The "Je suis..." project consists in creating spaces for cultural actors and citizens to meet and build a united community where diversity is strength and a source of pride.
The "Je suis..." project in a nutshell
- Participatory cultural activities designed to encourage encounters between citizens of Vaudreuil-Dorion. We're betting that when people meet, they'll get to know each other and learn to respect their differences.
- Target audiences vary for each project (seniors, children, teens, families, cultural groups, etc.).
- Over the past years, various participatory activities have been offered.
- Each activity takes the form of workshops held in schools, City buildings, parks and seniors' residences, and at community and cultural organizations and other venues.
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has grown from 17,000 to more than 37,000 people in the last 20 years. All these new citizens—people of all ages and many young families of all cultures, including old-stock Quebecers—enrich the community. How can we foster the feelings of pride and belonging that will counter the emergence of ghettos? How can we prevent differences from turning into a conflictual or even explosive situation? How can we meet the challenge of cultural diversity? How can we bring people together in order to build a better community? Birth of the "Je suis..." project in 2010
The goal: to use culture to create a sense of belonging and promote the emergence of a united community where diversity is strength and a source of pride.
Each year since 2010, up to 20,000 people have taken part in 35 to 50 cultural activities. Some years, about 600 workshops were offered in schools, City buildings, parks and seniors' residences, and at community, sports and cultural organizations. The goal: to promote encounters, dialogue and respect for differences through active citizen participation in creativity, culture and the reinvention of the community. Here, citizens come together, interact and get to know one another.
The words "Je suis...", written in huge, bold letters, sit on a stone foundation similar to that of Maison Valois, just a few metres away. Firmly resting on history, citizen identity is clearly represented by the handprints of Vaudreuil-Dorion residents forming the phrase "Je suis..." ("I am...").
More than a monument, this is a work of public art expressing the citizens' diversity, pride and sense of belonging. It supports the City's cultural mediation initiatives, which serve as tools so that, together, the people of Vaudreuil-Dorion can build a new, strong identity.
Title: Je suis...
Location: Parc de la Maison-Valois
Inaugurated: August 28, 2010
Height: 26 feet
Length: 32 feet
Width: 4 feet
Since its creation, the "Je suis..." project has won recognition for the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, not only regionally but nationally and internationally. Below is a list of the awards and honours this project has earned:
- 2016 Ovations Vaudreuil-Soulanges award
- 2016 International Award UCLG - Mexico City - Culture 21, in the City/Local or Regional Government category
- 2015 model city, Agenda 21 for Culture – United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
- 2014 pilot city, Agenda 21 for Culture – United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
- 2014 Best Practice Award - United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
- Finalist, "À part entière" award – Office des personnes handicapées
- 2014 Joseph-Beaubien Étoile Argent prize – 2014 Municipal Ovation Merit, Union des municipalités du Québec.
- 2014 Citizen approach prize: democratic life, intercultural and intercommunity relations and relations with citizens – 2014 Municipal Ovation Merit, Union des municipalités du Québec
- 2013 "Communauté conviviale et solidaire" award (Friendly and Supportive Communities), Réseau québécois de Villes et Villages en santé
- 2011 award for contribution to the community, Vaudreuil-Dorion Chamber of commerce
- Recognized as one of the 13 best practices in Canada in 2011, Les Arts et la Ville
- 2011 "Culture et développement" award, Les Arts et la Ville
- 2011 Ovations Vaudreuil-Soulanges award
- 2011 Municipal Ovation award, Culture, Heritage, Sports and Recreation category, Union des municipalités du Québec