Victims of communism memorial redesign begins as new teams chosen

Five design teams have been selected to put forth their visions for a revamped memorial in Ottawa for victims of communism.

Liberals promised redesign after original criticized over scale, location

The original design for the National Memorial to Victims of Communism on Wellington Street in Ottawa. The federal government is now launching a new design competition. (Tribute to Liberty)

Five design teams have been selected to put forth their visions for a revamped memorial in Ottawa to victims of communism.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said the five design teams will have until Mar. 2, 2017 to complete their proposals.

The designs are expected to be evaluated and a winner selected by April 2017.

The five design groups are:

  • Team space2place: Vancouver-based landscape architect Jeff Cutler and Canadian artist Ken Lum.
  • Team Mills: Hamilton, Ont.,-based public art consultants Karen and Ben Mills, with landscape architects Silvano Tardella and Robert M. S. Ng and artists Jordan Söderberg Mills, Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier.
  • Team Moskaliuk: Wiktor Moskaliuk, a Markham, Ont., architect, with landscape architect Claire Bedat and artist Larysa Kurylas, both from Washington, D.C.
  • Team Raff: Toronto architect and artist Paul Raff, with Michael A. Ormston-Holloway, a designer and certified arborist, and Brett Hoornaert and Luke Kairys, landscape architects.
  • Team Reich+Petch Architects: Tony Reich, a Toronto architect, Catherine Widgery, an artist from Cambridge, Mass., and Matthew Sweig, a Toronto landscape architect.

The National Capital Commission had in 2013 approved the memorial at a site near the Supreme Court of Canada building on Wellington Street, a space that had been previously pegged for a federal court building.

The original design was criticized not only for its location, but also for the large size and scale of the monument.

When the Liberal government came to power they put forth a new location in the smaller Garden of the Provinces and Territories at Bay and Wellington streets, and invited Canadians to offer online input on a new design for the memorial.

The memorial is intended to recognize Canada's role as a place of refuge for people fleeing injustice and persecution, and to honour the millions who suffered under communist regimes.