• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Rigaud ready to celebrate its colours


PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. arrives in style on a three wheel cycle at the recent Festival des Couleurs press conference.

The organizers of Rigaud's Festival des Couleurs announced its 2015 programming during a press conference held September 16 in Desjardins-de-Rigaud Park.

The Festival celebrates its 18th edition this year and Richard Dubois, communication and associative life Director for Caisse Desjardins, drew fond applause when he said, "At eighteen, the Festival has now reached the Age of Reason." The festival has indeed grown in size and popularity over the years and has become a mainstay late-summer attraction that serves to prolong the touristic season in the region. "The people who attend the festival, coming mostly from Vaudreuil-Soulanges, generate important economic spinoffs for our small town," said Isabelle Verdier, president of the festival's board of directors.

The organizers expect over 45,000 festival-goers this year, and the committee is ramping up its programming to meet the increasing number of attendees. The festival will hold events and activities of interest in three main geographical hubs, including Rigaud Mountain.

Rigaud Mountain features prominently in the programming. "In all our tasks, we always remember that we must showcase the jewel of our region, our majestic mountain. Mont Rigaud is powering our development, and it always inspires us to design various activities for our recreational and touristic guests," Verdier said.

She also took a moment to pay homage to Pierre Brasseur, the festival’s, who passed away earlier this year. Organizers will pay further honour Brasseur with a special exhibition of some of his best photographs of the region's winged fauna.

The introduction of an "off-festival" segment this year consists of events planned in other surrounding municipalities, including a series of exhibitions at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Regional Museum in Vaudreuil-Dorion and a special performance by the Manigance dance troupe in Coteau-du-Lac.

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. made a striking entrance during the press conference riding a three-wheel bicycle courtesy of ‘Un Vélo une Ville,’ the eco and community friendly transport service that aims to help the elderly be more active in their community and that hires young dropouts to help them get back on track. Four of those three-wheel bicycles will be available during the festival to help improve mobility for the attendees.

"Festival des couleurs is part of our identity in Rigaud," Gruenwald said. "It is an important tool in my toolbox when I am selling our municipality, because the welcoming population's role as host contributes significantly during the festival." Gruenwald also thanked the volunteers and stressed the importance of their work in the Festival's continued success.

Music will be an important part of the festival this year. Wilfred LeBouthillier will be the Festival's special artistic guest for 2015. LeBouthillier will offer a special performance in the more intimate setting and great acoustics of Église Ste-Madeleine de Rigaud. Isabelle Young will also offer a performance where she will pay homage to the great Quebec composers. Both performances will be offered at a reasonable cost.

The Festival will take place over three days, starting October 10 and lasting through Thanksgiving October 12. You can visit the Festival's website (festivaldescouleurs.com) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/festivaldescouleurs?fref=ts) to find out more about the event and its programming.

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