Public Art in Kelowna: Cenotaph


Cenotaph in City Park, Kelowna, BC


Cenotaph is stop #33 on the Public Art in Kelowna Tour.  These monuments are in a plaza in City Park, at the end of the Veendam walkway.  They honour Kelowna citizens who were killed in World War I, World War II and the Korean conflict.  Veendam, in the Netherlands, is a Sister City to Kelowna.  Canadian troops liberated Veendam in 1944.

Andrew Gibbs (City of Kelowna) and Don Ferguson (Site 360) designed the monuments and plaza.  (Don Ferguson seems to be the same person who designed the Leaf Bench.) The monuments were fabricated and installed by West Coast Monuments and the plaza was landscaped by West-Wind Nurseries.  The present state of the monuments and plaza results from a 2006 improvement project, supported by the Kelowna Veendam Sister City Association, local veterans’ organizations, the British Columbia Dragoons, the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada and the City of Kelowna.

I had never heard the word “cenotaph” before coming to Canada.  Wikipedia tells us:

A cenotaph is an “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion (kenos, one meaning being “empty”, and taphos, “tomb”). Although the vast majority of cenotaphs are erected in honour of individuals, many of the best-known cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of one country or empire.

Every year the local Canadian Legion post organizes Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Cenotaph in City Park.  This year:

…At approximately 10:25 a.m. a parade of participating organizations and the Colour Party will march from Kerry Park (Mill Street) along Abbott Street to the Cenotaph in City Park for the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, participating youth groups are invited to the Legion Branch, 1380 Bertram Street for lunch.  A period of social remembrance will be held in the Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kelowna has over 60 Public Art installations.  I hope to blog about all of them.  To see all the Public Art posts so far, click on the Public Art link on the right side of this page, or on this link.   Better still, pick up the brochure, or download the PDF, and build your own tour!

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1 comment

  1. True I have never heard of cenotaph before this and I appreciate the addition to my scrabble vocabulary.

    When it comes to understanding new words that do not yet make sense
    I refer to its origin or etymology

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