Travel log

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Archive for 2022

The Mile End neighbourhood’s name seems to have come from a 19th century racing track that roughly covered the zone delineated by St-Joseph Boulevard, Mentana Street, Mont-Royal Avenue and Berri Street. Indeed, a 1 mile distance separated the racing track from the former limits of Montréal. Thus, Mile End.
Although the neighbourhood is officially part of the Plateau Mont-Royal district, Montrealers differentiate the two, as Mile End is situated in one of the most bilingual and multiethnic sectors of the city, in the western extremity of the mainly French speaking Plateau. It had long been the heart of Montréal’s Jewish community and Hassidic Jews are still very much present, though many have migrated slightly to the west, spilling into Outremont. Both the Fairmount and St-Viateur bagel factories, true Montréal institutions that have popularized bagels in the city, are emblematic of the neighbourhood. The Greek community is also very much present, especially on Avenue du Parc.
Since the 1980s, Mile End is known as a neighbourhood of largely artistic inclinations, and many artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers have elected residence here. The streets are peppered with many art galleries, designer workshops, specialized boutiques and cafés. Mile End’s transformation was reinforced by the establishment of big-time multimedia enterprises in former factories. Take a stroll along St-Laurent Boulevard, Parc Avenue, Fairmount, St-Viateur and Bernard streets and discover the eclectic diversity of this neighbourhood.
The bohemian nature of the new Mile End opened a space where gays, lesbians and the queer folk could flourish. Today, Mile End is considered Montréal’s second most dynamic area for LGBT culture and the preferred neighbourhood of the queer community in particular. Mile End has also appealed to the lesbian community, a portion of which has migrated to the north out of Plateau Mont-Royal, where it had previously maintained a strong presence for decades.
In the last few years, Mile End has emerged as the centre of the Montréal independent music scene, with internationally renowned band Arcade Fire electing residence there, among others. Other celebrated Mile End dwellers, such as filmmaker Xavier Dolan and singer/songwriter Ariane Moffatt, can often be spotted here. In fact, it is the main filming location of Dolan’s film Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats).

A few kms from Saint-Sauveur, the small town of Sainte-Adèle stretches along 120² km on both sides of Rivière du Nord, in the heart of the legendary Pays d’En-haut. Claude-Henri Grignon had set his cult classic novel Un homme et son péché here, bringing fame to the village throughout French Canada. The story unfolds right before the arrival of Curé Labelle’s legendary P’tit Train du Nord, which finally linked Sainte-Adèle to Montréal in 1891. This was just before the region started welcoming skiers and tourists, which since have become the main economic engine of the city.

Sainte-Adèle owes its name to its founder, Augustin-Norbert Morin, a lawyer, journalist and politician. He founded the newspaper La Minerve, became the leader of the Parti Patriote, and later deputy of the Parti Rouge. In 1855, he named the new village in honour of his wife, Adèle Raymond. As the Prime Minister of Lower Canada from 1851 to 1855, we owe this reformer the social abolition of the seigneurie inherited by the French Monarchy in 1854. He also contributed to the foundations of Morin-Heights and Val-Morin, a few years before the arrival of Curé Labelle.

Only 64 km away north of Montréal, Sainte-Adèle has since become a renowned and unique crossroads for lodging accommodations and fine dining. In 2013, the cultural life here was stimulated by the opening of Place des citoyens, presenting exhibitions, shows, musical concerts and conferences. This performing arts venue offers an extensive, year-round program. In the heart of Claude-Henri Grignon park, the Place des Citoyens also hosts the Marché public de Sainte-Adèle in the summer. For the past 65 years, Pine Cinema has been an institution in Québec, giving an important place to independent cinema. Lastly, the art galleries and museums complete the cultural visits in Sainte-Adèle.

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But Sainte-Adèle is first and foremost a place to enjoy the outdoors, reputed for its magnificent Lac Rond, a real gem located in the heart of town, as well as its impressive hiking trails and bike path circuit, its equestrian and golf centres, its snowmobile tracks as well as 3 ski resorts.

