LGBTQ2+ National Monument design chosen

A bold and dynamic design “Thunderhead” has been chosen for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument to be built in downtown Ottawa, Canada. This design draws on the symbolism of a thunderhead cloud, which embodies the strength, activism and hope of LGBTQ2+ communities. It will be a lasting testimony to the courage and humanity of those who were harmed by the LGBT Purge, homophobic and transphobic laws and norms, and Canada’s colonial history. Elements 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 LGBTQ2+ people in Canada and a healing circle ringed with stones hand-picked by Two-Spirit Elders. The monument surroundings will allow for large gatherings, performances and places for quiet reflection.

“Thunderhead” was conceived by a team based in Winnipeg that includes Liz Wreford, Peter Sampson and Taylor LaRocque of Public City; visual artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan; and Albert McLeod, Indigenous and Two-Spirited People subject-matter expert and advisor.

The winning design was selected by a jury that evaluated the five finalist designs against criteria identified in the Request for Proposals. As part of their deliberations, the jury also considered the results of an online survey open to stakeholders and the public, as well as feedback received from the Monument’s Indigenous Circle participants and the Monument Advisory Committee, which includes LGBT Purge survivors and affected community members.

The jury included experts in the fields of landscape architecture, visual arts, architecture and urban design, as well as LGBT Purge survivors, representatives from key stakeholder groups and subject-matter specialists.

LGBTQ2+ National Monument

Team Wreford

  • Public City Inc., architecture and landscape architecture
  • Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, visual artists
  • Albert McLeod, Indigenous & Two-Spirited People subject-matter expert and advisor

Images Credit: Team Wreford

About Damian Holmes 3226 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at