Montreal, Canada, 2010-05-30 -
The Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Ms. Christine St-Pierre, and the Mayor of Montréal, Mr. Gérald Tremblay, concluded the Mount Royal Month celebrations today with the inauguration of the public artwork entitled "Give Peace a Chance", located near the newly redesigned Peel entrance in Mount Royal Park.
The work "Give Peace a Chance" commemorates the famous John Lennon song written during his 1969 Montréal bed-in with Yoko Ono. Conceived by artist Linda Covit and Groupe Cardinal Hardy's landscape architect Marie-Claude Séguin, the work is made of approximately 180 limestone slabs laid side by side on flat ground, on which the phrase Give Peace a Chance is engraved in relief in 40 languages. This creation, which adds to the city of Montreal's public art collection, was realized at the cost of $125,000.
"Such projects contribute to the enrichment of public and recreational spaces in a lasting way, in addition to disseminating the creativity of our artists on a large scale. To integrate an artwork into the city landscape is to heighten its character, but also to enhance the citizens' quality of life who benefit daily from an open air museum. In this way, I consider that the artwork Give Peace a Chance reinforces the artistic and patrimonial value of Mount Royal," stated Minister St-Pierre.
"The work Give Peace a Chance is an homage to the tolerance, openness and diversity of Montréal, as well as to one of its most important symbols, Mount Royal. The inauguration of this artwork is also a good illustration of the enthusiasm of our creators for using their talent for the benefit of public art. It is an invaluable contribution to Montréal's reputation as a city of creators and a cultural metropolis," declared Mayor Gérald Tremblay.
An artwork in the heart of the Peel
The Peel entrance is the principal access to Mount Royal Park from Montréal's downtown. Nearly two years of effort have been devoted to interventions for a total sum of $4,365,000 in the context of the Agreement on the cultural development of Montréal between the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women and the Ville de Montréal. The new entrance is distinguished by a composition of steps and pavers in recycled granite and low limestone walls. This stairway and its surroundings were laid out to showcase the perspective, in line with Peel Street, towards the city and the river. The artwork Give Peace a Chance subtly integrates into this milieu and sets off the most spectacular rock face in the area and one of the most striking views of the mountain.
Give Peace a Chance:
symbol of belonging to the world
Artist Linda Covit and landscape architect Marie-Claude Séguin were inspired by the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who conceptualized Mount Royal Park, to create a meditative and commemorative space dedicated to peace. Inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono's humanist and universal message, the artwork evokes Montréal's cultural diversity and symbolizes each person's integration into his or her milieu and in the world.
Let us emphasize that in 2004 Montréal proclaimed the week of May 26 - June 2 "Une chance à la paix / Give Peace a Chance", in honour of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's visit on the same dates in 1969.
Renowned artists gathered under
the theme of peace
Since 1975, Linda Covit has created numerous artistic interventions presented in Montréal, in Québec and abroad. Her works deal with questions about nature, the environment and peace. "Water Garden", integrated into the Water Centre in Calgary, and four garden rooms in the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas, are amongst her most recent realizations.
As for landscape architect Marie-Claude Séguin, she is interested in the integration of public spaces into natural settings, and more particularly in highlighting landscape characteristics in a natural context that is partially urbanized. Over the past twenty years, she has realized projects for place d'Armes, place Norman-Bethune, square Dorchester and place D’Youville. Her work has been rewarded with numerous prizes of excellence in the course of her career.