CSL inaugurates Shalom Bloom Sculpture garden

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On hand for all of the events celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday were Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and the entire Côte St. Luc council, Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum. The chairs of the Canada Day event were councillors Glenn Nashen and Ruth Kovac, and the MC for the events were CJAD personalities Dan Laxer and Laurie Betito.

The Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden is in an area of the park with stunning, lifelike sculptures of various wildlife animals, including white-tailed deer, cougar, bighorned sheep and others. The sculptures were a donation by Bloom, who left his successful business in 1980 to devote himself full time to sculpting.

“This city is a wonderful place and the two mayors (Brownstein and his predecessor Housefather) really worked hard to bring this about,” Bloom said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the garden. “This is Phase 1, and hopefully, eventually, we’ll have another phase with a lot more sculptures in this magnificent park.”

Marco Pendenza of Super Excavation did the stonework, and Ron Williams was the consulting landscape architect.

“I was involved with the overall concept and design,” Williams said. “The early ideas were a natural environment where the animals would feel at home. It turned out great, I’m really pleased.”

Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand also praised Bloom during the unveiling ceremony.

Later on, Birnbaum showed the winning videos of his riding-wide student competition, Canada 150: Your Story, My Story; and Lt-Gen. (Ret’d) Roméo Dallaire was inducted onto Côte St. Luc’s Human Rights Walkway for his work in preventing mass atrocities in Rwanda, his advocacy against the use of child soldiers and his general work for human rights. Dallaire’s son Willem was on hand for the dedication.

While most activities took place on July 2 because of weather concerns, the traditional citizenship ceremony, took place July 1 at the city’s Aquatic and Community Centre, and was presided over by former Canadian citizenship judge Barbara Seal. She, Brownstein, Housefather and Birnbaum welcomed the 39 new citizens from 18 countries. A “welcome home to Canada” video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also played.

The July 2 event also included entertainment by indigenous performers and the retro band Replay, who alternated between Beatles and ‘60s hits sets. Brownstein himself sang John Lennon’s Imagine, which he linked to Côte St. Luc’s own advocacy for tolerance and respect.

The evening ended with a fireworks and laser show display, with musical accompaniment.

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Wild animals coming to Trudeau Park?

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At a special public meeting last week in Côte Saint-Luc, City Council set the wheels in motion for a very exciting development at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park involving the extraordinary large-scale bronze animal sculpture art of local artist Shalom Bloom.

The city has issued a public call for professional services tender to redesign Trudeau Park, in part to become the home to Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden. The agreement will be in the form of a donation by Shalom Bloom, a Cote Saint-Luc resident, of 10 sculptures which will be relocated from his country estate in the Laurentian town of Esterel.

ShalomBloomRams

This Shalom Bloom sculpture of rams faces the Stewart Biological Building at McGill

This acquisition could happen around September 2016 with a possibility of additional sculptures in 2017.

The sculpture garden would turn the forested area of Trudeau Park into a sort of wildlife reserve that could draw onlookers from near and far.

This work is part of a multi-million dollar expansion of Cote Saint-Luc’s flagship park, located in District 6, that covers over one million square feet of land. Planning began earlier this year on redesigning the playground, making the baseball diamonds more accessible and acquiring infrastructure that will be more appealing for residents and visitors.

Pierre-Elliot Trudeau overlooking Cote Saint-Luc's premier park

Pierre-Elliot Trudeau overlooking Cote Saint-Luc’s premier park

 

Public consultations last month drew in young families for input on play structures. Even small children got the chance to have their say by drawing their favourite activities in the park. (With reporting by Mike Cohen).