Construction Phase to Begin for the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge

From: Canadian Heritage

Construction Phase to Begin for the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge

News release

OTTAWA, November 8, 2018

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge came another step closer to completion today with a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the memorial on the west side of the Garden of Provinces and Territories at the corner of Wellington and Bay streets in Ottawa.

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, was joined by Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty, and other dignitaries to mark the beginning of the construction phase of the project, which recognizes Canada’s international role as a place of refuge for people fleeing injustice and persecution, and honours the millions who suffered under communist regimes., The event will also remember the fall of the Berlin wall, which is being marked tomorrow, November 9.

Throughout fall 2018 and winter 2019, the project will move forward by completing plans and securing the permits and approvals required for site remediation, constructing the base for the memorial, and landscaping. In addition, Paul Raff Studio will begin preparations for the construction of the “Arc of Memory,” the main sculptural piece of the memorial. The memorial is scheduled to be inaugurated in fall 2019.

“The Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge seeks to honour and remember those who have fled and suffered under communist regimes. We break ground today for this monument as we reflect on the fact that tomorrow, November 9, we will mark the fall of the Berlin Wall—one of the most notorious symbols of the Cold War. Next year, when the Memorial to the Victims of Communism rises on this spot, we will cherish and remember the many families that were torn apart by this world event, and the role Canada played providing refuge.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“As we gather today on the eve of the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we pay tribute to all victims of communism. We make a solemn promise to preserve the stories of all who reached Canada’s shores and remember those who never made it. This Memorial will be a lasting reminder that the freedom and dignity of life that we enjoy in Canada is never a given, and must be fought for and cherished.”

—Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty

Quick facts

  • “Arc of Memory” is a sculptural array of over 4,000 bronze rods configured into a sweeping arc.

  • The design team is led by Paul Raff, artist and architect, and includes Michael A. Ormston Holloway, designer and certified arborist; Brett Hoornaert, landscape architect; and Luke Kairys, landscape architect.

  • The Department of Canadian Heritage facilitates the development of new commemorative monuments of national significance on federal lands in Canada’s Capital Region. Canadian Heritage is working with Tribute to Liberty, the project proponent, and the National Capital Commission on the development and construction of the Memorial.

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