100 young philanthropists donate a public artwork
Sébastien Barangé, vice-president of communications and public affairs at CGI, is among the founders of the Brigade.
“Several of us were already involved with cultural organizations,” he explains. “What brought us together was a shared love for the arts and culture and a passion for Montréal. We wanted to make a unifying gesture in recognition of the city’s 375th anniversary.”
Working through the BAAM, Sébastien Barangé first assembled 700 young entrepreneurs under the guidance of Alexandre Taillefer. Their objective was to spur the emergence of a new generation of Montréal philanthropists.
“We wanted to recruit 100 philanthropists to donate one thousand dollars each,” explains Sébastien Barangé. Assembling a group of donors to donate a public artwork to Montréal was a first, and these young philanthropists heeded the call. Among them was Patricia Lemaire.
“I knew Sébastien through contemporary art projects,” explains the young woman. “I immediately said yes.”
Jury and philanthropy
In order to select the artwork for donation, the Brigade decided to have philanthropists become directly involved.
“We didn’t want people to get the impression we were treating ourselves to a sculpture,” says Sébastien Barangé. “And there was common desire to do things the right way.” A jury was established, which carried out the initial triage.
“To successfully bring this project to term,” explains Barangé, “the young philanthropists benefited from the collaboration and expertise of Montréal’s Bureau d’art public.” The Bureau d’art public provided support throughout the process of selecting the work, and it also helped ensure that the project went smoothly.
“I took part in every stage, from selecting the artists to developing the work,” says Patricia Lemaire. “That direct involvement really allowed us to identify with the project.”
The two years spent on the project were highly rewarding for the philanthropists. They took part in several meetings, which allowed them to gain a better understanding of the selection criteria and the steps involved in creating a public artwork.
“Culture plays a vital role in our society’s economic and social development,” says Sébastien Barangé. “Education and philanthropy are key to making culture a form of civic engagement.”
Patricia Lemaire is proud to have participated in this important legacy project: “I like knowing that we can have an impact on our environment. Public art can surprise us and capture our attention, and it improves our city!”