Memorial Park heart installation commemorates 1,000 plus Manitoba COVID-19 victims

Hearts representing more than 1,000 Manitoban lives lost to COVID-19 dot the ground at Memorial Park as students at Gordon Bell High School launch a similar project commemorating the victims of the pandemic.

Some of the hearts bear the names of individuals who have died, others are marked simply with the words “Oma” or “Kokum.”

The project launched in February, with an installation of 200 hearts planted in the snow along Winnipeg’s Assiniboine River trail. At the time, Manitoba had 866 COVID-related deaths.

It has now been moved to the Memorial Park garden at the corner of Osborne Street and Broadway, where it will stay until May 28.

The project is led by Communities Not Cuts, a volunteer group of labour and community activists that has organized campaigns opposing provincial government cuts to jobs and services.

Some of the hearts bear the names of people who have lost their lives to COVID-19 in Manitoba. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

The group is also supporting students at Gordon Bell High School with their installation of hearts along the school fence. Other schools are invited to create their own installations or to contribute to the one at Gordon Bell.

Participants are asked to make their hearts out of durable, weather-resistant material and attach it to a stick so that it can be planted. 

After May 28, the installation at Memorial Park will be moved to another location, to be announced later.

As of Sunday, 1,010 people had died from COVID-19 in Manitoba.