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Navy monument contest already making waves

A new national monument in Ottawa honouring the Canadian navy promises to provoke strong public response long before it is unveiled, judging by the reaction of those who attended a public display of proposed designs Thursday.

About 200 people, including many naval personnel, streamed through the government Conference Centre on Rideau Street to view the designs of five “finalists” selected by a National Capital Commission jury as the best of 49 project proposals submitted in a cross-country competition earlier this year.

“The monument … will help raise a public consciousness that the navy is a truly national institution that has played and continues to play a significant role in the development and security of the country,” Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, head of Maritime Command, told the gathering.

The Canadian navy will mark the centenary of its founding next year. Parliament passed the Naval Services Act on May 4, 1910, bringing the Royal Canadian navy into being. The monument, which will be officially unveiled in May 2011, is to be located at Richmond Landing on the Ottawa River, just below Library and Archives Canada.

The Ottawa Citizen