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Valérie Beaulieu

Valérie Beaulieu is a graduate of the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Québec. She has been part of Montréal’s cultural milieu for almost 20 years.

Her career has focused primarily on communications and management, she has worked for several cultural organizations such as Théâtre Aux Écuries, Festival du Jamais Lu and La Ligne Bleue | Réseaux et quartiers culturels. She co-founded the latter organization in 2011, and was its director for three years. She was also a project management and communications consultant for organizations such as the École de l’innovation citoyenne de l’ÉTS and the Corporation de développement urbain du Faubourg Saint-Laurent, where she was interim director-general.

Since 2016, Valérie Beaulieu has been director-general of Culture Montréal, an independent, non-partisan not-for profit organization whose mandate is to affirm the central role the arts and culture play in all spheres of development for Montréal.

Jaume Plensa
I find this work, donated as part of the celebrations for the 375th anniversary of Montréal’s founding, simply magnificent and poetic. In 2017, little more than a year after I became head of Culture Montréal, I realized that questions related to public art are complex and often very sensitive, and Plensa’s “Source” was one of the reasons why. The choice of artist (local or international), the aesthetics and symbolism of the artwork, the place of installation, the cost, funding, maintenance, all these elements must be considered in advance, so that they match who we are as a society, our identity and our values.
Alexander Calder
Both the work and its artist are iconic for Montréal, but also for the year 1967, when Montréal opened up to the world. I wasn’t born yet, but if I could time-travel, I would go to Expo 67, to better understand and appraise the immense heritage bequeathed by this universal exhibition to Montréal and all of Québec. I love the setting created for this sculpture in Parc Jean-Drapeau, the fact that it faces the city and invites us to admire our metropolis from this vantage point. It was also the gathering place for Piknic Électronik, every Sunday in summer, events that are so representative of Montrealers’ festive spirit.
George William Hill
I’m originally from the City of Québec and I discovered this monument for the first time through the “La vie, la vie” television series, which often showed it, and all its aspects. The winged female, La Renommée (the personification of fame in Greek mythology), which crowns the monument, was omnipresent in each episode. I think it’s majestic! The fact that it is at the base of Mount Royal and the meeting place for the famous Sunday tam-tam sessions makes it a bit cool and bohemian for a historic monument!
Melissa Del Pinto
This is a highly personal choice. First of all, because it honours a great Montrealer whom I admire, and also because the sketch was done by another greater Montrealer of whom I am especially fond, Dinu Bumbaru, Héritage Montréal policy director. I’ve had the privilege of working with him since I came to Culture Montréal. They both contributed actively and concretely to saving the Milton-Parc neighbourhood where the mural is located. I am so happy to see it every day (at least that was the case before the pandemic!), since it is on my commute to the Culture Montréal offices.
George Edward Wade
I don’t particularly like this monument or the person. But it is one of my choices because it demonstrates the role public art can play in eliciting a major public debate. All the better! Art also allows us to raise questions about our relationship to history. What should we commemorate? Should we erase the chapters and people from our history that are controversial when viewed through today’s lens? What is the right way to correct the offence that an artwork can represent for some groups? These are major questions that we are trying to answer with the Culture Montréal’s standing committee on public art. Major questions for which we will collectively have to find answers.
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