Mass murderers leave legacies of evil behind.
Their murder victims also leave legacies behind, but of a very different kind.
The families of five University of Calgary students brutally stabbed to death on April 14, 2014 – Lawrence Hong, Josh Hunter, Kaitlan (Kaiti) Perras, Jordan Segura, and Zackariah Rathwell – came together to create monument to and a place of remembrance for their slain children.
That place is Quinterra Legacy Garden.
They broke ground on the site in mid-June 2019 on a space in South Glenmore Park, and now work is almost complete. A news release from the group says construction is scheduled to complete this summer.
“Creating this garden has been a huge collaborative effort for so many people who knew and loved our children, as well as individuals and organizations who were moved by our childrens’ stories and wanted to find a way to help,” said Barclay Hunter on behalf of the families.
“When we imagined this garden, we knew we wanted it to be a place of music, the arts, dance theatre, as well as quiet contemplation and peace. Today, in light of the pandemic, Calgarians are seeking and enjoying outdoor spaces more than ever, and the design of this space will be a place where visitors can feel safe while being part of a greater community.”
From the Quinterra Legacy Garden website:
Quinterra Legacy Garden will be an interactive musical garden and performance space that reflects hope, possibility, creativity and the life-affirming qualities that each of our five amazing children embodied.
Located in South Glenmore Park, this amenity will become Calgary’s first fully dedicated music garden and performance space.
It will be accessible to Calgarian’s of all ages and will include interactive musical and play elements along with a 30-foot diameter stage for programming including music, dance, theatre, spoken word, yoga, meditation, healing circles, etc.
The garden will include elements representing the five lives lost, reflecting each of their personalities through the arts and design.
Visitors to the garden will feel a sense of discovery and play, inspiration, creativity, reflection, contemplation and a sense of well-being.
Design elements embrace motifs representing the number five – five branches, leaves and roots in the garden logo; a five-pointed star on the stage; and five chairs placed in front of the five flowering trees planted in the garden.
Financial sponsors of Quinterra Legacy Garden are:
- Enmax Corporation
- Calgary Foundation
- Pembina Pipeline Corporation
- Maureen Gillette Memorial Fund
- Canlin Energy Corporation
- Calgary Flames Foundation
- EFW Radiology
- McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
- Graham Construction
- Ridgeback Resources Inc.
If you would like to donate to this worthwhile project, you can do so through the Calgary Parks Foundation website:
The five students’ killer, as I reported earlier this year, was granted “unsupervised outings” by the parole board in late 2019, despite his high risk to re-offend.
The five families who lost a child to the killer are unimpressed with this latest development.