The City of Calgary has received a proposal to erect a commemorative statue of Dr. José Rizal in honor of his significant contributions of the Filipino-Canadian community in Calgary.

This proposal is supported by various civic and community organizations representing the more than 80,000 Filipino residents in Calgary. The civic and community organizations behind this proposal have raised the funds necessary to pay for the design, creation and installation of the commemorative statue.

Prairie Winds Park was chosen by the community as the site for this project based on its geographical location, its proximity to many Filipino community members and its long-standing history of hosting community events. The Filipino community has been one of the main users of Prairie Winds Park and the Philippine Cultural Centre is within walking distance of the park.

Dr. José Rizal (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896)

Dr. José Rizal is a highly respected Filipino national hero. For Filipinos living overseas, he epitomizes bravery, courage, professionalism, determination, intelligence, martyrdom, nationalism, and service to others. Dr. Rizal was a mestizo of mixed Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Spanish ancestry.

An Ophthalmologist by profession, Dr. Rizal, fought against racism, oppression and slavery of the Filipino people against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. He used pen and paper to advocate for political reforms and Philippine independence. Dr. Rizal wrote for the Filipino Propaganda Movement, and his works were in part inspirational to the Philippine Revolution. He also authored two significant novels, Noli Me Tángere and El Filibusterismo. These novels depicted the Spanish colonization and were drawn from real life struggles and oppression of Filipinos. These writings angered the Spanish colonial elite and helped educate Filipinos due to their symbolism.

Dr. Rizal was tried before a court-martial for rebellion, sedition and conspiracy, and was convicted on all three charges and sentenced to death on December 30, 1896. He was the first Filipino revolutionary whose death is attributed entirely to his work as a writer. Through dissent and civil disobedience, he successfully destroyed Spain's moral primacy to rule.



The community and The City team will continue to work together on the statue design and fundraising for the remainder of 2021. Plans to install the commemerative statue and unvieling will occur in 2022.