Saturday, August 1, 2020

City Daily Photo Theme Day: City People

The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and for August, that theme is City People. Check out how others are interpreting this theme right here.

It has been awhile since I've featured the sculptural set here, which is my take for the theme. The work of Canadian artist Barbara Paterson, The Famous Five monument is one of an identical pair, the other located in Calgary. It honours five Canadian women involved in the Women Are Persons case that ultimately went before the Privy Council in 1929 and confirmed that yes, women are persons under the law, and could be appointed to the Senate. This was part of a broader movement at the time for suffrage. The sculptural set was unveiled on Parliament Hill in 2000. At present, with the work going on around the Hill, the decision was made to move them over here, as opposed to encasing the set in scaffolding to protect them as has been done with some statues on the Hill. This is outside the Government Conference Centre at Plaza Bridge, where the Senate is currently meeting, which makes it a fitting spot for the monument. The building started out as the main train station, more than a century ago.

A set of plaques features the story of the case, as well as profiles of all five women: Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Marryat Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards. Their signatures are inscribed in the paving stones before each sculpture. Two of the statues, all larger than life, are sitting, while the others are standing. The headline confirming that women are people too is proudly displayed by one of them.

I took multiple angles of the sculpture set, with landmarks in the background that include Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal and National Arts Centre, the War Memorial, and the Chateau Laurier.

These sculptures tend to be a popular one for photo ops, as we can see here. Having people in amid the statues gives you a sense of the larger scale of the statues. The artist did wonderful work with their design. For the time being they will remain here, until work around Centre Block is completed.


  1. What a pretty sculptures these are!

  2. ...that is a wonderful tribute to the women of Canada.

  3. Beautiful sculptures, William !

  4. Fine sculptures commemorating five courageous Canadian women who stood up for their rights and succeeded.

  5. @Jim: thanks!

    @Marianne: they stand out.

    @Tom: it is.

    @Karl: thanks.

    @Rosemary: indeed.

  6. It is a perfect location. Love those pieces!

  7. Hello,

    I love your take on the City People theme! The sculptures are great! Have a happy weekend!

  8. Hello William. I posted and lost the comment . Here goes again. The sculptures are very lifelike and many remind me of the pioneers of our own country, the Voortrekkers. Thanks for sharing. Be safe. Jo

  9. How wonderful. I really enjoyed the history lesson. :-)

  10. So good to get real people in the shot William, I think it's so appropriate that these incredible woman should be larger than life 💜

  11. Great idea for the theme.
    I Am Woman---hear me roar!

  12. It is a good reminder of how things were in the past and how they can be changed for the good.

  13. Beautiful statues, William. I like your take on the theme.

  14. What a nice choice for the theme.

  15. These are wonderful sculptures. There is a set in Calgary, too!

  16. @Marie: I agree.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @David: it is indeed.

    @Jo: you're welcome.

    @DJan: thanks!

    @Grace: very much so.

    @Marleen: it is.

    @MB: very fitting.

    @Sharon: indeed.

    @RedPat: that's true.

    @Agnieszka: thank you.

    @Bill: thanks!

    @Cloudia: thank you.

    @Jacie: it's a good one.

    @Kay: I thought so.

    @Joanne: indeed.

    @Linda: thanks!

    @Jennifer: the one in Calgary I expect I'll see someday.