During the inauguration of Dieppe's Art and Culture Centre, on Thursday, October 14, 2010, I had the honor of creating this massive work of art. Fortunately, I had the help of 136 participants in its creation ( also, see list of sponsors below). On that day, a concrete truck delivered fresh concrete which had been tinted to resemble the Petitcodiac River sand. The concrete was poured into six molds measuring 1m x 1m x 15cm. After smoothing the surface with a trowel, I invited everyone to make their mark. The participants ranged in age from 3 weeks to 92 years. Even Mayor Jean LeBlanc couldn't resist getting his hands dirty. This initial step produced six blocks each with its own unique set of marks, happy faces and flowers. The blocks were then stored for the winter. In spring 2011, a steel structure was built by students from the metal fabrication class of the New Brunswick Community College (Moncton campus). The structure was painted and the blocks were hoisted onto it. Using a template, a silhouette of the Petitcodiac river basin was cut out of 6mm steel plate and was permanently anchored onto the six blocks. Relative to the river, your location is represented by the red dot at the top of the work of art. As an artist, I strive to develop collective art projects which emphasize a common thread between its participants, regardless of background or ethnicity. For this area, the Petitcodiac River is that common thread. I felt the importance to pay homage to this magnificent river as it is an exceptionally significant part of this region's cultural, economic and environmental heritage. The names listed on this plaque are a tribute to everyone who participated in the creation of this collective / public work of art. Without the help and support of the sponsors, this wonderful community-based artistic experience would not have been possible. Special thanks to New Brunswick Community College (Moncton campus), the City of Dieppe and Kent Building Supplies for the labor and equipment supplied for the installation of this work of art.
A popular belief suggests that the name derives from the French term "petit coude", meaning "little elbow". In fact, the name derives from the Mi'kmaq term "Epetkutogoyek", meaning "the river that bends like a bow" referring to the bend it formes near Moncton and Dieppe. Acadians settlers transformed this to "Petcoudiac" or "Petitcoudiac", which was later modified to Petitcodiac by the British. The river's heavy sedimentation and its brown color led to the nickname "Chocolate River". Below is a commemorative plaque I designed for the event . To download a high-resolution copy of it just just click on the icon below.
This wonderful project could not have become reality without the financial participation from these organizations and businesses:
Jean Coutu (Dieppe)
La Caisse Populaire
Canadian Tire (Dieppe)
Paul Rochaud & compagnie P.C. Inc.
Pat et Dolland Leger
Cadillac Fairview (Place Champlain)
Nadeau Soucy Ellis
Jagoes’ Fine Jewellery
Ville de Dieppe
Le centre des arts
et de la culture de Dieppe