Sod Turning Ceremony in Ottawa for the Memorial to the Victims of Сommunism

    Left to Right: Ihor Michalchyshyn, CEO-Ukrainian Canadian Congress; Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP-Etobicoke; Vicki Karpiak (Yuzyk) UNF-OG; Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko. Rostyk Makushak

    Vicki Karpiak, Ukrainian National Federation – Ottawa-Gatineau Executive Member.

    On Thursday, Nov 8, 2018, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, the Honorable Pablo Rodriguez invited approx. 100 dignitaries and press to attend the sod turning ceremony in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories (Wellington Street at Bay) located across the street from the Library and National Archives of Canada.

    The winning design is depicted in the photograph and created by a Toronto architect and artist Paul Raff, with Michael A. Ormston, a designer and certified arborist, and landscape architects Brett Hoornaert and Luke Kairys.

    “The design is a broad, sweeping form, moving from east to west, and is made up of more than 4,000 individual bronze rods. It actually forms a three-dimensional calendar, which memorializes every moment of the vast millions of moments of suffering of victims. But it also expresses resilience and hope” said Paul Raff.

    The memorial is valued at 3 million dollars and the cost of the monument will be split evenly between the Federal Government and Tribute to Liberty, a private group spearheading the project. Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of the Tribute to Liberty, officiated at the sod turning ceremony and Alide Forstmanis attended. Both are long time advocates for the National Memorial to the Victims of Communism.

    The memorial was championed by the former Conservative government, which supported plans to have the monument built next to the Supreme Court of Canada. After widespread criticism, the National Capital Commission rescinded its decision and approved the construction of the memorial in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories.