Inauguration of The Queen’s Entrance
Rideau Hall, Saturday, July 1, 2017
We are all gathering here today on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people for this special event.
My wife, Sharon, and I are delighted to welcome you to Rideau Hall, to this recently renewed forecourt, for our first significant event since it was completed two weeks ago.
For 150 years, Rideau Hall has been an important gathering place for Canadians. This is a place where diverse peoples, cultures and traditions intersect. It’s a symbol of Canada, where every stone, every painting and every room is part of a living history, and where a new chapter is written every day. History happens here.
Today, a new chapter of that story begins. It’s a chapter carved in the wood, etched in the glass and forged in the bronze of these new doors, which we inaugurate today as The Queen’s Entrance in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, who has served Canada with such dedication and distinction for 65 years. What a privilege to do so with Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on the day of the 150th anniversary of Confederation!
If you look closely, these doors tell the story of our past while looking forward to our future. Allow me to highlight just a few design elements that contribute to telling our story.
First, let me draw your attention to the exterior metalwork. Its geometries represent infrastructure and settlement patterns from Canadian history, including the railroad, which was so critical to Confederation.
Second, the doors’ interior glass patterns include circular elements, which highlight aspects of Indigenous cultures. Also, the vertical soaring lines in the glass echo some of the famous landscape paintings of Tom Thomson. To look out through this glass is to see the remarkable diversity and beauty of this vast country.
The driveway approaching Rideau Hall is among the most storied landscapes in Canada, and this new entrance serves as an impressive and welcoming focal point. It is symbolically and literally significant; it is our front door.
At the beginning of my mandate, I asked Canadians to consider what gift they might give to Canada on the occasion of its 150th birthday. Many responded, and today we are joined by one Canadian, Roger Alexander Lindsay, whose generosity helped make this project possible. His vision of making Rideau Hall more welcoming and open will benefit Canadians and visitors for generations.
Sharon and I are grateful to Mr. Lindsay, and to all who helped make this project possible.
We would also like to thank the artisans who worked together to design and build these extraordinary doors. Each element is painstakingly handmade. Each is unique and helps us to tell our story. We are delighted that some of these artisans are with us this evening.
We also thank the National Capital Commission for its continuing stewardship of this very special place. Thank you to all of you who work so hard to preserve and enhance Canada’s cultural heritage.
These doors are an inspiring gift to Canada. I thank you all for being here to help us inaugurate The Queen’s Entrance to Rideau Hall in honour of Her Majesty’s 65 years of distinguished service to Canada.