• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Return of Rigaud’s Festival des Couleurs


PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE

Pierre Faucher, Sucrerie de la montagne operator and Honorary President of Festival des couleurs de Rigaud 2016.

Rigaud’s Festival des Couleurs celebrates its ninetieth edition this year and the organizers revealed the festival’s programming during a special event held at Sucrerie de la montagne Wednesday, September 14.

Programming will follow its now time-honoured format of activities and attractions offered at various “poles” located throughout Rigaud, most notably on Mont Rigaud. Sucrerie de la montagne’s operator, Pierre Faucher will serve as Honorary President this year. Both Mont Rigaud and Sucrerie de la montagne are star features of this edition of the festival, choices that go hand in hand with the theme, “Tire-toi une bûche” (Pull up a log to sit on!).

“This year’s theme will allow visitors to discover attractions such as Mont Rigaud and its colors, the Town of Rigaud and its Parc Chartier-De Lotbinière, L’escapade’s hiking trails, and various gathering and sharing places,” said Isabelle Verdier, President of the board of directors of the Corporation du Festival des couleurs de Rigaud.

Pierre Faucher said he’s thrilled to be named Honorary President. “When I approached Pierre Faucher to be a part of the festivities, his answer was, ‘I’ve been waiting 30 years for you to ask,’” joked Christiane Lévesque, General Manager of Corporation du Festival des couleurs de Rigaud.

Lévesque took a moment to dispel rumours regarding the festival not being held this year. “The rumours have been circulating for several months now and are totally false. I must set things straight right now to prevent any future collateral damages. The Festival des couleurs will take place this year. It was never in doubt,” Lévesque affirmed.

Regarding arts and culture, Lévesque also said the two elements would always have their place in the Festival. “I love culture. Rigaud is a town steeped in culture, and the Festival des couleurs is also a cultural event. It is very important for us that culture has its place during the Festival.”

“Festivals like this don’t grow on trees,” Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. added. “It takes a lot of effort to create an event that is interesting and that keeps people coming back year after year. Our challenge is to find something to keep people coming back.”

Mayor Gruenwald took a few minutes to extol the values of Mont Rigaud. “Mont Rigaud is part of our pride. I think we have shown that pride when we decided to introduce an interim bylaw to protect Mont Rigaud. Mont Rigaud is the Festival des couleurs’ most important tool. A lot of people attend the festival, and we want to increase awareness. We want to thank them for attending, but we also want to thank them for protecting Mont Rigaud. We want them to enjoy Mont Rigaud, but in a way we can preserve it.” Gruenwald also underlined the commercial benefits of the festival for the various businesses in Rigaud.

This year, the festival will put an emphasis on protecting Mont Rigaud. Gruenwald described at length the project that started with a public consultation in 2009 and that resulted in the implementation of the town’s strategic plan. “It is clearly written in this plan that we must put in place the tools required to protect Mont Rigaud.”

The festival has enjoyed increasing popularity over the years, attracting people well beyond Vaudreuil-Soulanges’s limits. The organizers expect to welcome approximately 50,000 visitors this year.

The festival will take place over three days, starting on October 8 and lasting through Thanksgiving on October 10. You can visit the event’s website at festivaldescouleurs.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/festivaldescouleurs to find out more about the event and programming.

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