New design teams chosen to compete for victims of communism memorial

Five final teams have been chosen to compete to design the new Memorial to Victims of Communism that will soon be built in downtown Ottawa.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced Tuesday that the teams have until March 2, 2017 to submit their proposals, which will then be evaluated by a five-member jury made up of design professionals and content specialists. The winner will be selected in April. There will be an opportunity for the public to view and offer input on the designs before a final decision is made.

“I feel confident that this open design process will result in a thoughtful and compelling memorial that will speak to the present and future generation of Canadians,” Joly said in a government press release.

In 2013, the National Capital Commission authorized the construction of the memorial at a site on Wellington Street near the Supreme Court, but this idea, along with the design and large size of the memorial, was met with widespread opposition.

Last year, after consulting with Canadians online, Joly rejected those plans and moved the $3.5 million project to a new location near the Garden of the Provinces and Territories at Bay Street and Wellington Street.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is developing this project on behalf of Tribute to Liberty, a Canadian charity whose mission is to establish a Canadian memorial to commemorate the victims of communism.

The memorial is meant 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.