Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monument to Multiculturalism at Union Station

Francesco Perilli's sculpture 'Monument to Multiculturalism' sits at Union Station along the Front Street entrance. The sculpture of a man was unveiled in 1985 by the Mayor of the time; Art Eggleton, during the Toronto's sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) and was provided by the National Congress of Italian Canadians on behalf of the Italian Canadian Community. The work features a man inside a partial globe, building it with the help of doves, or it could be a naked man caught by birds, whatever. See another view of it here.

Francesco said of his work "I conceived the monument to be cast in bronze, and, stylistically, in a postmodern vein. It represents a man who, at the center of the globe, joins two meridians; while the remaining meridians are held aloft by doves, a peace symbol in themselves. Moreover, the doves are symbolically meant to represent the cultural vitality of the people who, with the man, construct a new world, under the banner of dialogue and mutual respect.."

There is a plaque on the base of the monument which talks about the United Nations International Covenant on civil and political rights Article 27, shows an official statement on multiculturalism by the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau (PET) as well as mentioning the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Article 27: In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own religion, or to use their own language.

PET said that "It was the view of the Royal Commission shared by the Government and, I am sure, by all Canadians, that there cannot be one cultural policy for Canadians of British and French origin, another for the Original Peoples and yet a third for all others, for although there are two official languages, there is no official culture, nor does any ethnic group take precedence over any other. No citizen or group of citizens is other than Canadian, and all should be treated fairly."

And finally the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part 1 of Canada Act, 1982 Article 27: This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

I love the different peoples that we have in Canada, and especially in the GTA, and how many people work together to live in peace as they enrich each other with their culture.

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