The LGBTQ2+ National Monument
The LGBT Purge Fund is legally mandated to create a national monument in the National Capital Region. The monument will be a visible landmark that will recognize generations of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada and tell the story of those who have been persecuted, abused, dismissed and marginalized because of who they desire and how they identify. It will generally acknowledge the discrimination experienced by Canada’s LGBTQ2+ community, and specifically acknowledge the abuse perpetrated by the Canadian state on its people during the LGBT Purge.
The LGBTQ2+ National Monument is a collaboration between the LGBT Purge Fund, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the National Capital Commission and diverse LGBTQ2+ communities and their allies.
In autumn 2019, the LGBT Purge Fund organized a collaborative stakeholder engagement process to develop a vision for the monument and consult on potential monument sites. The process engaged over 150 people of all ages and identities who contributed expertise in history, activism, community organizing and advocacy, law, politics, design, arts, writing and teaching. It also heard from 2-Spirit Indigenous, First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals through a parallel Indigenous Circle and from local Algonquin communities, Kitigan Zibi and Pikwàkanagàn. Our Monument Advisory committee and Indigenous Circle participants continue to be involved in this process. You can learn more about our engagement process and the participants HERE.
The location of the LGBTQ2+ National Monument was approved by the National Capital Commission in January 2020. It will be situated in Ottawa’s downtown core – near Wellington Street, by the Portage Bridge (below the current Library and Archives headquarters).
In fall 2020, a request for qualifications will be launched by Canadian Heritage to encourage design firms to express interest in a competition for the monument design. Approved firms will respond to a request for proposals and to the monument vision in their design proposals for the site. These designs will be made public in 2021.
A jury will decide on the final design with input from the LGBTQ2+ community and the public. The winner will likely be announced in late 2021. Thereafter, the design will be refined, a tender package will be developed and construction will begin. The estimated monument inauguration date is 2024/2025.
Learn more about the National Monument visioning process HERE.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights Exhibition
Please see the LGBT Purge Fund’s statement regarding allegations of racism & homophobia at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, here.
This project includes an exhibition about the LGBT Purge at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), along with a travelling exhibit. The CMHR will also explore ways to share this exhibition online.
The CMHR is establishing an Advisory Committee that will be made up of LGBT Purge survivors, external experts and representatives from the LGBT Purge Fund to support them in the development of this project.
The CMHR’s work is guided by our discussions and by the obligations set out in the Final Settlement Agreement. The overall budget for this project will exceed $2,000,000.
Historical Document Collection
As part of the LGBT Purge Class Action lawsuit settlement, the government of Canada is obligated to provide historical records relating to the LGBT Purge. The LGBT Purge Fund has been urging the government to provide these documents so that they can be reviewed and analyzed.
We are told by the government that 11,000 pages of material will be provided to the LGBT Purge Fund. Despite the efforts of the LGBT Purge Fund, the production of these documents (as required by the legal settlement) has been very slow.
As of August 2020, less than 300 pages of material have been released to us. The LGBT Purge Fund is working with the government to obtain these records without any further unreasonable delays.
The LGBT Purge Fund intends to make these documents accessible at some point in the future. We are consulting with experts, including ArQuives (formerly the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives). That said, the board of directors of the LGBT Purge Fund has not made any decisions yet about the organization that will be engaged to make these documents accessible.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
The Final Settlement Agreement requires the LGBT Purge Fund to hire a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to find ways to improve existing training on LGBTQ2+ inclusion in the federal government workplace (including the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces). In addition, the LGBTQ2 Secretariat, now located within Heritage Canada, will consult with the SME on ways to enhance LGBTQ2+ inclusion in the Federal workplace.
The LGBT Purge Fund launched an open competition in 2019 to select a SME. The RFP process attracted a number of serious, highly qualified and committed organizations and entities. The detailed selection process undertaken by the LGBT Purge Fund was supported by RFP Solutions Inc. The LGBT Purge Fund wishes to thank all those who expressed an interest in, or participated in, this process.
The successful submission was a joint-partnership between Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, Fondation Émergence and Optimus SBR.
The SME was hired in January 2020 and the LGBT Purge Fund expects the work will be concluded by late 2020.
The LGBT Purge Fund has funds available for individuals, organizations, charities, not-for-profit organizations and other entities for projects that align with our mandate. Like our major initiatives, the community projects we fund memorialize the LGBT Purge and/or provide support to those affected.
COMMUNITY PROJECTS WE’VE SUPPORTED
- Elenore Sturko – $17,000 – for the Robert David Van Norman Memorial Project – support for the publishing and translating (into Inuktitut) of a book regarding former RCMP Officer Robert David Van Norman who was a victim of the LGBT Purge. Grant funding also allocated to publicity and travel to the North to promote the book.
- Rainbow Veterans of Canada – $16,196.84 – for initial start-up funding for this new organization. Grant funding allocated to start-up costs, grow the RVC and to support efforts regarding education, outreach and advocacy.
- EGALE Canada Human Rights Trust – $35,000 – for updating the “Just Society Report”. Grant funding specifically allocated to: edit and update the document; research and draft additional content; develop a bilingual translation; publish the document by Fall 2020; and promote and disseminate the report (electronic and small print run).
- Sandbay Entertainment Inc. – $621.50 – for French subtitling of the trailer for the documentary The Fruit Machine.
- Unison Choruses Canada – $38,500 – for the commissioning and performance of three new choral works that will memorialize the LGBT purge and provide comfort to the victims of the purge.
- Lez Spread the Word – $5000 – for writing, promoting and publishing a bilingual article on the LGBT Purge in the publication “Lez Spread the Word”.
- VETS Canada – $60,000 – for the development of a one-year pilot project that will specifically provide support for LGBTQ2 veterans in crisis. This project involves the hiring of a dedicated support person and efforts to promote the services available to LGBTQ2 veterans in crisis and in need of support.
- Rainbow Veterans of Canada – $30,700 – for ongoing organizational, capacity-building support.