OACFP Invites Design Options for COVID-19 Memorial

OACFP Invites Design Options for COVID-19 Memorial

Monument to provide lasting commemoration of lives lost during pandemic

The Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP) today announced that it has opened a competition requesting design options that would result in the creation of a permanent COVID-19 Memorial Monument (COVID Memorial) to be installed at Beechwood Cemetery, the National Cemetery, in Ottawa, ON, near the Beechwood National Memorial Centre. Competitive entries are to be submitted by February 25, 2022 and can be sent to info@oacfp.com. Detailed design requirements can be accessed at oacfp.com/COVIDMemorial . The winning design will be selected and announced in March 2022.

“Too many Ontarians lost loved ones during the pandemic, whether because of the COVID-19 virus, causes arising as a result of the virus as well as non-COVID related causes of death,” noted Meghan Henning, President, OACFP Board of Directors. “Devastatingly, many of these Ontarians were unable grieve in a meaningful way with their families or their communities.”

To date over 10,702* Ontarians (over 31,982* Canadians) have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic and an unknown number due to a crippled medical system strained by the lack of available and much-needed medical capacities. Countless Ontarians died alone without the support of their families and friends.

Henning went on to say, “As OACFP represents all bereavement service providers, we acutely understand the importance and value of funeral and cemetery services and the need to memorialize a loved one and how this helps to comfort and console the deceased’s family and friends. We also understand the need for a community to be able to grieve together as a means of healing.

We’ve incepted this project so that we may create a lasting memorial that will serve as another element of remembrance and healing for those lost in our pandemic time.”

Designs will be reviewed by a bilateral committee populated by member representatives of OACFP and Beechwood Cemetery executive committees. Three semi-finalist designs will be chosen to be voted upon by the OACFP membership. The winner will be announced by end of March 2022. A budget of $50,000.00 has been set for the creation of the monument anticipated to be crafted in either bronze or granite, or a combination of both.

“The monument will help commemorate this moment in history and provide people the opportunity to reflect and grieve together at a designated place. It will also highlight the exceptional contribution the bereavement sector has had and continues to have in Ontario and Canada,” concluded Henning.

About OACFP (www.OACFP.com)

Founded in 1913, the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP) is a unified Association of bereavement sector professionals providing a support network of education and resources to its members. Follow us at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OACFP and on Twitter .

About Beechwood (www.beechwoodottawa.ca)

Established in 1873, Beechwood Cemetery is the National Cemetery of Canada and is the home of the National Military Cemetery, RCMP National Memorial Cemetery, the Ottawa Police Service Memorial Cemetery, the CSIS National Memorial Cemetery and many more organizations and religious groups. Beechwood is renowned for its unique landscaping, as well as monuments and markers of considerable architectural and historical interest. Monuments to St. Charbel, Our Lady of Fatima, Élisabeth Bruyère and St. Marguerite d’Youville are found on the grounds. Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services is owned by The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation and operates on a not-for-profit basis.

 * Statistics current as of January 20, 2022, Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Agency of Ontario