СТО PROJECT – 100 PLAQUES PROJECT
The “CTO Project” or 100 Plaques Project will be undertaken to mark the 100th anniversary of the War Measures Act by the Government of Canada and to mark the 100th anniversary of Canada’s First National Internment Operations of 1914-1920, with 100 plaques being unveiled on Friday, 22 August 2014.
All 100 plaques will be unveiled at 11 am (local time) in Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, German, and Hungarian churches and cultural centres, as well as in local and regional museums and other public venues, creating a cascading “wave” of unveilings, moving from east to west, from coast to coast.
On this day at 11:00 local time, for the first time in Canada’s history, a national event will be held in recognition of those Canadians who were interned and impacted by the War Measures Act. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation and the Canadian First World War Internment Council will be working with communities from across Canada, from Amherst, Nova Scotia to Nanaimo, British Columbia to Rouyn Noranda to create a national wave of unveilings across Canada.
In these centres where there was often an internment camp or processing centre, Canada will bear witness to plaque unveilings to mark the 100th anniversary of this event and hallow the memory of the victims of the internment operations, those who were physically interned in camps as well as those who lost their liberties and rights and were considered “enemy aliens”. This project will help educate Canadians about this little known episode in Canadian history now and for years to come.
The CTO project’s lead, Professor Lubomyr Luciuk, said: “A hundred years ago a wave of repression passed across this land as “enemy aliens” were herded into 24 internment camps, from coast to coast. One hundred years have passed since The War Measures Act and now we will witness a wave of remembrance moving across Canada and so recall all of the victims of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920. This project shall remind all of our fellow citizens of the importance of remaining vigilant in defence of our civil liberties and human rights, particularly in times of international and domestic crisis.”
The 100 locales selected will pay homage to the thousands of Canadians who were unjustly interred – Serbians, Croatians, Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholics, Armenians, Hungarians, Germans and others inclusive of the communities that were impacted by these operations.
The plaques are being placed in the cities where there were internment camps and processing centres, with places ranging in size from Toronto (Ontario) to Munson (Alberta). The plaques will be unveiled in public places in all these regions and will provide a lasting symbol of this tragic episode in Canadian history where thousands of Canadians lost their rights not over something they had done, but because of where they were from.
The plaques feature an image of internees behind Canadian barbed wire at Castle Mountain at Banff National Park.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by the financial support of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) and the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.