Ottawa: Symbolic Nation and the City

by Heather Leroux

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Ottawa as a national capital is constantly negotiating its national and local civic identity. Monuments and public art play a role in articulating these identities within the public sphere and are further narrated by the personal use of these spaces by local citizens. This paper will show that although there is a difference between monuments and public art terms of intention and purpose, monuments and public art as they exist within the public sphere are actually one in the same, as they exist as forms which we experience at a local level and can contribute to a multilayered national, local and personal identity.


Ottawa, national, local, identity, monument, art


Heather LeRoux is a first year MA student in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University with a focus in Heritage Conservation. Before joining Canadian Studies, she studied Art History in the School for Studies in Art and Culture also at Carleton University. At the graduate level she has completed research papers on intangible cultural heritage in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador and has looked at the impact of geographic location and cultural memory on artistic representations of Atlantic Canada. ​