A special park to commemorate Canada’s war effort officially opens to the public Saturday, June 8. A community celebration to mark the opening of Poppy Plaza will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with a formal program beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Poppy Plaza is one component of the $31.5 million redevelopment plan along Memorial Drive known as The Landscape of Memory. Phase one of the project included The Calgary Soldiers Memorial unveiled on April 9, 2011 and phase two is Poppy Plaza.
The City conducted extensive public engagement to develop a vision for the Memorial Drive corridor. The resulting vision was constructed from exploring with stakeholders new and traditional ideas of memorialisation within the context of the urban setting.
“The Memorial Drive Landscape of Memory is shaped by a deep respect for our history,” said Farrell. “It is enriched by unifying our beautiful river, historical trees, and meaningful places to observe individual and collective memory.”
Located on the corner of 10th Street N.W. and Memorial Drive, Poppy Plaza is one of those meaningful places. With the creative participation of military and veterans as well as community stakeholders, the plaza was developed by focusing on themes of remembrance, legacy and history.
Narratives located in the plaza help to tell the story of the history of Memorial Drive. These narratives cut into the weathering steel wall panels tell the story of war and respond to the collective memory of the city.
The research for the quotes included searches for information in the Museum of the Regiments and discussions with military representatives. The quotes are intended to connect us all with the impact of war by exploring the theme of sacrifice by all facets of society as conflicts are experienced worldwide.
“The project has been favourably received both locally and nationally through a number of awards and we are delighted to host the opening June 8th,” said City of Calgary Parks Director, Anne Charlton.
Donations of non-perishable food items for the Calgary Veterans Food Bank will be thankfully accepted at the opening event. Please note that on-site parking is not available.