The Royal Canadian Legion on Sunday extended its deadline for proposals to replace a Yellowknife monument to veterans vandalized earlier this year.
A monument designed by Inuvialuit artist Eli Nasogaluak, from Tuktoyaktuk, was badly damaged in July. Nasogaluak’s work, which had occupied a plinth on Veterans Memorial Drive since 2005, was subsequently taken down.
At the time, a Legion official described being “horrified” by the vandalism. A fundraising campaign and call for artists to design a replacement followed.
On Sunday, the Legion unveiled a temporary placeholder at the site and said it was postponing the selection of a design for the new commemorative installation.
The decision to delay came one day before Remembrance Day. The Legion had initially hoped to have a new monument in place by November 11, then later voiced an ambition to have a design selected by this date.
“We are extending the deadline for proposals until November 30, 2019,” Richard Jalbert, vice-president of the local Legion branch, announced beside the original monument’s plinth on Sunday.
“The memorial will be unveiled on this spot some time in 2020,” he said.
Tammy Roberts, speaking on behalf of the Legion, told Cabin Radio there had been some interest from teams looking to design a replacement, but there remained work to be done.
“The process is taking a lot longer than we anticipated, and we want to make sure that what is there will be there for a long time, and is exactly what we want,” said Roberts.
Yellowknife’s damaged veterans’ monument is shown in July 2019. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Legion members unveil a placeholder on Sunday, November 10. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Teams submitting designs must include one northern artist and one youth, with input from a military historian or someone with thorough knowledge of Canadian Forces in the North.
RCMP have not reported finding the culprit, or culprits, associated with the July attack on the previous sculpture.