Veterans Affairs shortlists teams to design national monument to mission in Afghanistan

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Five project teams have until Spring 2021 to submit their design proposals for a national monument to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

The structure will serve as a testament to the commitment and sacrifice of Canadian Armed Forces members, police officers, public servants and civilians who served in Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and recognize the strong support offered by Canadians at home to those who served during the mission.

The monument is scheduled to be completed by 2024, however, key milestones may need to be adjusted given the COVID-19 pandemic. All decisions on these matters will be made under advisement from public health authorities.

“I would like to thank all the teams that applied to our Request for Qualifications,” Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage said in a statement.

“The range and depth of the Canadian arts and design community is inspiring. I am confident that the five teams selected will present meaningful proposals for this national monument that is so important to Veterans, the families of the fallen and all Canadians. I am sure the teams will develop thoughtful, reflective designs that will interpret Canada’s collective gratitude to those who lost their lives in Afghanistan, those who served in the mission and those who supported them here at home.”

afghan monument map

Veterans Affairs Canada has announced the following short-listed teams for the project:

Team Daoust: Daoust Lestage, architects, urban designers and landscape architects (Montreal, QC); The Honourable Louise Arbour, strategic advisor (Montreal, QC); Luca Fortin, public artist (Québec, QC)

Team Hapa: Joseph Fry, landscape architect (Vancouver, BC); Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew, visual artists (Vancouver, BC)

Team Lashley + JMA: Lashley + Associates, landscape architects (Ottawa, ON and Montreal, QC); John MacDonald Architect, architects (Kitchener, ON); Sandra Dunn, visual artist (Kitchener, ON)

Team PFS Studio: Jennifer Nagai, landscape architect, PFS Studio (Vancouver, BC); Nicolas Demers-Stoddart, architect, Provencher Roy (Montreal, QC); Jonathan Villeneuve, visual artist (Montreal, QC)

Team Stimson: Adrian Stimson, visual artist (Siksika Nation, AB); Jana Joyce, landscape architect, MBTW Group, (Toronto, ON), Graham Carr, landscape designer, MBTW Group (Toronto, ON); Christine Leu and Alan Webb, public art coordinators, LeuWebb Projects (Toronto, ON)

Designs will be evaluated by a jury composed of experts in the fields of arts and urban design and representatives from key stakeholder groups. Veterans, families of the fallen, Canadian Armed Forces members, other key stakeholders and the public will be invited to review the finalists’ proposals before a design is chosen. This will occur in spring/summer 2021.

Canadian Heritage is facilitating the development of the Monument in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada. The National Capital Commission will take responsibility for the development of design and construction of the Monument, with completion expected in 2024.

“I want to congratulate the design team finalists, and I look forward to seeing their proposals,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

“When completed, the National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan will provide a fitting tribute and a lasting reminder—for their families, their friends, and for the people of Canada—of those who served and of those we lost.”

The Monument will be prominently located at LeBreton Flats across from the Canadian War Museum, on the east side of Booth Street, north of the National Holocaust Monument. With views of Parliament and other key federal institutions, the site will provide easy access to and high visibility to the Monument for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Stakeholders, families of the fallen and the public will be able to view and comment on the design concepts before a final decision is made. The announcement of the winning design is planned for summer 2021.


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