The Ireland Canada Monument
- Published in New World Celts
The Ireland Canada Monument will provide recognition to the significant Irish Contribution to Canada.
Over the last three centuries, many Irish have travelled to Canada for many reasons. From sea to sea, the Irish have influenced virtually every facet of Canadian society and continue to do so by following the vision of Thomas D’Arcy McGee who desired to see Canada as a great nation and a shining example to the world.
The most recent census indicates that the population of Canada is no less than one fifth of Irish origin, a statistic on par only with that of French Canadians.
To pay tribute to the Irish pioneers and to educate others on the salient facts of the huge contribution made to all of Canada by those of Irish ancestry, The Ireland Canada Monument looks forward to the completion of a monument in their honour.
To be built within the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, The Ireland Canada Monument will provide recognition for the many Irish who have given so much to Canada over the last three centuries.
The Monument design originated in May 2005 during the historic visit of Her Excellency President of Ireland, Mary McAleese to Vancouver. B.C.
The Ireland Monument Project Committee formed at that time and has worked continuously to finalise the Monument Design. The members of the committee have collectively undertaken to complete the project on a voluntary basis with no expectation of individual or collective reward, financial or otherwise.
The committee forwarded letters to specific groups in Canada, the United States and all 32 counties of Ireland inviting each to support the project. The total project cost is estimated at $100,000. CAD
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin has invited the Ireland Monument Society to apply for grant Funding under the Emigrant Support program 2011. The committee look forward to Irish people, groups and organisations contributing small amounts also so that the first recognition of the Irish Diaspora can be completed in Canada in the near future.
The Ireland Canada Monument
In May 2007 the Committee reviewed all design submissions and unanimously decided on the design concept by Catherine Flynn of Vancouver B.C. This design allowed for the placement of the artwork selected and approved by the Ireland Monument Committee.
The Ireland Monument is composed of a black granite base on all four sides, with artwork and text depicting the Irish contribution to Canada and the link between the Irish and Canadian people.
A bronze replica of the Brian Boru harp which today is recognized as a symbol of Ireland will be mounted on the top of the granite monument. The Brian Boru harp has been widely used as the base for the design of the harps used on Irish coins, emblems, and government stationary.
Features of the Monument include:
The Map of Ireland
The monument's Map of Ireland was donated to the Monument Committee in 2007 by Ordinance Survey Ireland (OSI) Dublin for specific use on the Ireland Monument in Vancouver. The Map featuring all 32 counties and major cities of Ireland can be a constant reminder to those of Irish heritage of their former homeland who visit the completed Monument.
Hurling - Ice Hockey
Side Two of the Ireland Monument features the contribution of Ireland’s ancient game of hurling to Canada’s game of Ice Hockey. The sporting traditions include the oldest European field game of hurling– a masterful art and the fastest field game in the world– in which players use an ash wood stick and a hard ball. Many argue that Canada’s national winter game, ice hockey, has its origins in hurling. The word puck is derived from the irish word poc, which is the action of striking the ball with a hurley.
The Hundred Names
One Hundred names of individuals of Irish birth or heritage who have made a significant contribution to all aspects of Canadian Life will be permanently engraved on the Monument. The names list, together with the biographical information which led to their being chosen, will be published upon completion of the monument. Future generations may then know their names, learn about their Irish heritage, take pride in their past, and be encouraged in working toward a bright future. Famous names such as Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Sir Frederick Banting and Lester Bowles Pearson, along with those of many unsung heroes, will be honoured.
Irish Music and Irish Dancing
Side Four of the Ireland Monument commemorates the contribution of Irish Music and Irish Dancing to the Arts in Canada. Today, Irish Dancing Schools operate throughout Canada teaching Irish Dancing to children of all ages and to Canadians of other heritage besides Irish. In Music, Canadian artists such as Loreena McKinnett produce much music for fans throughout Canada and the World that is definitely Irish and or Celtic in its roots. The resulting contribution to Canada in Music and Irish Dancing has been Canada's gain and there is no doubt that the Arts in Canada has been the beneficiary.
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