Claude Millette, born in Saint-Hyacinthe, received his education at the École de sculpture de Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, complemented by apprenticing internships with Robert Poulin and Jordi Bonet. His works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and are in the collections of, among others, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée d’art de Joliette, and the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent. Among the 20 works of public art that he has produced is L’amphore cryogénique, created for a commission by the Ville de Pointe-Claire to mark the new millennium. The artwork includes a time capsule.
Le coup de départ is installed in Parc Philippe-Laheurte, where the Saint-Laurent Borough wished to place a work of public art inspired by the athlete’s personality. It is placed in the centre of a landscaped circle so that users of the park can approach it from every angle.
The sculpture presents two components composed of curved stainless steel beams. It is monumental and in the signage genre. Overall, it takes the form of the Greek letter pi, and one part of which is cut through. The work reflects the aspirations that guided Laheurte throughout his life – accomplishment and excellence – and refers to the ideal of sports as a citizenship value.