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Travel back in time at the Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion! Inauguration of new murals by Montreal artist Rafael Sottolichio

6 July 2016

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) is proud to celebrate the inauguration of two new murals from arts organization MU, which were created by Montreal artist Rafael Sottolichio. Through a sequence of canvas images of the city at a time when it was humming to the sound of massive development projects, these murals in the pedestrian crossing of the Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion will take users on a journey back in time.

This initiative is part of an urban integration project to enhance the appeal of this iconic Montreal bridge while increasing users’ feeling of safety. Located on Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion pedestrian crossing lets pedestrians and cyclists go under the Jacques Cartier Bridge deck to access the multipurpose path and sidewalk.

“Today, we are proud to inaugurate these murals, which trace the history of the bridge and how it became part of Montreal’s built heritage and our collective memory,” stated Mr. Glen P. Carlin, Chief Executive Officer of JCCBI. “As a responsible manager and a social and urban stakeholder that is involved in its community, JCCBI is pleased to help revitalize this historic monument with a prominent place in the city’s heritage through artwork that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

JCCBI commissioned an art piece from MU, a nonprofit arts organization, to enhance the appeal of the pedestrian crossing and make it come alive. With a passion for photography and a long-held fascination with the “lace motif” of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Rafael Sottolichio combined the aesthetics of archive photos of Montreal’s iron giant with brushwork to create a true mosaic of the bridge’s historic milestones.

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“La Traversée” is the 7th work that Rafael Sottolichio, who is originally from Chile, has created in collaboration with MU. As Chile is competing in the fireworks competition tonight, everyone is invited to take the opportunity to come view this urban art piece and rediscover this historic monument!

“Rafael’s mural will increase the appeal of the pedestrian crossing for both Montrealers and tourists, who can enjoy the art work as an attraction in itself. Visitors will have a unique and fun experience back in time as they go through the tunnel and see these archive photos come alive in bold colours,” said Elizabeth-Ann Doyle, General and Artistic Director of MU.