For Immediate Release (Lethbridge, Calgary, Ottawa, 15 October 2013)
On the 99th anniversary of the start of the First World War and Canada’s first national internment operations, a permanent memorial to the civilian internees of the Lethbridge internment camp will be officially unveiled at the southwest Alberta city’s Exhibition Grounds on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. (MT).
UCCLA and city officials will unveil a trilingual (English, French, Ukrainian) plaque on the site where, between Sept. 30, 1914 and Nov. 7, 1916, hundreds of civilian internees cycled through following arrest and detention. Lethbridge was one of 24 such sites in Canada. The camp operations in total housed more than 8,000 men, women and children during the First World War and for two years following, simply for being born or for having parents who were born in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
“UCCLA is steadfast in its commitment to mark each of the two dozen ‘concentration camps’ that dotted this land between 1914 and 1920,” said UCCLA’s chairperson R.W. Zakaluzny. “Thanks to the City of Lethbridge, Exhibition Park, the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, the placement of this memorial plaque in Lethbridge means our work in permanently memorializing every site is nearly completed.”