Building A Legacy Of Great Art In Metro Vancouver

Monday April 15th, 2013


Michel Goulet's "Echoes"

Enjoying the view from Michel Goulet's "Echoes" at Vancouver's Kits Beach.

Vancouver’s legacy of great public art just grew quite a bit richer. Continuing from the momentum of Yue Minjun’s “A-Maze-Ing Laughter” last summer, the Vancouver Biennale welcomes Michel Goulet’s “Echoes” as the latest public artwork to find a permanent home in Vancouver.

Situated in front of the Boathouse Restaurant at Kits Beach, “Echoes” is a series of 16 one-of-a-kind stainless steel chairs created exclusively for the Vancouver Biennale in 2005 by Canadian artist Michel Goulet. Each chair is unique in design and has an inscription in French and English reflecting aphorisms of everyday emotions and dreamlike thoughts. The chairs have been positioned to encourage human interaction and communication and installed so that when sunlight hits them at the perfect angle, the phrases and aphorisms are projected onto the ground below as one large poem. The artwork was originally part of the Vancouver Biennale’s 2005-2007 exhibition, then re-installed at this site by the artist in 2010.

Michel Goulet with "Echoes" in 2010

Michel Goulet with "Echoes" in 2010.

One of Québec’s best-known sculptors, Michel Goulet uses traditional techniques to create installations based on recognizable everyday objects that encourage public participation. He has an extensive exhibition history including representing Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1988. He received Quebec’s Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas in 1990, Canada’s Governor General’s Award in 2008 and will receive the Order of Canada in May 2013. He has taught at the University of Ottawa and at Université du Québec à Montréal and has designed sets for theatre and opera.

“Michel Goulet represents exactly what the Biennale means when we talk about using public art as a foundation for community building,” notes Barrie Mowatt, President of the Vancouver Biennale. “With Echoes he turns the everyday chair into a poetic sculpture that invites us to come together to interact as neighbours. We are inspired by his multi-disciplinary approach to sculpture, poetry and theatre design, and his many accomplishments internationally. As the second major legacy gift that the Biennale has facilitated from this exhibition, Goulet is a great Canadian artist and his iconic chair sculpture a great addition to this city.”

Tomorrow, join the Vancouver Biennale and artist Michel Goulet, along with representatives from Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver for the official dedication and the Deputy Mayor’s proclamation of Michel Goulet Day in recognition of the artist’s significant contribution to the city.

Date: Tuesday April 16, 2013

Time: 10:30 – 11:00 AM

Location: Kits Beach in front of the Boathouse Restaurant


This donation is made possible through the generosity of the artist, the BUSCHLEN MOWATT FOUNDATION and the Vancouver Biennale Legacy Foundation.

Lifeguards hauling the row boat into storage in front of The Boathouse Kitsilano, with Michel Goulet's "Echoes" in the foreground.

Lifeguards hauling the row boat into storage in front of The Boathouse Kitsilano, with Michel Goulet's "Echoes" in the foreground.

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