Public Artwork

Five Monument

Barbara Paterson, Five Monument, 1999
Barbara Paterson, Five Monument, 1999
Barbara Paterson, Five Monument, 1999
Olympic Plaza, Calgary, AB, Canada
Alternate title: 
Woman are Persons! Monument
Artwork creator(s): 
Paterson, Barbara
Text author(s): 
Paterson, Barbara
Installation year: 

The sculpture shows five key women in Canadian history, celebrating an important legal victory in characteristic poses. An empty chair adds an interactive feature to the monument, inviting passers-by to join the group. The newspaper with the headline "Women are Persons" that the Nellie McClung figure is holding reflects some of the actual headlines of newspapers of the day.

Text of the artwork: 




Les femmes
sont des

Artwork theme: 

Five Alberta women fought to have Canadian women recognized constitutionally as "persons" who were eligible to be named to the Senate. Emily Murphy led the battle and she was supported by Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Nellie McClung. The Supreme Court of Canada rejected their case in 1928 but the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council decided in favour of the women on October 18, 1929.


A copy of the monument is located on Parliament Hill in Ottawa