The Welland Canal Memorial Monument was built to commemorate the hard-working people from Canada and around the world who came to the Niagara Peninsula to build this waterway known as the Welland Canal. The Millennium Bureau of Canada gave us a grant of $76,000 for this Millennium project.
The monument in Merritt Park will serve as a lasting legacy for the citizens of the community who supported the vision of the Director and Members of the Board of the Welland Heritage Council. The monument will remind us of the importance of multiculturalism to development in Welland – past, present, and future. Industries, businesses, and citizens have prospered in Welland and the Niagara Peninsula through the efforts of people who built the canal. Some of these workers lost their lives digging with picks and shovels, many left their families and friends when they came to Canada in search of work.
Due to the generosity of the community who purchased bricks for the historical pathway, leaving their family names etched in stone, we were able to hire a sculptor to design the child at the back of the fountain.
None of this would have been possible without the renowned artist and sculptor, Bas Degroot, who designed the fountain and bronze statues. Due to his untimely death, he was unable to see it come to fruition. This monument is his lasting legacy to the citizens of Welland and the surrounding area. Mylinda and Bill Jurgenson completed the five bronze statues. Special thanks go to the City workers who came forth after the death of the artist and volunteered their time and city equipment to help us get started. Welland Hydro created a unique and spectacular light show to highlight this work of art.
We wish to acknowledge and thank the Millennium Bureau of Canada, the City of Welland, the City workers and the Welland Hydro for all their support with this project. Special recognition must go the citizens of Welland and the surrounding area for their encouragement and support. This labour of love would not have been possible without everyone’s support.