25th anniversary of the merger: the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion inaugurates its water tower
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion proudly proceeded to the official inauguration of its water tower last night —a largescale artistic project that is part of the festivities for the 25th anniversary of the Vaudreuil-Dorion merger. The inauguration took place in the presence of elected officials, members of the family of Paul Gérin-Lajoie, of Félix Leclerc and Mrs. Juillet, whose portrait is on the tower (bathers of 1937).
This project, aimed at showcasing the water tower, began last year when various organizations and citizens of all ages took part in brainstorming sessions to inspire the artists mandated with creating this immense fresco. The ASHOP collective, in collaboration with non-profit organization KOLAB, was able to take the fruit of these discussions and turn it into the incredible work of art that now covers this imposing structure.
“Having this magnificent mural at the entrance of our city is truly a source of pride for the municipal council as well as for our citizens. We have been tirelessly working to revitalize the Harwood – de Lotbinière sector for years. The water tower has always been part of the Dorion sector’s scenery. And, now, it is sure to become one of the area’s calling cards,” stated Mayor Guy Pilon.
This particular project, which also includes a digital projection component, is made possible by a cultural development agreement with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.
“Our government is proud to support projects that contribute to Quebec’s cultural development and promote citizen participation. The water tower’s enhancement is an innovative project that highlights Vaudreuil-Dorion’s culture and history and fosters its citizens’ sense of belonging and pride in their city,” emphasized Mr. Louis Lemieux, MP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Culture and Communications and the Minister responsible for the French language.
Historically significant figures
The main image featured on the water tower represents a toll collector for the Taschereau Bridge, inspired by a postcard from 1928. Although the uniform depicted is authentic, the face featured on this work of art is a creation of the artists and is meant to be a nod to ASHOP’s Director of Operations, Frédéric Bouchard.
It should come as no surprise to see that this work of art also includes two important figures who left their mark on Vaudreuil-Dorion: Félix Leclerc and Paul Gérin-Lajoie. A Quebec poet, writer, playwright and chansonnier who is internationally renowned, Félix Leclerc lived in Vaudreuil for over 20 years. It was here, in the spectacular setting of the Cove of Vaudreuil , that Félix was inspired to write some of his most famous masterpieces.
Paul Gérin-Lajoie, for his part, was the province’s first Minister of Education. During his career, he orchestrated a major reform of the school system including the project aimed at building the Cité-des-Jeunes campus in Vaudreuil-Dorion—the first educational institution of its kind in Quebec.
Other than the figures, the water tower also includes many of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s most significant historical elements: the elm tree once located right in the middle of the Taschereau Bridge, the Canadian National railway bridge, the windmill formerly situated on Adèle Street and which still stands in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, along with swimmers, since Vaudreuil-Dorion was once a popular holiday resort for city dwellers.