator: “Sometimes individual Canadians or groups strongly believe that an event, a person or an idea should be recognized with a monument. They send a proposal to the Department of Canadian Heritage, describing the subject and why it’s important.”

[Women Are Persons!a monument to the Famous Five.]

Narrator: “Your city or town may be home to monuments or statues that represent something or someone important to your community.”

[Remember Flanders, a monument to John McCrae.]

Narrator: “When we create a monument in Canada’s Capital Region, we want to tell a story that is meaningful for all Canadians. For example, in 1983 a monument was created to honour Terry Fox, because his actions touched and inspired people across the country.”

[Terry Fox statue.]

Narrator: “When a person or group suggests a commemorative project, they must show how they will raise the money to pay for it. Usually, they fundraise and ask for donations.”

[Laura Secord, from the Valiants Memorial.]

Narrator: “A project like this can cost from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars to build, depending on its size. Some monuments are as big as a small building!”

[Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument.]

Narrator: “After we have approved a proposal for a new monument, we hold a visioning session. At this special meeting, we talk about the message of the monument, the story it will tell, and how the monument will make people feel.”

[Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.]

Narrator: “Next, we choose a location. We find a site that is connected to the monument’s message. For example, the Royal Canadian Navy Monument is located by the water.”

[Royal Canadian Navy Monument, by the Ottawa River.]

Narrator: “The statue of Oscar Peterson, a famous musician, is beside the National Arts Centre.”

[Oscar Peterson Statue.]

Narrator: “Then it’s time for the design phase. We usually ask teams from across Canada to compete to present proposals for the design of the monument. A design team is often made up of people with different talents working together, like historians, architects, landscape architects and artists.”

[National Aboriginal Veterans Monument.]

Narrator: “A jury of experts chooses several finalists from the submissions we receive. These finalists present their proposals to the jury. They use sketches, plans and models to show what they think the monument should look like, and why. They show how they will tell a story through their design. A monument has to be meaningful, not just beautiful. After the jury reviews the proposals, it chooses a winning team to design the monument.”

[Artist’s sketches of the Royal Canadian Navy Monument, showing the monument at night, in the fall, surrounded by trees, and in the wintertime.]

Narrator: “During the design process, the team also comes up with proposals for the area around the monument. Sometimes they choose to surround it with trees or plants that have a special meaning. For example, the landscaping of the Canadian Firefighters Memorial includes a lone pine tree, because this tree tolerates heat and is a symbol of resilience, and strength.”

[Canadian Firefighters Memorial. Image of the “lone pine”.]

Narrator: “To create the monument, the design team goes through many steps, making models of different sizes to get the design just right. Then the monument is built. Sometimes parts of it are created on the site, but often pieces are made elsewhere and then assembled on the site.”

[A “maquette” – a small model of the monument –forTriumph Through Diversity. The War of 1812 Monument, Triumph Through Diversity.]

Narrator: “Once the monument is completed, a plaque is placed on it to explain its name, who created it, and the story it tells.”

[Plaque for Remember Flanders. Plaque for the Royal Canadian Navy Monument.]

Narrator: “Finally, an event is held to officially unveil the monument and open it to everyone who wants to learn more about the people, events and ideas that are important to Canadians.”

[A woman is speaking on screen, in front of the National War Memorial.]

[Symbol of the Government of Canada]

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