A new legacy garden will be constructed in Calgary’s South Glenmore Park to commemorate the lives of five young people who lost their lives in 2014.
All five were victims of Calgary’s deadliest massacre, which occurred in 2014 in the community of Brentwood at an end-of-the-semester house party.
Lawrence Hong, Josh Hunter, Kaitlan (Kaiti) Perras, Jordan Segura, and Zackariah Rathwell were stabbed to death by Matthew de Grood, who was apprehended shortly after the incident by police.
In 2016, de Grood was found not criminally responsible for the killings after a judge found that he had been suffering from a mental disorder.
Five years after the initial tragedy, and the families of the victims have announced that a garden will be built in Calgary in honour of the five young people who lost their lives, according to a release from the Quinterra Legacy Garden Group.
“The Quinterra Legacy Garden is full of unity and love. It cultivates community in an area that embodies a positive, energetic spirit,” said Barclay Hunter, on behalf of the Quinterra Legacy Garden Group, in the release.
“It is our way of thanking Calgarians for their incredible support during the last five years and for reminding us that there is light beyond tragedy and loss.”
The groundbreaking will occur this spring, and the garden is expected to feature programs, performances, and interactive musical instruments, all centred around a 30-foot diameter stage.
“We hope it will be a space to build community, emulate love, spread positivity and inspire reflection,” said Ronda-Lee Rathwell of the Quinterra Legacy Garden Group, in the release.
“Our vision is to see Calgarians in the garden with their family and friends, enjoying the arts or a meditation program and being thankful for today.”
Each of the five individuals will be represented throughout the garden in the artwork, design, and layout of the area.
The group is hoping to raise a total of $750,000 in order to further support the garden, and donations are being accepted at the Parks Foundation Calgary website.
“Our hope is that the garden will be a vibrant and intimate gathering place for public performances or quiet contemplation,” said Shannon Miller of the Quinterra Legacy Garden Group, in the release.
“People will leave the garden with a clear mind.”