Video: Removing the linen canvas ceiling in the House of Commons Chamber
Experts carefully remove the linen canvas ceiling from the House of Commons Chamber to protect this heritage asset during the Centre Block renovations.
Transcript of Removing the linen canvas ceiling in the House of Commons Chamber
Start of video
(Text on screen: Public Services and Procurement Canada)
[Pan inside an empty House of Commons.]
The House of Commons Chamber holds some of the most precious heritage assets found on Parliament Hill.
[Image of linen canvas ceiling.]
[Tilt from House of Commons Chamber public gallery to the linen canvas ceiling.]
One of the Chamber’s most magnificent pieces of art is the linen canvas ceiling.
[Image of Canadian Coat of Arms shield inserted in a medallion at the intersection of diagonal bands.]
[Image of Quebec Coat of Arms inserted in a medallion at the intersection of diagonal bands.]
[Image of Northwest Territories Coat of Arms inserted in a medallion at the intersection of diagonal bands.]
Created in the Gothic Revival style, the painted linen panels illustrate the Canadian, provincial and territorial coats of arms.
[Pan of linen canvas ceiling cove showcasing the turquoise-green colour and gilded honeycomb mesh.]
[Image of gold detail below the ceiling, including grotesques and gold leaf cornices.]
[Close-up of linen canvas ceiling.]
The turquoise and gilded ceiling cove was designed to enhance the Chamber’s acoustics; cork was also added to the plaster to help dampen the sound.
[Close-up of gold grotesque décor.]
[Close-up of gold owl décor.]
The decorative elements also include grotesques, which often represent protection, and owls as a symbol of wisdom.
[Pan of gold and turquoise-green details below the ceiling cove.]
[Pan from below of the linen canvas ceiling and the turquoise-green colour and gilded honeycomb mesh.]
In 1965, the panels were cleaned and repainted for Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967.
[Image of scaffolding inside the House of Commons Chamber.]
[Pan of scaffolding and worker’s table just below the linen canvas ceiling. Workers are walking in the background.]
During the fall of 2019, scaffolding was installed throughout the Chamber to provide easy access to the ceiling.
[Image of worker in protective suit and hard hat standing on a ladder. The worker is holding a hose.]
To protect the linen canvas ceiling during the renovation work, conservators needed to carefully remove it and prepare it for long-term storage.
[Image of two workers wearing protective suits and hard hats. They are carefully lowering panels of the linen canvas ceiling. Two other workers are also nearby.]
Specialized equipment was required to carefully support the ceiling panels while they were being removed.
[Image of workers rolling up a panel of the linen canvas ceiling.]
The panels were delicately rolled and covered with protective sheeting.
[Image from another angle of workers rolling up a panel of the linen canvas ceiling.]
They will be stored at the Centre Block heritage storage facility.
[Pan of linen canvas ceiling from the scaffolding. Workers are in the background talking.]
[Image of workers carefully removing another panel of the linen canvas ceiling.]
The linen panels will be examined in detail to determine how best to conserve this unique architectural feature.
[Image of workers cutting the seam between two panels of the linen canvas ceiling.]
The ongoing work within this iconic building ensures the Centre Block will continue to serve Canada and Canadians in the 21st century and beyond.
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(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)
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