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Douglas Coupland wins monumental commission

Douglas Coupland is having a banner year. Not only did he use the occasion of this year’s Massey Lectures to deliver the manuscript of a new novel, he has also designed a clothing line for Roots. Now, the novelist-cum-artist (or is it artist-cum-novelist?) has won a national design competition for a monument honouring Canada’s fallen firefighters.

Coupland submitted the winning concept, which will be erected in Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats neighbourhood, with Toronto architect Mary Tremain. According to the CBC, it will feature “a giant fire hall pole that acts as a lightning rod, protecting a tree and monument underneath, with a bronze statue of a firefighter pointing to the names on the monument.” From the official press release:

I wanted the monument to convey deep emotion and simple dignity, said artist Douglas Coupland. I want people to eat their lunch there, read, play with their kids ” and each time they do so, a small part of themselves will reflect on firefighters and what they do every day when they go to work.