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“Thunderhead” monument on the way to Ottawa in recognition of LGBTQ2S+ history in Canada

Ottawa is getting a new national monument recognizing the history of discrimination faced by LGBTQ2S+ people in Canada.

The winning concept for the monument, named Thunderhead, was unveiled Thursday by Canada’s Minister of Heritage and members of the LGBT Purge Fund.

Created by a team in Winnipeg, the design draws on the symbolism of a thunderhead cloud, embodying the strength, activism, and hope of LGBTQ2S+ people.

The Purge Fund is a not-for-profit corporation that was set up to manage the settlement money from the historic 2016 nationwide class-action lawsuit brought on against the Canadian government by survivors of the LGBT Purge.

Michelle Douglas, the Fund’s Executive Director says the nearly $8 million monument was completely paid for by the Purge Fund.

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Image of winning design “Thunderhead” ; Photo Credit: Government of Canada

The monument will be located on the northeast side of Wellington Street, next to the Ottawa River in the nation’s capital.

Douglas says the landmark’s design will include a sculpture that creates the imprint of a thunderhead cloud in mirrored tile, a pathway through a landscaped park that traces the history of LGBTQ2S+ people in Canada, and a healing circle ringed with stones hand-picked by Two-Spirit Elders. Stages around the monument will allow for performances and large gatherings.

It is slated to be installed by 2025.

***With files from Mo Fahim

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