OACFP Invites Design Options for COVID-19 Memorial

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A monument to permanently commemorate the lives lost during the pandemic

TORONTO, January 25, 2022 /CNW/ – The Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP) announced today that it has launched a competition asking for design options that would result in the creation of a COVID-19 memorial permanent (COVID Memorial) to be installed at Beechwood Cemetery, the National Cemetery, in Ottawa (ON), near the Beechwood National Memorial Centre. Competitive entries must be submitted by February 25, 2022 and can be sent to [email protected]. Detailed design requirements can be viewed at oacfp.com/COVIDMemorial. The winning design will be selected and announced in March 2022.

“Too many Ontarians have lost loved ones during the pandemic, whether to the COVID-19 virus, causes resulting from the virus as well as non-COVID related causes of death,” noted Meghan Henning, Chairman of the Board of the OACFP. “Devastatingly, many of these Ontarians have not been able to meaningfully grieve with their family or community.”

To date, over 11,004* Ontarians (over 32,294* Canadians) have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic and an unknown number due to a crippled medical system strained by lack of medical capacity available.

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

We started this project so that we can create a lasting memorial that will serve as another piece of remembrance and healing for those lost in this time of a pandemic. »

Designs will be reviewed by a committee comprised of member representatives from the OACFP and Beechwood Cemetery executive committees. Three semi-finalist designs will be chosen and voted on by OACFP members. The winner will be announced by the end of March 2022. A budget of $50,000.00 was set for the creation of the monument which should be made of bronze or granite, or a combination of both. The monument must be installed in mid-September 2022 in conjunction with the OACFP annual conference.

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

* Statistics current as of January 24, 2022, Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Agency of Ontario.

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

About Beechwood (www.beechwoodottawa.ca)
Established in 1873, Beechwood Cemetery is the national cemetery of Canada and is home to the National Military Cemetery, the RCMP National Memorial Cemetery, the Ottawa Police Service Memorial Cemetery, the CSIS National Memorial Cemetery and many other religious organizations and groups. Beechwood is recognized for its unique landscaping, as well as its monuments and landmarks of considerable architectural and historical interest. Monuments to Saint-Charbel, Notre-Dame de Fatima, Élisabeth Bruyère, and Sainte-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.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals

For further information: Media contact: Caroline Spivak, Profile Communications Corp., [email protected]416.371.9740

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