In 1991, 100 years after its arrival in Sainte-Adèle, the layout of the P’tit Train du Nord train tracks gave way to the longest linear park in Canada, with a 230 km bike path linking Montréal to Mont-Laurier up in Hautes-Laurentides. The project was inaugurated in 1996, more than 25 years ago.

the Lachine Canal, you can discover some of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city, the only ones outside the faubourgs east of Old Montréal (now the Village) that were massively built back when horses ruled the streets. As in the Village, there are still carriage gates that lead into stables. This was before the very British urban concept of alleys was introduced, in the second half of the 19th century.

The redevelopment of Griffintown profoundly transformed Notre-Dame St. which had been the area’s main commercial artery in the 19th century. This was preceded by the restructuring of Little-Burgundy, which had largely gentrified the neighbourhood. It’s where the black Anglophone community was concentrated in the early 20th century, and the birthplace of Montréal’s jazz scene. Also, the redevelopment of the outskirts of the canal south of Notre-Dame further transformed the artery where antique dealers elected residence. Cafés, restaurants and trendy bars began appearing, breathing new life into Notre-Dame St. This renewal stretches to the limits of the downtown area, Peel St. and down at Atwater market in Saint-Henri.

In Pointe-St-Charles, you should definitely visit the Saint-Gabriel house. It’s one of the rare 17th century buildings still standing on the island of Montréal, and the oldest farm house as well. Built by François Le Ber around 1660, this beautiful home hosted the King’s daughters until the year 1673. It was also used as a sewing room and small school. The house was largely destroyed by fire in 1693; only the creamery and the outhouse where untouched by the flames. In 1698, it was rebuilt on the foundations of the original buildings’. Today the house is a museum reminding us of Montréal’s lifestyle during the New France era.

Many people of the gay community have chosen to elect residence in Verdun, south of the canal. First in Ile-des-Soeurs, where many artists and creators moved into the new housing developments along the river. Then others moved to the very heart of Verdun, a former suburb now annexed to Montréal, attracted by the affordable prices. This has largely contributed to revitalizing of Wellington St., the main commercial artery of the neighbourhood.

The Musée national des Beaux-Arts in Québec City will be presenting this fall the long-awaited retrospective of the seminal Canadian artist Evergon, born Albert Jay Lunt in 1946 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This major exhibition will span his entire career, from 1971 to the present, with a view to shedding contemporary light on the artist’s long-term output. More than 200 works will be assembled for the first time to highlight this colourful individual and his multifaceted work.

Evergon is regarded as a genuine cultural icon in Canada. He is an artistic and social pioneer who focuses on contemporary questions concerning cultural and body diversity and diversity of identity. For nearly 50 years, the artist’s career has centred on bold photographic, technological, and aesthetic research. His always moving and occasionally irreverent striking imagery is often an extension of classical painting. The simultaneously political and sensualistic nature of his work raises questions on sexual orientation. He revisits with rare vitality genres such as portraits, landscapes, or nudes. Through collages, the art of photocopy and an entire array of exploratory photographic approaches, including the Polaroid, Evergon deepens the terms of queer masculine and feminine identity, thereby shaking up fixed ideas.

Numerous striking works underpin Evergon’s career, in particular the immense colour Polaroids from the 1980s, for which he is internationally recognized. Critics and several artistic institutions in the world have also paid tribute to his award-winning work in holography. His series devoted to his mother Margaret renews the representation of the ageing body as few artists have done and has received widespread recognition. Evergon is an immense creative force: identity, body diversity, love, desire, and ageing are at the root of his work. Like death and life, it is the latter in all its facets that the artist celebrates. Evergon grafts on to life notions of autobiographical fiction and extimity, a revelation of the intimate in the public sphere that is common today but that he explored early in his career. The artist deems all his works to be love letters.

Evergon’s concerns encompass social and artistic issues that go beyond the body’s socially constructed limitations. He thus abandons clichés by representing atypical bodies and goes beyond the canons of standardized beauty while relying on the seductive powers of photography, capable of inventing fictional worlds or theatres as is true of another major series in his career, in which he imagines the life of an entire community, that of the characters the Ramboys. Evergon continues to be in perfect synchronicity with the emancipatory challenges of photography: he has forcefully called into question the notion of the author by creating various alter egos. He disrupts the foundations of the photographic image through an astonishing baroque aesthetic and brushes aside the conventional canons of beauty by representing atypical bodies that he invests with panache.

