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John A. Macdonald Memorial (Grandmaison) facts for kids

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John A. Macdonald Memorial
Macdonaldstat.jpg
Artist Sonia de Grandmaison
John Cullen Nugent
Year 1967
Medium Bronze
Subject John A. Macdonald
Dimensions 1.874 m × 1.905 m × 0.518 m (6.15 ft × 6.25 ft × 1.70 ft)
Location Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada


The John A. Macdonald Memorial is a public sculpture in bronze of Sir John A. Macdonald by Sonia de Grandmaison and John Cullen Nugent, located at the south entrance to Victoria Park, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is the last statue of Macdonald still standing in a public space in a major Western Canadian city. In March 2021, Regina city council voted to remove the statue.

Work

Situated at the south entrance to Victoria Park, the bronze sculpture was cast in five pieces by using a "lost wax technique", and soldered together by artist John Cullen Nugent, a technique he learned from candlemaking. It stands 1.874 × 1.905 × 0.518 m.

The plaque underneath the statue reads "John A. Macdonald, Father of Confederation."

History

Commission and unveiling

Fundraising in Regina for a statue to commemorate Macdonald's achievements as Canada's first Prime Minister began in 1891 after Macdonald's death, but it was not commissioned until 1966. The statue was officially unveiled in 1967, the year of the Canadian Centennial.

Calls for removal and vandalism

Reassessments of Macondald's role in Canadian history, particularly his assimilationist policies toward Indigenous Canadians and racist views of Asian immigrants, led to statues of Macdonald being vandalized and removed in other cities in the first decades of the 21st century. The Regina memorial was vandalized at least three times between 2012 and 2018.

In August 2017, a petition was launched for the removal of the Regina memorial.

Renewed calls for removal

In the midst of the anti-racism protests of 2020, which took place worldwide in solidarity with those following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody, and the removal of Confederate States Army statues in the United States, Regina faced new calls to remove the Macdonald statue. Early in June, it was reported that the statue was on a list of fifteen statues across Canada subject to petition for removal. Several sculptures and monuments depicting historical figures across Canada "with ties to racist elements of Canada's past" were defaced, including a park bench statue of Macdonald covered in red paint in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

On March 31, 2021, Regina city council voted 7–4 in favour of removal of the statue citing that the "statue overlooks the negative impacts Macdonald's policies and initiatives have had on Indigenous peoples." The statue will be put into storage while the city does public consultations to find a new location.

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