The Canadian Veterans' Memorial

November 05, 2006 17:50 ET

Canada's First Multi-Dimensional Tribute to Veterans Unveiled Today in Waterloo

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 5, 2006) -

Editors note: A photo for this release will be available after 2 p.m. on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

A breathtaking, first-of-its-kind memorial honouring Canadian veterans from every war in which Canada has fought, was unveiled today at Veterans' Green Park in Waterloo, Ontario. This spectacular work-of-art, named The Canadian Veterans' Memorial, is carved in a timeline formation. The sculpture is 15 feet high and 23 feet long and depicts the likeness of more than 200 men and women who served in battles, from the War of 1812 to the war in Afghanistan.

The Canadian Veterans' Memorial was crafted by sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz and unveiled by The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, who acted as Reviewing Officer and Guest of Honour, and by the Honourary Chairman of the Canadian Veterans Memorial Committee, Mr. Mac Voisin. The ceremonies commenced with a parade, processing from downtown Waterloo to Veterans' Green Park, the site of the memorial.

To craft this larger-than-life tribute, Schmalz used enlistment photos of local veterans that were donated by their families to breathe remarkable life into the individuals portrayed in the carving. The resulting edifice uniquely and equally represents every military group in Canadian history; from Army and Navy soldiers, to peacekeepers and nursing sisters.

"By using hundreds of black and white photos of men and women that served in the wars, I created a collage of not only uniforms, but human emotion on this bronze statue," says Schmalz. "In the sculpture, more than two hundred figures descend from a heavenly perspective to present an aged veteran who, in turn, presents a poppy, the symbol of remembrance. In the statue, as in real life, the veteran acts as a link to our history."

This link is also recognized by Kathryn and John Shawcross-Damman, Co-Chairpersons for the Canadian Veterans' Memorial. Along with the help of only community members, and funding from individual and corporate donors, the Shawcross-Dammans started the project to develop and construct the tribute after traveling to Europe on a battlefield tour with a handful of Canadian veterans who had served in the Liberation of Holland more than 60 years ago.

"We both felt strongly that there should be a memorial erected that pays respect to the living veteran, as opposed to the majority of memorials, which pay respect to the deceased," says Mrs. Shawcross-Damman. "It was important to us to create a memorial which can and will be used as a teaching tool for future generations, and we feel proud to finally unveil this 'labour of love' as a gift to our city and the entire country."

Preceding the ceremony, honourable tributes included fly-pasts from historical military warplanes. Following the ceremony, guests were invited to a reception at the K-W Naval Association, where they had an opportunity to find out more about the history of the project, as well as meet the artist.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview,
    Strategic Objectives
    Adriana Lurz
    (416) 366-7735
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)
    Strategic Objectives
    Natasha Lasiuk
    (416) 366-7735
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)