After a 2021 edition held at Place Émilie-Gamelin in a context of strict sanitary measures, the Carnaval des Couleurs of Montreal, 2022 edition, is breaking out of its usual model and is having a blast by settling for the first time in the Quartier des spectacles, from October 7 to 9, on a major outdoor stage at the new Esplanade Tranquille at the corner of Clark and Ste-Catherine streets in downtown Montreal.
"Already in its 4th annual edition, the Carnaval des Couleurs has established itself as a not-to-be-missed event on the annual Montreal festival scene, at the end of the season during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in early October, with a solid line-up featuring some well-known artists, in a context of cultural diversity and inclusion, and all for free," says Robert J. Vezina, President of the BBCM Foundation, the non-profit organization which organizes the event.
This year, the Carnaval des Couleurs, under the artistic direction of Yanick Daigle, can count on two major honorary ambassadors: author, composer, performer and musician Corneille, as well as singer and musician Elizabeth Blouin- Brathwaite. Both participated in the 2021 edition and were able to see the positive impact of this festival as a "Gathering and celebration of multicultural and LGBTQ+ communities for the fight against racism and the fight against homophobia", which constitutes the very essence of the event.
The public will be treated to performances by renowned and appreciated artists from various cultural communities. Among other things, we will see and hear:
- On Friday evening, October 7, from 6 p.m., DJ and singer Sandy Duperval will set the mood before the start of Corneille's official opening show.
- On Saturday, October 8, starting in the afternoon, the headliners will alternately be drag queen Oceane Aqua- Black (participant in the Canada's Drag Race contest), singer-songwriter and pianist Florence K, and to end the evening, the singer Jonas Tomalty and his musicians, with his new show “Undivided”.
The 2022 Carnaval des Couleurs of Montreal moves its star-studded
line-up to the famous Quartier des Spectacles for the first time

- On Sunday, October 9, starting in the afternoon, the public will be able to enjoy lively music and performances. We will be treated to an indigenous show with Samuel Ojeda, then a show of authentic Cuban music with the group Me Llamo Son. Later, a key artist of the Montreal drag scene for more than 30 years, Michel Dorion, will present his show "Le Monde en musique" with his guests. Finally, the Carnaval will close with the beautiful voice, music and percussions of the dynamic and energetic Elizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, with her guest musicians Steven Levac and Ricochet.
Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., open-air cinema is planned on the big screen with “Les Grands Explorateurs”, presenting the film “Viva Argentina!”, by its director André Maurice who will be present on site and who will comment on the screening. Made in 2016, this film takes us into the dance and stories of deep Argentina, an immense and intense country, ending with a wonderful Argentine tango danced at night in the milongas.
Other artists from various disciplines (DJs, musicians, dancers, etc.) will animate the stage and surroundings during these three days. Street entertainers, circus performers and multiple costumed characters will bring the site to life in a flurry of action on October 8 and 9.
Finally, a free interactive conference open to everyone will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. in the magnificent Pavillon de l'Esplanade Tranquille, offering four thematic workshops: the fight against homophobia, the fight against racism, the fight against hate on the Internet, and the effect of discrimination on mental health.
The entire BBCM Foundation team, which has also been organizing the Black & Blue Festival for 31 years, during the same Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, invites everyone, families, young and old to come and enjoy the last beautiful moments of the festival season at the Quartier des Spectacles, with a unique and diversified event that will please everyone (free and open to everyone!).
Consult the complete program on the website or on the Carnival Facebook page.

