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3 Kingston art centres release joint statement urging city to remove Macdonald statue

Three different art centres in Kingston co-wrote a joint statement urging the city to remove the Sir John A. Macdonald from City Park. This comes a little less than a day before the city votes on its fate. Lars Hagberg/CP

On Tuesday evening, Union Art Gallery, Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Modern Fuel-Artist Run Centre released a joint statement explaining why the signees believe the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in City Park should be removed.

Kingston’s city council is set to discuss the fate of the statue on Wednesday, during a special council meeting. As that time gets closer, the three art centres join the list of voices urging the city to remove the statue immediately.

Read more: Working group recommends removal of Sir John A. Macdonald statue from City Park

“Today we are writing to urge you to reconsider statues and monuments. By reconsidering the role statues and monuments play in upholding — and in many cases constituting — ‘Canadian values,’ we can collectively come to reckon with a problem that haunts Kingston and keeps this place trapped in the trauma of the past,” the statement began.

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The statement is signed by Anne-Sophie Grenier, executive director of Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre; Emelie Chhangur, director and curator of Agnes Etherington Art Centre; and Carina Magazzeni, director of Union Gallery.

The statement explains that the three voices have considered solutions to “appease the status quo,” and that led them to believing that a plaque with further information about Sir. John A. Macdonald’s past is enough.

Read more: City of Kingston to host special council meeting to decide fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

“We need to reconsider statues and monuments more holistically if we are truly going to foster forms
of cultural multiplicity and expression.” The statement says that the only way to do that, is to remove the existing monument.

The City of Kingston will be taking recommendations from community, along with a working group at Wednesday’s meeting.

Click to play video: 'Special meeting called to discuss the future of Kingston’s Sir John A MacDonald statue' Special meeting called to discuss the future of Kingston’s Sir John A MacDonald statue
Special meeting called to discuss the future of Kingston’s Sir John A MacDonald statue – Jun 14, 2021

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