Opening of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion on June 24, 2016

Three days of celebrations and free activities you won't want to miss!

QUÉBEC CITY, Feb. 24, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) is extremely proud to announce the official opening of the new Pierre Lassonde pavilion, the fourth building of the museum complex, on Friday June 24, 2016. "This seemed to us a symbolic date to inaugurate a world-class pavilion which celebrates Québec art and artists. We also wanted to be a part of the popular celebrations and make the event free of charge, because this project belongs to every citizen," declared Pierre Lassonde, chair of the MNBAQ board of directors, philanthropist and patron of the arts "Encouraging closer ties between the people and their rich cultural heritage is a priority for our government. It is by giving voice to creators and presenters, such as the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, that we can provide everyone with the chance to enjoy inspiring and stimulating artistic experiences," said The Honorable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

A Popular Celebration

To mark the inauguration on June 24, 2016, the Québec national holiday, a participative artistic experience conceived and staged by the playwright and theatre director Alexandre Fecteau will take place on Cartier Avenue and the Grande Allée. One can already picture this extraordinary open-air market whose stalls and kiosks will become by turns outdoor exhibition galleries, dance floors and even spaces for theatrical and musical performances. Visual artists, actors and vendors will merge as participants experience memorable personal and poetic adventures. "We want to create a festive event that will bring people together, taking its source in the heart of the arts district, so that everyone in Québec and the tourists who come out for the event will be a part of an important historical moment, both for the city and for our national institution," Line Ouellet, executive director and chief curator of the MNBAQ enthusiastically exclaimed.

3 days of free activities

Four months from now to the day, on June 24, 25 and 26, the public will be able to visit the Pierre Lassonde pavilion free of charge and discover this architectural masterpiece, a world-class building signed by the architectural consortium OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) of New York – an internationally renowned firm founded by Rem Koolhass – and built in collaboration with Provencher_Roy architectes of Montréal.

In addition to the three days of free festivities and the numerous activities on offer, five new exhibitions will be opened in the pavilion of contemporary and present-day art – Illipounga: The Brousseau Inuit Art Collection; From Ferron to BGL: Contemporary Art in Québec; Decorative Arts and Design in Québec; Installations: On a Large Scale, presented by TD; and Jean-Paul Riopelle: Tribute to Rosa Luxemburg – topped off with on-site activities, a medium-length film shown continuously on the architecture of the new building, from conception to construction, cocktail-hour culinary experiences by Marie-Chantal Lepage and live evening entertainment with both a classical and a popular flavour.

Pierre Lapointe, official spokesperson

The artist Pierre Lapointe, a lover of the visual arts, architecture and design, is the freshly-minted spokesperson who will promote the opening events for the Pierre Lassonde pavilion. His sensibility for art in all its forms, coupled with his love of Québec City and the MNBAQ, made him a dream ambassador. Proud to contribute to this great nation-building project, his job is to summon all of Québec to discover the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, the flagship of the MNBAQ's new museum complex. "The arts have given me the desire to live, to create, to seek out others. What's more, we humans are at our finest when we create, because we have a hand outstretched to others. I am truly touched and honoured to be the spokesperson of this great opening. These celebrations enable me to be the bridge between creators and the general public. It's my way of thanking them for what they've done for me, by urging others to take an interest in them, in Quebec art and design," the artist Pierre Lapointe remarked.

A Summer Teeming with Cultural Events

To celebrate the opening of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion in an exceptional manner, the 2016 cultural summer at the Musée will teem with more events than ever. Special gallery tours, encounters and creative workshops will provide visitors with a diverse museum experience. Two major events stand out in this inspired programming.

HUMANORIUM, a project by EXMURO arts publics – specialists in multidisciplinary arts projects in urban public space for more than ten years – is a contemporary art event piloted by the curators Ève Cadieux and Vincent Roy which will take the form of a strange travelling fairground inspired by nineteenth and twentieth century tradition. The event will be a great open-air popular gathering with extensive public participation. This original and festive experience is an invitation to the public to discover the work of contemporary artists in unique surroundings. Mounted in partnership with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the event will present the work of a dozen renowned creators who explore what it is to be a human being today.

