seminar title Unsettling Elgin Street: Monuments, Memory and National Narratives
During his tenure as Prime Minister, MacKenzie King imagined Ottawa’s Elgin Street as the Canadian Champs Elysées. He insisted on placing the National War Memorial at Elgin Street’s northern apex, to create a sort of Canadian Arc de Triomphe. Since the unveiling of the National War Memorial in 1939, Elgin Street has become a street where visitors can peripatetically perform dominant narratives of the nation; however, the street and its monuments also allow for the undoing of these same narratives. In this walk and talk, beginning at the National War Memorial we will explore how monuments along Elgin Street allow for the generation of multiple sets of memories, nostalgia, and challenges to nationalist narratives. We will visit various monuments along Elgin Street including the Oscar Peterson statue, the monuments in Confederation Park, the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights, and Enclave: The Women’s Monument. About your tour guide: Tonya Davidson is a sociologist who has spent many years studying the social lives of Ottawa’s statues. She has published in the academic journals: Space and Culture, Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, the Public Historian, and the Journal of Canadian Studies. Tonya has also written for various magazines including Briarpatch, Herizons, THIS, and Canadian Dimension. She teaches sociology at Carleton University. Further details: Meeting place: National War Memorial (benches on the West side of the monument) Ending place: Minto Park (off Elgin Street) Duration: 2 hours Total distance covered: approx 2.5km Ease of terrain: flat terrain, some stairs Accessibility: alternative route available to accommodate wheelchair accessibility, please ask On-demand: Tonya may also be able to offer this tour on demand to groups of 3+ (at flexible times). Please get in touch with us at email@example.com for more information about this option.
- walking seminar guide - Unsettling Elgin Street: Monuments, Memory and National Narratives
- availability - Runs Saturdays (2:00pm start), Thursdays (10:30am start) and Mondays (7:00pm start)
- meeting place - National War Memorial (Elgin Street)