MONTREAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada and the Centre d’art contemporain du Québec (Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art) are proud to present Cœur d’Enfant (The Heart of Children). This work of art was dedicated this morning in the presence of distinguished guests and officials during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located at the intersection of St-Jacques street and Decarie Blvd., the sculpture stands 21’ x 12’ x 6’ and is the symbol of the love that the hospital staff and the Shriners fraternity have for children.
“Cœur d’Enfant represents the patient and family-centered care we provide every year to thousands of children. This sculpture expresses perfectly what we call the “Shriners spirit”, which translates in the highest quality of care always offered with compassion”, explains Jacques Boissonneault, Executive Director of the hospital.
Three years of efforts leading to a great success
The adventure started in 2016, when the Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art offered Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada to embellish its site with an artistic project. Part of this Montreal cultural institution’s mission is to increase the public’s interest for visual art. “Artistic projects we create are meant for all organizations whether they are public, private or community-based. It is essential to promote the work of artists from Quebec, Canada and beyond and show their input to contemporary life”, says Dominique Rolland, Director of the Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art.
The hospital’s Arts and Memorabilia Committee as well as its Board of Governors were both in favor of the project. The Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art and artist Assia Zaidi simultaneously started working on the financing and creation of this piece.
The joy of generosity
A wise man once said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. For Radu Popovici, M.D., nothing could be closer to the truth since his generous donation has strongly contributed to the creation of Cœur d’Enfant. “I am a family doctor and I work at the Emergency of the Lakeshore General Hospital. It is obvious that children’s health and their families’ is very dear to my heart. I always supported the work of artists because I believe their creations are essential to our mental and physical well-being“, explains Dr Radu Popovici.
For Assia Zaidi, giving new life to urban places which tend to be neutral, places that are almost “too normal” is one of the most beautiful artistic experiences that you can live. “Transforming a space with a contemporary work of art allows us to share a message efficiently. The sculpture, like a banner, is associated to emotional and material security, love, life and joy. It speaks a universal language all the while retaining its intrinsic mystical facet. It is this feeling of love that I wanted to share by using the heart symbol. I positioned the sculpture so that it faces Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada in order to allow, even with a quick look, to warm the little hearts of children looking by the window when they are hospitalized. The hospital is a place where every child must receive this Love coming straight from the heart, hence my representation of a heart filled with emotion”, says Assia Zaidi.
The Cœur d’Enfant sculpture blends harmoniously with the western facade of the building. On this facade, a child holds a bunch of balloons in his hands and appears to be running with joy. The sculpture will light up at dusk and will be a visual reference for motorists who always be able to find our heart!
About Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada
Established in Montreal in 1925, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada is the only Canadian facility in the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system. A bilingual hospital, it offers short-term, ultra-specialized orthopaedic care to children in Canada, the United States and around the world. Infants, children and young adults with orthopaedic and neuromuscular problems such as scoliosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, clubfoot, hip dysplasia or cerebral palsy benefit from the expertise of our medical teams in terms of treatment and rehabilitation.
Affiliated with McGill University, the hospital has a pediatric simulation center and a motion analysis center to stimulate excellence and innovation in care, teaching and research. Physicians, residents and health professionals benefit from our facility on the McGill University Health Centre Glen site to further their training and experience. In addition to providing an environment of patient- and family-centered care, the hospital, through telehealth, outreach and satellite clinics, is present in communities across Canada. Recognized as an institution that promotes health, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada has been helping children reach their full potential for over 90 years.
About Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art
For more than 30 years, the Quebec Centre for Contemporary Art in Sorel-Tracy has been home to artistic creation and expression as well as promoting national public events.
The vision of art as a tool for expression and as an economic lever has made this centre stand out since its foundation in 1983. The centre developed a policy to welcome and create exhibits: it has worked on the creation of monumental works of art for the benefit of municipalities, and has presented symposiums, public events, workshops and developed artist studios to promote cultural life in society. The centre also implemented a collection management policy to ensure better visibility for the artists and its own sustainability.
The centre welcomes all diversities that define contemporay art. It fosters experimentation and research through projects that bring artists to invest themselves in the confrontation of ideas and practices. It incites artists to inhabit public spaces, to collaborate, to debate and exchange, as it encourages the diversification of themes and techniques in order to contribute to developping art by fostering the meeting of artists of different generations and experiences.