About The Project



A Holocaust Monument in our capital will recognize the Holocaust as well as the incredible contribution Holocaust Survivors have made to Canada.




The Government of Canada has pledged to build a National Holocaust Monument. This will serve as a symbol of Canadian values and diversity, and as a memorial to the innocent men, women and children who perished.







The Government of Canada has pledged to build a National Holocaust Monument. This will serve as a symbol of Canadian values and diversity, and as a memorial to the innocent men, women and children who perished.



Our goal is to raise $4.5 million towards construction of this monument.
This is a unique opportunity for Canadians to share in this historic initiative.






Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canada remembers the suffering of the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust. This monument will not only preserve their memory but will also educate visitors of all faiths and traditions about the causes and risks of hate. Let us use the lessons of the past to remind us of the importance of tolerance, to inspire us to uphold human rights and to prevent future acts of genocide.”





Minister of State(Democratic Reform)

MP for Edmonton - Sherwood Park

The Monument Act

“On March 25, 2011, The National Holocaust Monument Act received Royal Assent. Bill C-442, a unanimously supported Private Member’s Bill I introduced to establish a monument in Canada’s capital region, aims to promote a better understanding of the historical events of the Holocaust and how these events affected Canadian history.

The monument will be a lasting tribute to the victims of the Holocaust as well as a symbol of Canada’s diversity, its leadership in promoting pluralism and tolerance, and its tradition of defending human rights, including freedom of religion.

Visitors will be encouraged to reflect upon the events of the Holocaust and upon the responsibilities of each citizen to value and to protect human rights and human dignity. The National Holocaust Monument Act came to be with the support of the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Thornhill, as well as Laura Grossman, a young woman who was instrumental in the development of this initiative.”





Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

“The future National Holocaust Monument will help ensure the Holocaust continues to have a permanent place in our nation’s consciousness. We cannot go back and erase this terrible genocide from the pages of history, but this monument will give future generations an opportunity to learn about it and remind us that preventing it from happening again is a responsibility all Canadians share.”

The National Holocaust Monument
Development Council



The Council was formed as the fundraising arm of this project with a mandate to raise $4.5 million. Our partners from the Government of Canada will match these funds to a maximum of another $4 million and have already donated the land for the future monument.



  • Daniel Friedman

    Council Chair, Rabbi at Beth Israel Synagogue, Edmonton

  • Ralph E. Lean

    Senior Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto

  • Elliot Lifson

    Vice Chairman of Vêtements, Peerless Clothing Inc.

  • Daniel Friedman, Council Chair is serving as rabbi at Beth Israel Synagogue in Edmonton. He is past-president of Jewish Family Services Edmonton, an executive member of the Rabbinical Council of America and member of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate in international relations at the University of Alberta.

    Ralph E. Lean is senior partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, a Toronto legal firm. He serves on the board of governors of both B’nai Brith Canada and the Portage Program for Drug Dependencies, and is chair of Right to Play Canada.

    Elliot Lifson is vice chairman of Vêtements Peerless Clothing Inc. He is president of the Canadian Apparel Federation and one of the longest-sitting members of the Apparel and Footwear Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade. He is a member of the boards of Apparel Quebec and Export Development Canada, a director of the Fondation de la mode de Montréal, the Tolerance Foundation and the Apparel Human Resource Council. Mr. Lifson is a past chair of the board of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and serves as professor at McGill University’s Desautels School of Management.

  • Alvin Segal

    Chairman and CEO, Peerless Clothing
    Chairman, Segal Centre for Performing Arts

  • Fran Sonshine

    National Chair, Canadian Society for Yad Vashem

  • Alvin Segal is chairman and chief executive officer of Peerless Clothing and president and chairman of the board of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and promoted to officer of the Order of Canada in 2010 for his continued philanthropy. Additionally, he was appointed officer of the Ordre national du Québec in June 2011 for his dedication and contribution to arts and health care in the city of Montréal.

