The Sir John A. Statue: Art & Political Protest

January 11, 2013
Sir John A. statue in Kingston's City Park on January 11, 2013. Photo: Alexander Gabov. Source: City of Kingston.Pinterest
Sir John A. statue in Kingston's City Park on January 11, 2013. Photo: Alexander Gabov. Source: City of Kingston.

For more than a century the monument to Sir John A. Macdonald located in Kingston City Park has been a site for public celebration as well as political protest. Early in the morning on January 11, 2013 (the 198th anniversary of John A. Macdonald's birth) the monument was used to draw attention to Macdonald's policies regarding First Peoples in Canada when it was splattered with red paint and inscribed with the words "Murderer," "Colonizer," "Sir John A. Killer" and "This is stolen land." Two years later, on January 11, 2015, the monument provided the backdrop for a piece called Dear John; Louis Riel by Métis artist and scholar David Garneau as a "performative intervention into the bicentennial celebration." Evidence that Sir John A. Macdonald continues to elicit strong emotions and prompt public debate even in the 21st century.