Council replaces Vaillancourt-era artwork

Council replaces Vaillancourt-era artwork

Galati: “Sets our council in a different light”

By Robert Frank

Art has triumphed over the personalities that formerly adorned the walls of Laval city council chamber.

The city decided to remove the portraits of politicians formerly found there—many of them depicting characters from the more than 23 years that former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt ruled the roost—and to replace them with artistic works.

“We had the portraits of all elected officials from 1965-2009 [when Vaillancourt resigned],” executive committee vice-chairman David de Cotis told The Suburban. “Every one of those portraits has been taken down.” He explained in an interview that the Laval’s decision to webcast its city council meetings provided a pretext for the makeover of the poorly lit chamber.

Webcast spurs whitewash

“We’re starting over with a blank slate,” de Cotis said. “All the walls have been repainted white. It will help the webcast. The portraits would have interfered with the lighting. We will instead fill the walls with artworks.”

He added that most of the $100,000 that the city has budgeted webcasting was used to develop the project and for equipment like three remote-control, wall-mounted video cameras as well as to ensure adequate lighting and microphones.

“We also had to remove some seating arrangements to make room to bring in various technical instruments,” de Cotis said.

“We will be able to vary the colours, depending on the season and mood, as well as to highlight a special event like promoting awareness of breast cancer, for example,” added St. Vincent de Paul Councillor Paolo Galati. “It’s an interesting and positive measure that sets our council in a different light.”

Lights, cameras, action! Laval’s dimly lit council chamber to get media-friendly makeover. 

(Photo © Robert Frank)

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