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International Day for Monuments and Sites

Edited on December 3, 2011: The NCC has revamped their website and the links below no longer work, but you can find the NCC’s new public art page here.

Today is the International Day for Monuments and Sites. In the past, the NCC has organized guided walking along routes that visited various downtown monuments. This year they’ve taken a different, more tech-savvy approach and have installed QR codes at five test sites. QR codes allow visitors who have a QR reader on their smartphone to scan the code and get information on the item being scanned (QR readers are usually available via free download) . Visitors who scan one of the NCC’s QR codes will get to watch a multi-media clip. The NCC’s news release about the pilot project states:

The pilot project Decoding Art offers visitors the opportunity to discover the history and the artists who created national monuments in Canada’s Capital Region, through multimedia clips available on smart phones using the QR code technology. The multimedia clips are inspiring conversations between two people who tell the story of the monument with passion, humour and emotions. To make the experience even more memorable, clips were also recorded for children by children.

So far, the five NCC monuments with QR codes are:

  • The Terry Fox Statue at the Capital Infocentre across from Parliament Hill;
  • Women are Persons at Parliament Hill;
  • Colonel By at Major’s Hill Park;
  • Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument on Sussex Drive, at the corner of St. Patrick Street; and
  • Never give up!, the Maurice Richard monument at Jacques Cartier Park.

You can also view the multi-media clips on the NCC’s YouTube channel, and you can see the NCC’s Decoding Art poster here. The NCC is hoping to add QR chips to many more monuments in the future.

If you’d like more information on national monuments and public art, you can visit the NCC’s Commemorations and Public Art page, or download Street SmART - A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capitol Region, a pdf brochure put out by the NCC. (You can get hard copies of the brochure by contacting the NCC.) You can also check out this blog post on Ottawa Girl that talks about a few other public art pieces of interest.

I think the NCC’s use of QR codes is a terrific way to generate interest in public art and to make learning about monuments more fun. I definintely plan to check out the QR codes - as soon as the weather is a bit more cooperative :)

frugalfish QR Code

frugalfish QR code

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