AIRDRIE, Alberta – This city’s Nose Creek Regional Park could soon be the site of Alberta’s first monument to a Filipino national hero, Jose Rizal.
Airdrie City Council on Oct. 19 endorsed the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary’s donation of a bust of Dr. José Rizal to be located in Nose Creek Regional Park, Airdrie Today reported.
Monuments of Rizal can be found throughout the world in Spain, Germany, China, the United States and many other countries, Patron said. In Canada, busts of Rizal are located in Toronto and Markham Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Spanish colonial government executed Rizal by firing squad in 1896 at the age of 35, but his execution inspired the revolution for independence after 300 years of Spanish rule.
“If we can make this project happen, this would be the first in Alberta,” said Consul General Zaldy Patron. “Why Airdrie? Well, Airdrie has a growing Filipino community and we have, in your city, two Filipino associations – the Filipino Airdrie Association and the [Airdrie Filipino Women’s League],” Patron was quoted by Airdrie Today.
Patron noted that 1,500 Filipinos call the city home and that Nose Creek Regional Park is the venue for various Filipino events throughout the year, such as Philippine Independence Day and Filipino Heritage Month in June.
According to Patron, the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary and the Filipino Association of Airdrie would pay and fundraise for the bust and its installation ($12000 to $18,000), while the City of Airdrie would be responsible for its maintenance.
The bust could be installed next year and unveiled as early as August 2021.
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