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Commemoration Advisory Group

Veterans Affairs Canada Stakeholder Summit
October 5-6, 2016

Mandate

The Commemoration Advisory Group’s mandate, as agreed at its first face-to-face meeting on July 14, 2016, is to:

  • provide advice to the Minister of Veterans Affairs on how Veterans Affairs Canada, through its Canada Remembers Program, can engage Canadians in paying tribute to all those who have served Canada since Confederation, including those who died in service, Veterans who are no longer with us and today’s Veterans.

Membership

  • Richard Blackwolf, Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association

  • Linda Brunet, Encounters With Canada

  • Steven Clark, Royal Canadian Legion

  • Co-chair, Dr. Stephen Harris, Chief Historian and Acting Director, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence

  • Derrill Henderson, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada and Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada

  • Captain (retired) Michel Houle, Veterans UN-NATO Canada

  • Captain (retired) Ray Kokkonen, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

  • Commander Dan Manu-Popa, Canadian Joint Operations Command, CAF

  • Major (retired) Gerry Wharton, ANAVETS

  • Dr. Lee Windsor, University of New Brunswick Gregg Centre

  • VAC co-chair, DG Commemoration, Hélène Robichaud

Canada Remembers Program and Recognition

Canada Remembers Program activities overview

  • including domestic and overseas commemoration of the centennial of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel and Veterans’ Week 2016

The Group discussed the topic of recognition, noting:

  • Canada often takes a somber approach towards remembrance

  • There is a need for balance in honouring the fallen and Veterans

  • Recognition should include Veterans’ families

  • Veterans Affairs Canada’s Heroes Remember online feature, including testimonials of Veterans, is successful in reaching youth

  • The CF1 card does not meet the needs of Veterans; there is a lack of public awareness regarding the card

  • A Veteran identification card, supported by outreach efforts, could be explored

National Memorial to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan

Intent of the National Memorial is to recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canadians who served in Afghanistan as well as the support of those at home.

Presentations were made to the Commemoration Advisory Group by Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission on four sites in Ottawa:

  1. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza

  2. West of the Canadian War Museum

  3. Cartier Square Drill Hall

  4. Lawn of the Canadian Phalanx

Four sites considered

Four sites considered
  1. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza

  2. West of the Canadian War Museum

  3. Cartier Square Drill Hall

  4. Lawn of the Canadian Phalanx

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza - Context

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza - Context

Characteristics

  • NCC owned
  • ± 800 m2

Current Uses

  • Vacant plaza
  • Urban park

Thematic Link

  • Proximity to Royal Canadian Navy Monument
  • View of Peace Tower
  • Richmond Landing: a historical military landing

Access & Visibility

  • Future NCC universal accessibility improvement project (expected completion: 2018)
  • Future NCC Richmond Landing Shoreline Access project (expected completion: 2019)
  • Visible from recreational pathways, Portage Bridge
  • On Confederation Boulevard ceremonial route

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza - Analysis

A. Richmond Landing Upper Plaza - Analysis

Pros

  • Good visibility and views
  • NCC ownership/long-term maintenance
  • Thematic link
  • Future redevelopment of Richmond Landing will facilitate access to area
  • Transformation of Chaudière Islands (expected phase 1 completion: 2018) into a mixed-use, sustainable community will raise profile of general area and increase visitation
  • Proximity to recreational pathways

Cons

  • Noise level
  • Soil contamination may impact project schedule

A. Richmond Landing - Future Development & Rendering of the area

A. Richmond Landing Future Development - Zibi Development at Chaudière Islands

B. West of Canadian War Museum

B. West of Canadian War Museum

B. West of Canadian War Museum - Context

B. West of Canadian War Museum - Context

Characteristics

  • NCC owned
  • 2,500 m2
  • Park-like setting

Current Uses

  • Greenspace adjacent to recreational pathway, event site and historical interpretation node

Thematic Link

  • Canadian War Museum
  • Partial view of Peace Tower

Access & Visibility

  • Universally accessible
  • Visible from Canadian War Museum, Vimy Place roadway, Sir John A. MacDonald parkway, recreational pathway and Ottawa River

B. West of Canadian War Museum - Analysis

B. West of Canadian War Museum - Analysis

Pros

  • NCC ownership/long-term maintenance
  • Thematic link
  • Scenic views
  • Quiet, serene site
  • Good access, proximity to recreational pathway
  • Proximity of Chaudière Islands and LeBreton Flat developments

Cons

  • Significant soil contamination will impact project schedule

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall - Context

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall - Context

Characteristics

  • NCC and DND owned
  • ± 1,500 m2

Current Uses

  • Urban park setting
  • Near municipal Firefighters Memorial

Thematic Link

  • DND HQ, Drill Hall
  • Adjacent to the Rideau Canal Unesco World Heritage Site

Access & Visibility

  • Universally accessible
  • Visible from Laurier Avenue West, Cartier Square Drill Hall, DND HQ, Rideau Canal

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall - Analysis

C. Cartier Square Drill Hall - Analysis

Pros

  • Thematic link
  • Good visibility and access

Cons

  • Commemoration space for Ottawa Reserve Army Unit
  • Noise and vehicular traffic level
  • Underground infrastructures may impact project roll-out
  • Possible emanations from future nearby sewage odor control facility

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx - Context

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx - Context

Characteristics

  • City of Ottawa owned
  • 350 m2

Current Uses

  • Unused lawn

Thematic Link

  • Other military commemorations nearby (Canadian Phalanx, Memorial Arch, Memorial Buildings)

Access & Visibility

  • Universally accessible
  • Visible from Wellington and Lyon Streets
  • On Confederation Boulevard ceremonial route

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx - Analysis

D. Lawn of Canadian Phalanx - Analysis

Pros

  • High visibility and easy access
  • Thematic link

Cons

  • Non-federal ownership will require discussions/negotiations with City of Ottawa and will impact project schedule
  • Noise and vehicular traffic level
  • Limited gathering space/may require road closures for ceremonies
  • Integration of new memorial may impact experience of other commemorations already on site
  • Existing municipal underground infrastructure may impact project schedule

National Memorial to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan - Recommendation

Considerations associated with each site were discussed:

  • Accessibility

  • Proximity to public transit

  • Parking

  • Environmental impacts

  • Assembly space

  • Noise levels

  • Presence of other monuments

  • Future plans for the sites

The majority agreed to recommending that the group endorse Richmond Landing as a preferred site for the memorial.

  • 6 members in favour; 2 opposed; 2 absent

Have your say!

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