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Updated: 12th January 2020 11:02 Calgary

Parents of Brentwood stabbing victims break ground on musical garden tribute

There was a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday on a park to commemorate the lives of five young Calgarians who were murdered five years ago.

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Unique memorial will be located in South Glenmore Park

Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Lawrence Hong, 27, Kaitlin Perras, 23, ​Jordan Segura, 22, and Joshua Hunter, 23, died after an acquaintance stabbed them at a party in Calgary's Brentwood community in 2014. Matthew de Grood was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was deemed not criminally responsible. (Facebook)

There was a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday on a park to commemorate the lives of five young Calgarians who were murdered five years ago.

The Quinterra Legacy Garden will pay tribute to Zackariah Rathwell, Lawrence Hong, Kaitlin Perras, Jordan Segura and Joshua Hunter, who died after being stabbed at a party in Calgary's northwest Brentwood community in 2014.

"Since this time, our five families have come together along with an amazing group of volunteers to design a project that will give back to our community and acknowledge the incredible support we received after losing our children and let others know that beyond tragedy and loss, there is light," the group said in a release.

Aspects of the park symbolize the five victims. There will be five chairs near the centre, placed under five flowering trees, and a five-pointed star in another area of the garden.

The park will be located in South Glenmore Park overlooking the reservoir. (Quinterra Legacy Garden Group)

The garden will also include a stage and outdoor musical instruments for the community to enjoy.

"The Quinterra Group's mission is to provide a peaceful, contemplative and vibrant outdoor space for Calgarians to reflect, heal and remember," said a release.

"Quinterra Legacy Garden will be an interactive musical garden and performance space that reflects hope, possibility, creativity and the life-affirming qualities that each of our five amazing children embodied," said a release.

Shannon Miller, Kaitlin's mother, says the parents wanted to both memorialize their children and give back to the community that's supported them over the past few years.

"Grief is an up and down kind of struggle that never goes away, so having support from the amazing people of Calgary has been priceless."

She said Kaitlin loved nature and was a dancer, so she can't wait to see kids twirling on the stage as it will keep her daughter's legacy alive.

Barclay Hunter, Josh's father, said all five victims were creative and the park is the perfect way to honour them.

"It's been a big part of our healing," he said. 

The memorial, to be located in South Glenmore Park, overlooking the Glenmore Reservoir, was designed by landscape architects at Bassett Associates.

The group hopes to raise $750,000 for the park. So far, $250,000 has been raised.

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