The 31st edition of the internationally acclaimed “BLACK & BLUE” Festival will be
held during the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving and American Columbus Day, from October 6 to 10. “After the
postponement of the 2020 and 2021 editions due to the health constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the
conditions are now in place for the return of Black & Blue this year with great enthusiasm, because we will present the
main event of the Festival in a truly unique spectacular venue for us, with a very innovative concept
”, indicated the
President of the BBCM Foundation, Robert J. Vezina.
The main event will be presented for the very first time under the theme "Black & Blue 360°" at La TOHU, Montréal's
Circus Arts City, on Sunday October 9, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday morning. For its return after two years of absence,
the 2022 Black & Blue will offer a multidisciplinary circular concept with a central 360° stage in an immersive 360° hall
with electronic music by guest DJs and multiple performances, under the artistic direction of Louis Guillemette, an artist,
designer and teacher at the National Circus School with many achievements to his credit and well known in the LGBTQ+
community. Also in the concept and production team, Fred Gouin will be the technical manager and Daniel Brazeau will
be the lighting designer.
In its planning for the 2022 event, the organizing committee chose to strategically favor local DJs who had already been
approached and engaged for the 30th anniversary edition, in 2021, but which was postponed. “We believe that the
current context, in particular due to several challenges coming out of the pandemic, is ideal to support such a decision,
especially since all DJs, artists and cultural workers have suffered particularly since March 2020. But we will also be
adding new talents this year such as top-quality performances in dance and circus arts
”, according to committee
Montréal talent in the spotlight!
The BBCM Foundation is proud to promote and support local talent and to put forward this original event concept that
will appeal to a large clientele of regulars and new fans. Here is the list of DJs already known through Black & Blue
and/or popular on the Montreal nightlife scene, who will perform during the main event at La TOHU (in alphabetical
DJ Alain Jackinsky, DJ Ian Key, DJ Lady McCoy, DJ Luc Raymond, DJ Maus, DJs St-Denis (DJ duo Alain Vinet &
Steve Aries), DJ Stéfane Lippé, et DJ Stephan Grondin.
The other activities of the 2022 Festival
In addition to the main event of La TOHU, the Black & Blue 2022 Festival offers several other activities, including some in
special alliance with the organizers of District Events and Pitbull Events, a first of its kind. “II ",

In this post-pandemic period when life is getting back to normal, we believe it is important to work in collaboration with other major organizers of similar events in the community, in solidarity rather than in competition. This is why we are happy to underline this  strategic collaboration carried out with these two important players, Pascal Lefebvre (District) and Francis Gaudreault  (Pitbull), which will allow everyone to share promotional advantages and promote touristic attractiveness'', explains the President of the BBCM Foundation.

Here is the list of other scheduled activities as of August 16:
• TWINKLE EVENING with disco-pop karaoke theme, sponsored by Sauna G.I. Joe, at LE NORMANDIE tavern
• BLACK & BLUE LEATHER BALL at the LION D’OR, sponsored by Sauna G.I. Joe, presented by BBCM in collaboration with
Pitbull Events and District Events, DJ Ashley Gauthier and DJ Chris Mortagua
• HAPPY HOUR (5 to 10) ‘UNIFORM’ BLACK & BLUE at STUD BAR, DJ Rémi Trottier and DJ André Morin
• DISTRICT PARTY at CLUB SODA presented by District Events in collaboration with BBCM and Pitbull Events,
DJ Paskal Daze and DJ Aron

Several other affiliated activities are organized during the Festival, including visits to the McCord Museum, meals at
Restaurant Le Saloon, visits to Club La Cité (official gym). There will also be a promotional Black & Blue pre-party at Bar
La Fierté at Camping Fierté on September 24th.

Carnaval des couleurs of Montréal

It should also be noted that the BBCM Foundation is organizing during the same weekend, from October 7 to 9, a major
free and general public component called the CARNAVAL DES COULEURS, whose main outdoor stage will be at the
Quartier des Spectacles for the first time this year:

You can already get the Week-end VIP passes and the Festival VIP passes, the combo ticket for the three major evenings
(LA TOHU main event, Leather Ball at the Lion d'or and District Party at Club Soda), as well as the individual tickets for
Black & Blue 360° (regular and VIP) on the BBCM Foundation website
Please note that the VIP status at the main event gives access to a free coat check at La Tohu and access to the VIP
lounge overlooking the circular dance floor with snacks and fruit. For more information: or the page or by email: [email protected]

For its 23rd edition, the Mtl en Arts festival is back in force, with a few improvements. From June 29 to July 3, the festival will bring together a hundred of artists from various disciplines as well as many artistic activities : exhibitions, live creations, parades and conferences.

