Ottawa

Here are the 5 candidates for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument in Ottawa

The federal government wants to know what Canadians think about five potential designs for a new monument in Ottawa to honour victims of its LGBTQ2+ purge.

Feds taking feedback until Nov. 28, monument expected to be done in 2025

A new national monument follows a federal settlement for its LGBT purge. The goal is to have it finished in 2025. (CBC)

The federal government wants to know what Canadians think about five potential designs for a new monument in Ottawa to honour victims of its LGBTQ2+ purge.

The LGBTQ2+ National Monument is a partnership between the federal government and the LGBT Purge Fund created from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the government.

The monument will be placed in a grassy area on the Ottawa end of the Portage Bridge, just west of Parliament Hill.

The goal, according to a federal news release sent Monday, is to choose a winning design early in 2022 and have the monument completed by 2025. The selection team will weigh several considerations, including public feedback, which is open until Nov. 28, and not limited to only LGBTQ2+ people or Ottawa residents.

Below are the five designs, in alphabetical order. More information about the proposals can be found in the individual hyperlinks.

WATCH | Five proposals for LGBTQ2+ National Monument unveiled

Five proposals for LGBTQ2+ National Monument unveiled

8 months ago
Duration 1:46
Michelle Douglas, executive director of the LGBT Purge Fund, says the monument will honour victims of the LGBTQ2+ purge, in which thousands of federal employees were fired because of their sexual orientation.

Team Durling

This design is a pearl ring that "bonds us together, to share experiences, celebrate, and commemorate, holding space for all who enter."

It would be surrounded by seven landscaped zones inspired by the seven grandparent teachings of First Nations people including the Anishinaabe and Mi'kmaq.

Team Durling's design sees a park with a central structure and plaza that can host events. (Team Durling/Government of Canada)

Team MASS

Its pitch has two main parts: a bowl holding a sunken garden with a waterfall off one lip, and a plaza.

"Our vision combines the intimacy of a singular portal, as a place of transition — where we move from who we were, who we are, and who we can become."

Team MASS' design nods to 'the rite of passage of coming out' with the transitions from its different spaces. (Team MASS/Government of Canada)

Team OnCommon Ground

It sees a monument with an outer concrete wall representing government oppression, with a small passage "with visceral reminders of the pain of LGBTQ2+ discrimination."

Inside, there would be a central sculpture, garden and event space, with the government's apology for the purge etched on its inner walls.

The outer walls of this proposal are meant to evoke oppression. The inner space evokes love, reflection and celebration. (Team OnCommon Ground/Government of Canada)

Team SOM

This space would have a meadow and lawn surrounding hundreds of stainless steel wands and, in the middle, a heated communal table.

A sound installation would play recordings from "fruit machine" tests, which tried to determine if someone was gay so they could be fired from their government jobs.

Team SOM's steel poles reflect 'the multitudes of unique paths towards justice for LGBTQ2+ people.' (Team SOM/Government of Canada)

Team Wreford

This team's idea has a mirrored thunderhead in a large column at its centre, with space for larger events outside and smaller gatherings inside.

"It rises up as our community has risen up to say, 'We demand change.'"

Besides the central thunderhead sculpture, the winning design has a path tracing LGBTQ2+ history and a healing circle made of stones chosen by two-spirit Indigenous elders. (Team Wreford/Government of Canada)

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