Art and Water, The St-Lawrence – Collège St-Louis

Art and water, the fauna of the St Lawrence River – Collège St-Louis

A project which celebrates the identity of each student and his relationship to the fauna of the Saint-Lawrence, through collage, observation and painting. Optimistic in its collaborative approach with its partners, the students act to protect the Bouchard stream which feeds the Saint-Lawrence. They inspire through their gestures, their presence, their openness and their art, the actors of our society.

« The fauna of the Saint-Lawrence transposed onto our documents bridging the gap between us and the natural world.»

« You can’t separate personal security, personal health and the welfare of your children from the natural world. »— James Cameron

During the vernissage of the event at l’Entrepôt in December 2011, presided by Lachine’s mayor Me Claude Dauphin, the 189 grade 10 students from Collège Saint-Louis expressed through their art their desire to protect the fauna of the Saint-Lawrence. In solidatity with the students the professional artists, Richard Montpetit, Geneviève Jost, Pierre Lefebvre, Claude de Gaspé Alleyn, Jeannette Perreault and Maja Vodanovic supported them with their own works and their presence.

In uniting their historical and personal documents with their unique interpretations of the fauna the students created a visual bond between their lives and the life of the river. Coming from different backgrounds, students from this IB World international education school united very diverse cultural heritages to the natural world we share.

Our objective: a healthy stream.

The project was realized in collaboration with the Saint-Louis College, its principal Madame Diane Laborde, the art teacher, Madame Jovette Aubin, the art teacher Madame Christelle Senecal, Madame Stéphanie Houle cultural division chief for Lachine and the painter, Maja Vodanovic.

The artist’s work reflecting rivers, streams and water.

Marianne, 1882 by Maja Vodanovic
Marianne, 1882 by Maja Vodanovic

Lyrical portrait of student, Marianne Pelletier, symbolises the Art and Water project. Marianne stands in the middle of her history, her family documents, the Lachine canal, her heritage. In this work she is shown taking a stance. The artists follows the same steps followed by the students, that is to expose our personal history, our natural and cultural heritage in order to better understand the world we live in.

The Lachine mayor Me Claude Dauphin, Maja Vodanovic, Valérie Olivier, Daniel Green, Diane Laborde, Anh Thy Le Quang, Mélanie Branchaud, Natsumi Bellali.
The Lachine mayor Me Claude Dauphin, Maja Vodanovic, Valérie Olivier, Daniel Green, Diane Laborde, Anh Thy Le Quang, Mélanie Branchaud, Natsumi Bellali.

In collaboration with Mister Daniel Green, co-founder of SVP , Société pour vaincre la pollution, Mister Guy Deschamps from RSMA, Réseau de suivi du milieu aquatique, the Lachine mayor Me Claude Dauphin, and the science teacher Mister Patrice Comeau, the students of the Colledge’s Water Committee acted to improve the water quality of the Bouchard stream which runs through Dorval, feeds the Saint-Lawrence and affects Lachine’s drinking water. The Water Committee lead the citizen action of initiating the depollution process of the stream by organising and participating in a clean-up of its waters and banks. The Mont-Royal High School, another IB World school, joined them in this effort. An awareness campaign was launched by the Committee to inform the companies along the stream of the importance of preserving our water. This lead to a round table which reunited important actors that happen to affect the stream,such as the Montreal Trudeau airport and Bell Canada. The meeting was held at Dorval’s town hall, in the presence of its mayor Edgar Rouleau and mayor Claude Dauphin and Montreal’s chief environment director Madame Anick LeFlock . The members of the Water Committee sent a letter to Madame Turcotte, the president of Bell Canada, Québec, calling to her attention that a stream runs under one of her parking lots. The members also presented a resolution to the Lachine town council and the Dorval town council asking for support in the restoration of the Bouchard stream. The resolution was unanimously adopted by both councils. A petition was passed through the High Schools of the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board. It has collected hundreds of signatures in support of the restauration project. All these gestures in defence of the common good justify the optimism and the beauty expressed in the art.

Vernissage at the Entrepôt, Lachine
Vernissage at the Entrepôt, Lachine

Program of the event Art et Eau

at the Entrepôt

19h30 Song by Charlotte Florent Léger
19h35 Welcome and Introduction, Maja Vodanovic
19h40 Word from the mayor Me Claude Dauphin
19h45 Word from College St-Louis principal Diane Laborde
19h50  Environnementalist Daniel Green from SVP, Société pour vaincre la pollution
19h55  Collège Saint-Louis Water Committee unveils its action and presents its resolution on the
protection of  the Bouchard stream
20h00  Presentation of participating artists and thank-you note from  Maja Vodanovic and Jovette Aubin

Music duo  Michel Lamarche, cellist and  Marie-Claude Prévost pianist19h30  Chant par Charlotte Florent Léger

Diane Laborde, principal of Collège Saint-Louis
Diane Laborde, principal of Collège Saint-Louis
Daniel Green talking about the Bouchard Creek
Daniel Green talking about the Bouchard Creek
The Water Committee making a proposal
The Water Committee making a proposal
Le comité Eau devant le stationnement de Bell Canada
Le comité Eau en tournée avec le RSMA
Ekaterina Nikitina présidente de l'école secondaire Mont-Royal
Petit ruisseau, grand nettoyage - Page couverture du Messager de Lachine
L'équipe de nettoyage accompagnée de Jovette Aubin, Daniel Green, Maja Vodanovic et Patrice Comeau.
Vue par satellite du ruisseau Bouchard le long des pistes de l'aéroport

Le ruisseau Bouchard entre les maisons

Le ruisseau Bouchard en zone industrielle
Le ruisseau Bouchard devant l'édifice de Bell Canada

IBWorld article September 2012

Read: West End Times october 12, 2012 Collège Saint-Louis wins the Essor prize
Read: Cité Nouvelle and le Messager Lachine-Dorval, 31st of May 2012 Petite ruisseau,grand nettoyage
Read :Le Messager Dorval-Lachine, Art et Eau à l’Entrepôt
Read: The Gazette, «Art is about water we drink»
See the photographs by Noëlle Garnier, Nettoyage du ruisseau Bouchard