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This year, the festival will mostly take part in the eastern part of the Village, between Beaudry and Papineau streets, which will encourage a better synergy between the artists and the public, as well as a friendly atmosphere.

« What a pleasure to be back this year with a new edition, highlighting diversity in all its forms », says Stéphane Mabilais, general manager of the festival.

Diversity at the core of the festival

More than ever, it was important for the organizers of the festival to promote diversity through the programming, whether in terms of culture or gender. This year, about 20% of the artists are coming from diverse backgrounds.

Moreover, a new activity is introduced this year: the "station des artistes" conferences. Hosted by a drag queen, there will be three conferences per day where the artists will be presented. In addition, throughout the festival, artists from the Afro Museum will be on site for an exhibition and to lead creative art workshops for teenagers and children.

As part of the "L'art qui redonne" project, LGBTQ2S+ artists Nikki Küntzle (she/they) and Enok (they/them) will create large-scale temporary murals inspired by the mission of ATQ (Aide aux Trans du Québec). Reproductions of these works will be sold in support of the organization.
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Studio ZX's festive parade under the theme of diversity will parade down St. Catherine street. Even bigger than last year, stilt walkers, jugglers, dancers and others will be there to entertain the public. Festival-goers are also invited to participate in the parade by showcasing their colors.

Animations for every taste and age

Between Beaudry and Papineau streets, many other moving and still animations will be offered :
• L'expo-vente : an exhibition bringing together approximately forthy visual artists to celebrate local creativity, the richness of diversity and the dynamism of the next generation.
• L’art mobile : creation of large format artworks on a wheeled mobile support.

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• Ça déménage : artists Raphaël Dairon and MC Baldassari will give a second life to used furniture by transforming it into unique works of art. This creative and eco-responsible project is possible thanks to the festival's partners, Recyc-Québec and Desjardins.
• Murale collective : under the inspiration of the artist Dalkhafine, the public will be invited to paint a giant mural with the help of the colours indicated. The result will be a beautiful collective work of art.

Animations for every taste and age

Between Beaudry and Papineau streets, many other moving and still animations will be offered :
• L'expo-vente : an exhibition bringing together approximately forthy visual artists to celebrate local creativity, the richness of diversity and the dynamism of the next generation.
• L’art mobile : creation of large format artworks on a wheeled mobile support.
• Ça déménage : artists Raphaël Dairon and MC Baldassari will give a second life to used furniture by transforming it into unique works of art. This creative and eco-responsible project is possible thanks to the festival's partners, Recyc-Québec and Desjardins.
• Murale collective : under the inspiration of the artist Dalkhafine, the public will be invited to paint a giant mural with the help of the colours indicated. The result will be a beautiful collective work of art.

East of the Saint-Charles river and next to Saint-Roch, Limoilou was, throughout the 20th century, the most working-class neighbourhood of Québec city. The American-style urban planning with checkered streets and avenues and rows of triplex apartment buildings is in notable contrast to both the old city, which was built before the arrival of the automobile, and the newer suburbs surrounding it. With its tree-lined avenues typical of 20th century city life and the huge, inexpensive apartments, it has long attracted many students enrolled at the Limoilou cégep, one of the most important colleges in the region. 

