Canada’s Department of National Heritage, along with the Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien, as well as the LGBT Purge Fund have unveiled “Thunderhead” as the winning concept of Ottowa's LGBTQ2+ National Monument competition. The winning design symbolizes a thunderhead cloud, which embodies the "strength, activism and hope of LGBTQ2+ communities, and will be a lasting testimony to the courage and humanity of those who were harmed by the LGBT Purge, homophobic, and transphobic laws and norms".
"Thunderhead" is designed by a Winnipeg-based team which includes Liz Wreford, Peter Sampson and Taylor LaRocque of Public City, visual artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, and Albert McLeod, Indigenous and Two-Spirited People subject-matter advisor. The sculpture features the imprint of a thunderhead cloud in mirrored tile, a pathway that cuts through a landscaped park, tracing the history of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada. The monument's surroundings offer large gathering and performances spaces, as well as secluded areas for quiet reflection.
In addition to the jury's voting, the selection process also included the results of an open online survey, as well as feedback received from the Monument’s Indigenous Circle participants and the Monument Advisory Committee.
Related ArticleMVRDV, Fathom Studio and Two Row Architect Reveal Finalist Proposal for Canada’s LGBTQ2+ National Monument
Last November, Canada’s Department of National Heritage announced the five finalists for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument competition, including entries by SOM, MVRDV, MASS Design Group, Fathom Studio, and Two Row Architect. The competition asked participants to express resiliency through their designs, creating a space for memorialization and education while providing an inclusive space for the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.
The monument will be located at the northeast side of Wellington Street, alongside the Ottawa River and the Judicial Precinct. The LGBT Purge Fund selected the site after consultations with LGBTQ2+ communities, and was approved in January 2020. The next steps are the detailed design development of the winning concept followed by construction of the monument, which is scheduled to be complete in 2025.