The very first orchestral work for architecture commissioned by a museum, Voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire, et rire, will be another key moment in the summer program. Premiering at the Musée, this new piece by the renowned composer Yannick Plamondon, who co-authors his work with Symon Henry, will be inspired by the architecture of the new pavilion. Next September, audiences will be able to attend the presentation of this work for a large string orchestra, solo percussion and electronic instruments and stroll around the musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, conductor Fabien Gabel and the percussionist Anne-Julie Caron, taking their places for the occasion on the monumental staircase of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion. The public will also be able to participate in this innovative artistic experience as they provide a chorus of ringing triangles during this exclusive presentation.

The Pierre Lassonde pavilion, a showcase for Québec artistry

One of the Musée's goals in building the Pierre Lassonde pavilion was to make it a living, vibrant venue where everything would be possible for creators in Québec. The first year's cultural programming at the Musée will showcase unrivalled creativity! Numerous cultural partners are joining forces with the MNBAQ to offer original projects and thus help create a year of abundant and diverse activities.

Among the partners who have confirmed their participation in this cultural showcase, the following organizations must be mentioned: the Festival du cinéma de la ville de Québec, La Rotonde, the Festival francophone de la bande dessinée québécoise, the Festival d'été de Québec, the Club musical de Québec, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Théâtre Blanc, Théâtre sous zéro, Théâtre PÀP, Théâtre des Fonds de Tiroirs et les Trois Tristes Tigres, Le Périscope, Les Incomplètes, the International Festival of Films on Art, the Festival de cinéma en famille de Québec, the Violons du Roy, the Bibliothèque de Québec, Université Laval and the Maison des métiers d'art. "The Musée offer creators a prestigious showcase and lets citizens and tourists to let themselves be swept up in a fascinating journey. We are pleased that the MNBAQ is offering to the public varied activities that are accessible to all, particularly in partnership with the library, in which every resident of the city can take part. This is important for us," remarked Julie Lemieux, deputy chair of the Executive Committee of Québec City, in charge of culture, heritage and urban development.

Refurbishing the Central Pavilion

In order to carry out the extensive preparatory work required for the opening of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, the Musée will be closed from May 23 to June 24. The MNBAQ Restaurant, with cuisine by Marie-Chantal Lepage, will remain open for lunch only, Tuesdays to Sundays. Parking is free for all restaurant patrons during this period. For evening group reservations, call 418 644-6780.

The central pavilion, the glass pyramid, will see major changes. The Paul Rainville Salon will be combined with the Musée gift shop to become the Family Gallery. (The Pierre Lassonde pavilion will be home to the future Musée gift shop.) The exhibition Home sweet home, an artistic project for young children by the company Les Incomplètes, will delight families from June 24. The auditorium will also undergo a facelift (new carpets in the aisles and acoustic walls, reupholstering of the 174 seats) to become the Multi Gallery, an event space with all the cutting edge technology. The transformed pavilion will also host David Altmedj's monumental work The Flux and the Puddle, seen as a summing up of the work of this Montréal sculptor, the best known and most sought-after of his generation.

Bringing People Together

The opening events and news of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion across North America are the result of joint efforts by Québec City, Québec City Tourism, the Secrétariat de la Capitale-Nationale, the Ministère du Tourisme and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications. "The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is an added value for tourism and culture in the region. The Pierre Lassonde pavilion will provide additional value and help attract even more visitors and thus increase the economic spin-off benefits for the Capitale-Nationale region. This project is also a fine example of philanthropy. I would particularly like to thank the patron of the arts Pierre Lassonde, who invested $10 million in this adventure," remarked Sam Hamad, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region.

The Pierre Lassonde pavilion was made possible through the support of the government of Canada (a contribution of 33.7 million dollars under the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund), the government of Québec (a contribution of 45.1 million dollars under the Quebec Infrastructure Plan) and the private sector (a contribution of 24.6 million dollars), thanks to the commitment and vitality of the Fondation du MNBAQ. "The private sector's contribution to this unique project made it the largest cultural patronage project in the history of Québec City. This major challenge was brilliantly met by the fundraising campaign's co-chairs and honorary patrons, enabling us to achieve 95% of our objective to date. On this score I would like to point out Pierre Lassonde's opening donation of 10 million dollars, an inspiring philanthropic gesture, and the exemplary contribution of 5 million dollars by Québec City, and at the same time thank the hundreds of generous donors in Québec, both businesses and individuals," remarked Annie Talbot, executive director of the Fondation du MNBAQ.


SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

For further information: Relations medias: Linda Tremblay, MNBAQ, 418 644-6460, ext. 5532,


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