Memorials & Commemorations
Kingston is proud of its past, a connection reinforced by the City's motto, Where History and Innovation Thrive. The large number of commemorations and memorials found on City property help us to connect with our community's history. Various commemorative forms such as tree dedications and commemorative benches, proclamations and flag raisings are managed by different City departments. Some tangible commemorations, including plaques, statues, monuments, certificates, and mementos, are now maintained as part of the City's civic collection of artifacts and works of art.
Requests are administered in accordance with the Kingston Commemoration Policy and must meet requirements detailed in the guidelines outlined below.
Please review the list of available commemorations and guidelines before making your request.
Events, festivals or ceremonies
Sometimes a community-led event, festival or ceremony is an appropriate form to commemorate a historic event, person, place or idea in Kingston. These commemorations must be occurring in a City park or facility. Contact the Special Events Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions related to this topic.
Plaques, interpretive panels and statues
A number of permanent and temporary tangible forms are used to tell the historical stories of events, persons, places and ideas important to our community. To learn which type may be most appropriate to your commemoration, contact email@example.com
To apply for a flag-raising, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage property markers
The City offers a program to mark designated heritage properties in Kingston. To apply for a heritage marker for your property, please contact email@example.com.
Are you interested in a short-term commemoration to mark an event or person? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Commemorations requests are administered in accordance with the Kingston Commemorations Policy (see below) and must meet one or more of the following requirements:
- the subject proposed must have relevance to the Kingston area or to communities in Kingston;
- an individual will only be considered for Commemoration at least ten years after his/her death;
- a group or organization will only be considered for Commemoration at least ten years after it has been established;
- an idea or event will only be considered for Commemoration at least ten years after its conclusion;
- must not duplicate the themes or subject matter of an existing commemorative site;
- should recognize collective military efforts rather than individuals and in the case of international conflicts, only those sanctioned by the Government of Canada shall be considered;
Commemorations requests shall:
- be automatically disqualified when the subject denigrates ideological, religious or other beliefs; promotes hate; is contrary to any law; or is a Corporate Sponsorship;
- not normally include a subject that commemorates a natural disaster
- strive to achieve balance in relation to Commemorations acknowledging that certain thematic areas are underrepresented, such as First Peoples; Ethno-cultural communities; Francophone and Women;
- address geographic and thematic gaps identified in the Kingston Commemorations Strategy;
- engage and connect all of Kingston, including youth, through a range of stories and experiences;
- provide opportunities for celebration, reflection, discovery, dialogue and critique;
- honour important achievements and aspirations, discuss uncomfortable truths and build appreciation for the diverse stories about Kingston's past; and
- be considered in future redevelopment of civic spaces.
The Kingston Commemorations Strategy and Policy
The Kingston Commemorations Strategy (approved in 2015) establishes protocols and decision-making processes to work with community members to foster a multi-faceted dialogue on people, places, events and ideas with significance to Kingston's heritage through commemorations. The 10-year strategy covers includes all forms of commemoration on City -owned property or requiring City approvals.
Purpose of policy
The Kingston Commemoration Policy (approved 2017) implements the Kingston Commemoration Strategy. The purpose of the policy is:
- To implement a cohesive, overall vision for commemorations
- To coordinate all existing City commemoration policies
- To establish a transparent, streamlined decision-making process for commemoration proposals
- To improve customer service through the Heritage Resource Centre and new City web portal
- To clarify roles for management of City's commemorative collections
The Kingston Commemoration Strategy provides a vision of how commemorations can support a greater understanding of Kingston's many stories. Commemorations in a variety of forms in City spaces throughout Kingston will be used to: honour important achievements and aspirations; discuss uncomfortable truths; and build appreciation of the diverse stories that make up Kingston's past generations.
- A commemoration is an intentional act of acknowledging the memory of people, places, events and ideas
- Commemorations can be public or private, national or local, tangible or intangible, monumental or modest in scale, permanent or temporary
Guiding Principles of the Strategy
- Commemorations shall be realized in a range of forms and together they should provide opportunities for celebration, reflection, discovery, dialogue and critique.
- All of Kingston is reflected in the range of commemorations in City spaces.
- Everyone in Kingston, including the city's youth, are engaged and connected to Kingston's stories through their experience of the range of commemorations in City spaces.
- The City shall recognize collective commemorative impulses and shall be flexible and responsive to communities' spontaneous temporary commemorations in public spaces.