We’ve put together a gallery of memorable events for Lord Stanley’s Gift monument. You will find them all here.
The monument is unveiledOctober 28, 2017
Players who have hoisted the Stanley Cup say they experienced in that moment a rush of joy, gratitude and satisfaction. Those who gathered on October 28, 2017 to witness the official unveiling of the Lord Stanley’s Gift monument know the feeling.
The ceremony began with speeches that enabled everyone in attendance to understand the symbolism of the monument and the significance of the moment. It continued with the presentation of a deed that grants the monument to the City of Ottawa. It concluded with a sound-and-light spectacle that evoked a player gliding with skill through the monument. The skater then stopped abruptly, spraying a shower of ice and snow, which was represented by more than 3,000 white helium balloons bursting out of the monument’s cup and floating up into the night. It was a sight that captured the beauty of the sport, the pursuit of excellence and the realization of a dream.
Our thanks for a wonderful and memorable unveiling go to everyone who took part in it—several hundred fans; a dozen young players from minor teams; two elected officials from the city; two executives from the National Hockey League and Ottawa Senators Hockey Club; the two Stanley Cup trustees (Brian O’Neill and Ian “Scotty” Morrison) who are the trophy’s official guardians; and one Stanley Cup champion—Hockey Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald.
For one brief moment, all who were at the unveiling experienced the joy, gratitude and satisfaction that Lanny and 125 years’ worth of Stanley Cup champions once did.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the monumentOctober 23, 2017
First minister, first visitor. It’s only fitting that the first person to experience the Lord Stanley’s Gift monument is Canada’s first minister. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—wearing the bleu, blanc, rouge sweater of his beloved Montreal Canadiens—took in the freshly installed structure on October 23, 2017, a few days before its official unveiling. Joining the prime minister were Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Inc. president George Hunter and Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster David Amber.
The prime minister’s visit included a chat with Mr. Amber about hockey, the Stanley Cup and the monument. The interview was featured as part of Hockey Night in Canada’s live coverage of the monument unveiling on October 28. Like the prime minister’s visit, having hockey’s top-line broadcast showcase a monument to a trophy that has united Canadians for generations is only fitting. Call it an example of game recognizing game.
A monument in the makingOctober 21, 2017
Like the moves and passes that combine for a smooth breakout from the defensive zone, the Lord Stanley’s Gift monument integrates several distinct elements to form a pleasing whole. While the most visible element of the structure is the large chaliced form, the Covit/Nguyen/NORR design team envisioned the monument as a seamless combination of elements—construction and assembly of which took place over several months in the summer and fall of 2017.
Thirty-six silver stainless-steel bands evoke the original Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup pledged by Lord Stanley in Ottawa on March 18, 1892. The bands are sculpted and joined not only to invite visitors to step inside the bowl, but also to deliver a view that frames the National War Memorial across the street—formerly the site of the hotel in which Lord Stanley made his historic pledge. Fabrication of the bands into two impressive pieces took place at the Metallier d’art Michel Bernier in Montreal. The two pieces were then transported from Montreal to Ottawa and joined together on site.
The sculptured bands rise from the monument’s second element—a small hockey rink. A blend of cement and natural additives were used to make the concrete appear white like ice. This ice isn’t pristine though. Embedded in its surface are stainless-steel lines that evoke skate marks. A game is definitely underway.
Since hockey is a team game, the monument features a large black granite bench. Shaped in the form of a puck, the bench not only symbolizes where teammates prepare for their next shift, but it also gives visitors a spot to contemplate the scene before them. Stone to make it was sourced from the same quarry in Saguenay. Weighing more than three tons, the bench was skilfully stickhandled into its designated spot by the expert construction team. Take a seat, boys. You’ve earned it.
You can’t play a game without a puck. How about three dozen of them? Thirty-six pucks are represented on the surface of the rink. Each is engraved with the name of one of the 36 teams to win the Stanley Cup between 1893 and 2017. The granite was sourced from a quarry near Saguenay, Quebec. The pucks were cut and engraved in Montreal, and then transported to Ottawa, where monument artist Linda Covit dropped them into their final positions on the rink.
GroundbreakingMarch 18, 2017
Exactly 125 years to the day when and where Lord Stanley of Preston, Canada’s 6th Governor General, donated the original cup to the game of hockey, a ceremonial “puck drop” for the Lord Stanley’s Gift monument was held to commemorate its groundbreaking.
Present for the groundbreaking were His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa; George Hunter, President of Lord Stanley’s Gift Monument Inc.; Artist Linda Covit of Covit/Nguyen/NORR/EllisDon design team; and NHL Alumni Frank Mahovlich and Dave Keon.
Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall. © OSGG, 2017. Reproduced with the permission of the OSGG, 2017.
Photo credit: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/OSHC
Stanley Cup 125th Tribute WeekMarch 14, 2017
March 14-18th marked a Hat trick in 2017 with 3 major hockey milestones: the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the centennial of the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Senator’s 25th hockey season.
The four-day celebration of the Stanley Cup began with the opening of the “Hockey” exhibit at Canadian Museum of History. The Governor General David Johnston welcomed the iconic trophy home to Rideau Hall. There was a public meet-and-greet of the Stanley Cup and NHL alumni at the Aberdeen Pavilion, a tribute concert at Canadian Tire Centre, and of course, the groundbreaking of Lord Stanley’s Gift monument, exactly 125 years to the day when Lord Stanley of Preston gifted the original cup to the game of hockey.
Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall. © OSGG, 2017. Reproduced with the permission of the OSGG, 2017.
Canadian Museum of History “Hockey” exhibitMarch 9, 2017
On March 9, 2017 the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa opened its much anticipated Hockey Exhibition. Featured at the exhibit is Lord Stanley’s Gift monument winning design maquette by team Covit / Nguyen / NORR. We are thrilled to be a part of ‘Hockey’ which runs from March 10 – October 9, 2017.
Interpretive Panels at monument siteMarch 8, 2017
On March 8, 2017, eight temporary interpretive panels were installed on the hoarding fences surrounding the monument site to serve as a theatrical backdrop for the forthcoming monument. The panels tell the story of Lord Stanley, his gift, the competition, and the winning design.
Winning Design Mock-upJanuary 17, 2017
A full size mock-up of the winning design monument was installed January 17, 2017 on the Sparks Street site in Ottawa. The purpose of the mock-up was to test the visual impact of the artwork in its urban context. Linda Covit, the lead artist for winning Canadian design team Covit/Nguyen/NORR/EllisDon, was very happy with the result. The mock-up was a success and dismantled the same day.
Governor General’s ReceptionOctober 27, 2016
On October 27, 2016, a very special reception was held by Governor General David Johnson at Rideau Hall to celebrate the exceptionally talented finalists and the progress of the Lord Stanley’s Gift Monument Public Art Competition. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnson is the Distinguished Patron of Lord Stanley’s Gift.
Rideau Hall. Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2016. / Mention de source : Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © BSGG, 2016
Relocation of “Territorial Prerogative” (The Bear)September 27, 2016
Sculptor Bruce Garner’s “Territorial Prerogative” (the Bear) was relocated to its new place at the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe to clear the existing site for the Lord Stanley’s Gift Monument. The “Bear on the move” relocation operation took place on September 27, 2016. It was a formidable sight.
Finalists ExpoSeptember 22, 2016
An exposition of the eight finalist designs was held at the Canada Council for the Arts, Âjagemô Gallery, in Ottawa on September 22nd and 23rd September, 2016. The eight Finalists were selected from the forty entries reviewed by a jury of eminent Canadians, highly respected in the fields of public art, culture, history, and hockey. Representatives of the eight Finalist Design Teams were at the Exposition to present their design proposals to the jury and public, using video display and a maquette. The winning team was announced on November 14, 2016.
Finalists presentations to jurySeptember 22, 2016
As part of the competition process, the eight design team finalists presented their concepts and maquettes to the jury at the Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa on September 22, 2016. Each team had fifteen minutes to present to the jury, follow by fifteen minutes Q&A. You can find the ‘post-game’ interviews with each design team, here. The eight Finalists were selected from the forty entries reviewed by a jury of eminent Canadians, highly respected in the fields of public art, culture, history, and hockey.
Competition Finalists briefingJune 17, 2016
On June 17, 2016, members of each finalist team met in Ottawa for a briefing session of the monument competition. Mayor Jim Watson and LSMMI Chair, George Hunter, gave the finalists a warm welcome. Project Manager and Professional Advisor, Barry Padolsky, walked the finalists through the monument’s inception, creative overview and details of the RFP. Of note, finalist pulled letters A-G out of a hat to determine their placement at the public expo in September 2016. The party also took a walk up to the monument site.
Lord Stanley’s Gift monument public art competition launchMarch 18, 2016
On March 18, 2016 the Lord Stanley’s Gift monument public art competition and website were launched. A press conference was held at the Âjagemô Gallery at Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa. It was a rare opportunity to see the original Stanley cup, gifted to Canada by Lord Stanley of Preston, 6th Governor General of Canada on March 18, 1892. Speaking at the press conference were: George Hunter, Chair, LSMMI, Stephane Lauzon, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Peter O’Leary, Ottawa Senators Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, and Steve Mayer, National Hockey League, Executive Vice President.
Paul Kitchen announces monument location at press conferenceMarch 18, 2013
On March 18th, 2013 a press conference was held at D’Arcy McGee’s Pub in Ottawa to announce the selected site for Lord Stanley’s Gift monument, located at the east entrance of Ottawa’s Sparks Street Mall, facing Confederation Square and the National War Memorial. This prime piece of real estate is 50 metres west of the very spot on which Lord Stanley announced his intention to offer a challenge cup (what would become known as the Stanley Cup) as the symbol of hockey excellence in Canada. Details on the design competition, as well as next steps in the completion of the project were shared with the members of the media and general public.
Attending the press conference: Paul Kitchen (1937-2015), President, Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Committee; The Honourable Bal Gosal – Federal Minister of State (Sport); Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa; Murray Costello – Former President of Hockey Canada and former Vice-President of the International Ice Hockey Federation; Members of the Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Committee; Special guests and dignitaries.
In 2010, a small but dedicated group of citizens led by the late historian Paul Kitchen formed a non-profit corporation with the dream of creating a monument to celebrate this historic event and the spirit and excitement of the game of hockey—now played in more than 90 countries. The monument, a significant piece of public art, was to be called Lord Stanley’s Gift.