• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Ringing in changes in Rigaud


PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. was on hand November 16 to help celebrate the merger of the town of Rigaud and of the Sainte-Madeleine-de-Rigaud Parish.

The Town of Rigaud hosted a cocktail party November 16 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the merger of the town of Rigaud and of the Sainte-Madeleine-de-Rigaud Parish.

Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. took the podium at the crowded Robert-Lionel-Séguin library to say a few fond words of remembrance and to thank all elected officials and city employees past and present for their contribution to the town's development over the past decades. Many of the town's previous elected officials and luminaries, including previous mayors Jean-Guy Faubert and Réal Brazeau, were in attendance. "The merger of two entities always represents a major challenge, but today, we can say that this project was successful," Gruenwald said. "We've come a long way over the past twenty years. Our town is being swept by a wind of change, and is always being propelled forward."

Gruenwald went on to say Rigaud was able to develop the economical potential and tourism appeal that made its reputation over the past 20 years. "This development will continue in 2016, I can guarantee it." Gruenwald drew a round of applause when he concluded his address stating, "Remember, Rigaud is where it's happening."

General Director and Treasurer Chantal Lemieux also took the podium to briefly recount the highlights of the merger.

Director of recreational and community services Véronique Cunche outlined the celebrations planned around the 20th anniversary of the town's merger, starting with a Christmas concert featuring Salaberrry-de-Valleyfield choir Le chœur des Gondoliers at the Sainte-Madeleine-de-Rigaud Church December 5. A number of other concerts will be offered in cooperation with the Sainte-Madeleine-de-Rigaud Parish. Most of the concerts will be free of charge.

Other key events of the celebrations include the return of a Winter Festival February 12-14. "A second festival in Rigaud. We hope that one day it will be as important as the Festival des Couleurs," Cunche said.

Attendees burst into applause when Cunche announced the development of the Rigaud River as an ice-skating surface. The skating surface is planned to extend almost over a kilometer, from the public library to the Rigaud-De Cavagnal Bridge and possibly beyond.

The full schedule of the celebrations is presented in the town's new bulletin "Vivement chez nous" that is being distributed by regular mail to all residents this week. The schedule can also be viewed on the town's website at www.ville.rigaud.qc.ca.

The cocktail event also unveiled a collective artwork created by local artist Isabelle Miltiou Lauzon intended to capture the essence of the town and its residents. Attendees were invited to collaborate to the artwork in progress by adding notes, images and personal touches to the artwork. Miltiou Lauzon will then complete the artwork that will be displayed in the upcoming new town hall to be finished in 2017.

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