    Fran Sonshine is the national chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, Canada’s leading authority for Holocaust education, commemoration, documentation and research. She is a past chair of both the Baycrest board of directors and its foundation, and a former member of the board of National Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). She received UJA Federation’s 2011 Ben Sadowski Award of Merit, 2010 JFNA Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, 2003 Shem Tov Award and 1996 Hadassah-WIZO’s Volunteer of Distinction Award.





The Monument



A lasting tribute.



A seven-member jury composed of accomplished professionals in the fields of art and urban design, a Holocaust survivor, and representation from the National Holocaust Monument Development Council has chosen the design team to create a national Holocaust monument in Ottawa.







The Design Team



The winning team, which includes renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is led by Gail Dexter Lord, co-president of Toronto-based Lord Cultural Resources, which also consulted on the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg and the 9/11 Museum in New York. Both his parents were Holocaust survivors.




Its design features a large gathering space for ceremonies with room for 1,000 people enclosed by six triangular, concrete segments to create the points of a star — reminiscent of the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.




  • Gail Lord

    Team Lead

  • Edward Burtynsky

    Artist - Photographer

  • Daniel Libeskind


  • Gail Dexter Lord – experienced, innovative, effective, creative – is one of the world’s foremost museum planners. Gail has extensive experience in the museum and cultural sector and brings exceptional vision and knowledge to each of the projects she leads.

    Gail has been instrumental in developing museum planning having co-authored with Barry Lord, five museum planning manuals, The Manual of Museum Exhibitions (2002), The Manual of Museum Management (1997; re-printed 1998 and 2002; 2nd edition 2009), The Manual of Museum Planning (1991; 2nd edition 1999; 3rd edition, 2012, co-edited with Barry Lord and Lindsay Martin) and The Cost of Collecting (1991).

    Her in-depth knowledge of museum audiences and sensitivity to the cultural resources that all communities have, as well as their need to nurture and develop those resources for the public benefit make Gail particularly effective in planning for innovative approaches to cultural organizations such as the National African American Museum of History and Culture, the new branch of the Smithsonian Institution on the National Mall in Washington, Canada’s new national museum, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Art museums and contemporary art centres employing her expertise include Tate in London, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

    Gail is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, including the American Association of Museums, the British Museums Association, The International Council of Museums and the Canadian Museums Association.

    Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.

    Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage at St. Catharines, Ontario, Burtynsky is a graduate of Ryerson University (Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography) and studied Graphic Art at Niagara College in Welland. He links his early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown to the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. In 1985, Burtynsky also founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community. Mr. Burtynsky also sits on the board of directors for: Toronto’s international photography festival, Contact and The Ryerson Gallery and Research Center.

    Mr. Burtynsky’s distinctions include the TED Prize, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, The Flying Elephant Fellowship, Applied Arts Magazine book award(s), and the Roloff Beny Book award. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and holds six honorary doctorate degrees.

    Daniel Libeskind, B.Arch. M.A. BDA AIA, is an international architect and designer. His practice extends worldwide from museums and concert halls to convention centers, universities, hotels, shopping centers, and residential projects. Born in Łód´z, Poland in 1946, Libeskind was a virtuoso musician at a young age before giving up music to become an architect. He has designed world-renowned projects including: the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Denver Art Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Military History Museum in Dresden, and the masterplan for Grand Zero among others. Daniel Libeskind’s commitment to expanding the scope of architecture reflects his profound interest and involvement in philosophy, art, literature and music. Fundamental to Libeskind’s philosophy is the notion that building are crafted with the perceptible human energy, and that they address the greater cultural context in which they are built. Daniel teaches and lectures at universities across the world. He has received numerous awards including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize — an award given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace, never before given to an architect — the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal in 2010 and the AIANY Medal of Honor in 2012. He resides in New York City with his wife and business partner, Nina Libeskind.

