Inukshuk monument commemorates World Youth Day and papal visit |
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The City of Toronto today unveiled the design of an Inukshuk monument that will
be installed at Battery Park on the lakefront to commemorate World Youth Day
(WYD) and the visit of Pope John Paul II to Toronto in July 2002.
An Inukshuk is a stone structure originating from Canada's Inuit culture, and
means "that which acts in the capacity of a human." Primarily found in the
arctic landscape, the Inukshuk serves as a guide to travellers on land and sea,
providing, comfort, advice and spatial orientation.
"For centuries, the Inukshuk has acted as a guardian to keep vigil over the
land and remains a powerful symbol of safe harbour in an uncertain world," said
Joe Mihevc, Councillor and Chair of the City of Toronto WYD Council Reference
Group. "It is a most fitting legacy of WYD 2002, a conference of hope and
The Inukshuk, including the base, will stand 28 to 30 feet in height, and will
be seen from Lake Ontario and the Martin Goodman Trail. Lighting will be
incorporated to enhance 24-hour visibility. Construction will begin in spring
2002 and completed by June 2002.
"I am proud to share an important symbol of Canada's Native People with the
people of Toronto and with WYD 2002 delegates. Toronto is an ideal location for
an Inukshuk -- a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds meet in
peace," said Kellypalik Qimirpik, an artist from Cape Dorset, Nunavut, who has
been selected to design the structure and consult on the project.
The CEO and National Director of WYD 2002, Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., said:
"The Inukshuk reminds us of the deep spirituality and wisdom of our brothers
and sisters of the First Nations.
For centuries, they were solid guardians keeping vigil over the land like
lighthouses in an icy desert. Since 1984, the WYD conferences have been true
navigational guides for millions of young people throughout the world, inviting
them to become beacons of light and hope, and teaching them to season our world
with justice and peace. This sculpture will be a great legacy of the wonderful
gathering of young people and Pope John Paul II held in Toronto, along the
shores of Lake Ontario."
The Inukshuk model was unveiled at a forum of 400 Canadian and international
organizers in Toronto to prepare for WYD 2002, including visitors from across
Canada and such countries as Russia, Israel, China, India and Nigeria. Other
guests included James Francis Cardinal Stafford, President of the Pontifical
Council for the Laity, Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto and
Vatican dignitaries. Toronto City Councillors Betty Disero, Chris Korwin
Kuczynski, Joe Mihevc and Joe Pantalone were also in attendance. Councillor
Pantalone and Tony Dionisio (Local 183, Universal Workers Union) will spearhead
the project's fundraising efforts.
"The estimated cost for the project is $200,000. City Council has approved
$50,000 for the City's share of the project. Corporate sponsorship and private
donations will be sought for the remainder," said Councillor Joe Pantalone.
"As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is the ideal
setting for an Inukshuk - a symbol that appeals to all cultures and to all
faith," said Tony Dionisio.
World Youth Day is an international youth conference organized by the Catholic
Church. The first conference took place in 1986 and Toronto's event will be the
17th World Youth Day. More than 500,000 young people from 150 countries are
expected in Toronto, July 22 to 28. The concluding papal mass, to be held on
Sunday, July 28, will be open to the public and is expected to draw more than 1
City of Toronto World Youth Day 2002 legacy project
· The City Council Reference Group for WYD recommended a legacy project to
commemorate World Youth Day 2002. An Inukshuk sculpture was recommended to City
Council and approved.
· The designated location for the sculpture is Battery Park, between the
eastern border of Ontario Place and Coronation Park.
· The Inukshuk including the base stands 28 to 30 feet in height and will be
seen from Lake Ontario, the Martin Goodman Trail, and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Lighting will be incorporated to enhance 24-hour visibility.
· The project cost, including design, engineering, site preparation, materials
and construction is estimated at $200,000. City Council has approved $50,000
for the City's share of the project funding. Councillor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19
Trinity-Spadina) and Tony Dionisio (Local 183, Universal Workers Union) will
co-chair a sponsorship and fundraising campaign team to secure the remaining
· To date, Anchor Shoring, C & M McNally Engineering Corporation, HGH Granite,
PCL Construction and Quinn Dressel Engineers and Consultants have already made
significant contributions of materials and services.
· The World Youth Day 2002 National Office has endorsed the City of Toronto's
selection for the Legacy Project celebrating World Youth Day 2002 and the papal
· The project construction will commence in spring 2002 for completion by June
· An "Inukshuk" is a stone structure originating from Canada's Inuit culture.
The word means "that which acts in the capacity of a human."
· Primarily found in the Arctic landscape, the Inukshuk serves as a guide to
travellers on land and sea, providing comfort, advice and spatial orientation.
An Inukshuk also serves as a focus of veneration for the spiritual seeker.
· For centuries, the Inukshuk structure has acted as a guardian to keep vigil
over the land and remains a powerful symbol of safe harbour in an uncertain
world. This is similar to the role Jesus plays in the life of Christians.
Enacted in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, World Youth Days have been true
navigational guides for millions of young people throughout the world.
· Kellypalik Qimirpik, an internationally acclaimed Inuit artist, has been
selected to design the structure and consult on the project.