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Marie-Claire Blais

The area takes its name from the French seigneurie of Jacques-Cartier, who was the first explorer to set foot on its soil. Today, it is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods of Québec, thus attracting many gays and lesbians early on. The reinvigoration of Limoilou is particularly noticeable along 3rd avenue in the heart of Vieux-Limoilou, where many restaurants and pubs have set up shop. The new nearby Centre Vidéotron performance hall has also largely contributed to this revitalization.
Fine dining in Limoilou
Among the gay-friendly establishments of Limoilou, the restaurants La Planque and Cendrillon are two key locations on 3rd avenue. La Planque is set up as a sort of shelter from the storm, featuring four distinct atmospheres: the basement hideout is intimate and perfect for meetings, the bar section for a more casual ambiance, the kitchen area is great for those who want to be at the centre of the action, and the mezzanine, which is intimate while still allowing a view of the kitchen and bar. Its neighbour, Le Cendrillon, is a friendly restaurant with an unpretentious and eclectic décor. It aimed to revive a cult neighbourhood location of the same name from the 50’s. Local products are carefully selected from nearby establishments and are at the heart of their menu, composed of homemade-style dishes, Québec cheeses, an oyster bar and wood charcoal-grilled meats.
The nearby Fun en Bouche is Limoilou’s “green” restaurant. In an urban and minimalist décor, this eco-friendly spot specializes in breakfasts, with eggs Benedict, omelettes, crêpes, bread puddings and Viennese pastries. They also serve light meals like paninis, ciabatta or bagel sandwiches and quiches.
On Chemin de la Canardière in the eastern part of the neighbourhood, the pizzeria Le Maizerets is a must. The place has been operating as a pizzeria for more than 50 years, and for the past 30 years the current restaurant has specialized in thin-crust pizzas - some say the best you can find west of Rome

From June 9 to September 5, 2022

Presented as a world exclusive in Québec City, the America. Between Dreams and Realities exhibition proposes a sweeping panorama of 20th and 21st century American art through 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and videos from the prestigious collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden collection in Washington, DC, the Smithsonian Institution’s national museum of modern art.

A wide-ranging group of more than 80 artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Edward Hopper, Arthur Jafa, the Guerrilla Girls, Willem de Kooning, Ana Mendieta, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Lorna Simpson, and Andy Warhol produced the works assembled, which illustrate the impact of social and cultural history on artistic creation in the United States from the Great Depression to the present.

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This outstanding exhibition will show how the artists have contributed to defining and reinventing the American dream by broaching themes such as the imagination of the land, the spectacle of everyday life, technological revolutions, or the challenges of globalization. It will also highlight identity-related questions and present committed practices attuned to the movement to achieve recognition for civil rights and feminism.

A plant-filled park with a gleaming thunderhead sculpture at its centre is the winning design for a new monument in Ottawa to honour victims of its LGBTQ2+ purge. The LGBTQ2+ National Monument is a partnership between the federal government and the LGBT Purge Fund, which was created from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the government. That lawsuit was born from the so-called gay purge, during which several thousand Canadians were investigated, sanctioned and sometimes fired between 1955 and 1996.

The executive director of the purge fund, Michelle Douglas, announced Wednesday that Team Wreford's design won the competition. The monument will feature a mirrored thunderhead cloud inside a large column, with a stage outside for performances and protests, and space inside the thunderhead for more intimate events.

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A view of the inside of the monument, which can host intimate events such as vigils. (Team Wreford)
"Our design embodies the strength, activism and hope of the LGBTQ2+ community, and is a lasting testimony to the courage and humanity of those who were harmed by the purge, homophobic and transphobic laws and norms, and Canada's colonial history," the design winners, Team Wreford, said in their pitch. "It rises up as our community has risen up to say, 'We demand change.'"

The area around the monument will feature an orchard, medicinal garden, a healing circle with stones chosen by two-spirit Indigenous elders and a path tracing LGBTQ2+ history in Canada, according to the proposal. The monument is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

Team Wreford pitched the thunderhead as a symbol of a community rising up to demand change. (Team Wreford/Government of Canada)
Team Wreford is tied to Winnipeg. Architects Public City Inc. are based there, as are visual artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. Advisor Albert McLeod lives there and has family history in Manitoba's Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and Norway House Métis community.

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The monument will stand in a grassy area on the Ottawa end of the Portage Bridge, which connects Ontario and Quebec over the Ottawa River, just west of Parliament Hill. The winning design was chosen from a pool of five potential designs that had been released in November 2021 for public feedback. Besides the central thunderhead sculpture, the winning design has a path tracing LGBTQ2+ history and a healing circle made of stones chosen by two-spirit Indigenous elders. (Team Wreford/Government of Canada)