  • Doris Bergen

    Subject Matter Advisor

  • Claude Cormier

    Landscape Architect

  • Doris L. Bergen is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust; Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich; and numerous articles on issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II. Bergen received her PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1991, and has taught at the Universities of Notre Dame and Vermont. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

    Claude Cormier has a strong background in both the theory and practice of landscape architecture. Over the years, he has acquired a solid reputation as a prolific designer, noted for his originality and creativity. Working in tandem with teams of other urban design professionals, Claude has demonstrated an innovative, imaginative capacity for problem solving. He approaches each obstacle as a challenge, each new constraint as a stimulus for fresh creativity. Claude is a dedicated and sensitive team player, for which he has gained the respect of clients and colleagues alike.




Canadian Survivors


Roughly 40,000 Holocaust survivors came to Canada from war-torn Europe during the late 40s and early 50s, hoping to rebuild their shattered lives. They came with only their hope for a better future. As Canadians, they built their lives, had families and made contributions to this country.

  • Valentin Drobner was born in the little town of Zhmerinka, Ukraine in 1928. Life in the town’s ghetto was filled with cold, hunger and exhausting labour. Valentin, like the other children, dug trenches and endured frost bite as he cleaned the snow from the railway tracks... Read More

    Pepa Livingstone was born in 1924 and grew up in Teplice, in what is now the Czech Republic. During the 1938 Munich agreement between Britain, France, the USSR, and Nazi Germany; the Sudetenland, where Teplice was located, was given over to the Germans. As a result, most of the Jewish population fled to Prague just before Germany invaded... Read More

    Rose Philip was born in 1935 in Hamburg, Germany. At 5 years of age, Rose and her parents, brother and grandparents fled to Holland to escape Hitler. However, in 1940, when the Nazis invaded Holland, Rose and another girl hid with a gentile couple in Rotterdam to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. Her maternal grandparents, who did not go into hiding, were killed in Bergen Belsen... Read More

    Dr. Nadia Rosa was born in 1938 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, the only child of Renee and Alexander Fiala. Nadia lived with her mother and maternal grandparents in the Bratislava ghetto during the war. Later, while hiding with a gentile family, Nadia's whereabouts were discovered following her denouncement by an informant to the Gestapo. Nadia and her mother were then transported to the Sered and Terezin concentration camps. Her grandparents perished in the Sachsenhausen and Bergen-Belsen camps... Read More

    Leon Ruckner was born in Paris in July, 1937. After the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, the Nazis began instituting a litany of anti-Jewish measures. As a result, his father decided to go to southern France, then under the control of the Vichy government to escape persecution. After arriving safely, he sent for Leon and his mother. They were smuggled across the demarcation line to the “Free Zone,” joining him in Nice, in the French Riviera, in December, 1940... Read More

  • Jack (Szalom) Weinberger was born Sept. 27, 1925 in Nowy Sacz, Poland. His father was a subcontractor in the wine industry while his mother took care of their four children. At age 14, Jack started a business when his father was forced to leave their home after the Nazis invaded Poland. Jack talked his way into working for the Jewish Council, also known as the Judenrat, as a messenger boy. His responsibilities included delivering gifts of liquor and cigarettes as bribes to the chief of the Gestapo, Hammau, a notorious sadist... Read More

    Dr. Arthur Weisz was born in Moson, Hungary, the son of Ignacz and Irma (Fischer) Weisz. When the war began, Arthur was conscripted into the Hungarian army, serving as a motorcycle courier. Throughout the war, he maintained his relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Stadler. They married in May 1944, but were separated for the remainder of the war. By war's end, they had lost three parents, one sibling and many more distant relatives, but luckily still had each other... Read More


Profiles provided through the courtesy of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem.

If you would like to add your or a family members story, please email info@holocaustmonument.ca


Media & Resources


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Design Team Selections


















































Supporting Partners



Thank you to our generous Founders and Partners for their support and generosity.
















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