Vignettes and tableaus provide artistic and historical backdrop to park

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Morinville Historical & Cultural Society (MHCS)Treasurer Murray Knight was putting in the finishing touches on one of the two new tableaus installed Monday morning.

Photos by Lucie Roy

Morinville – Visitors to this year’s festival opening ceremonies in St. Jean Baptiste Park will have the opportunity to see six of seven new pieces of art the Morinville Historical and Cultural Society have commissioned for the park.

MHCS executive member Andre Noel said between 1891 and 1899 Father Jean Baptiste Morin brought more than 620 francophone and German families to the area, settlers who settled on First Nation’s traditional land. Noel said many early settlers in the 1800s would not have survived without the cooperation and assistance of First Nation peoples.

“This tableau titled Alexander First Nation-Morinville by Jacques Martel presents in this painting the ongoing interaction between Alexander and the Morinville community, whether through sports like hockey or other activities such as the annual traditional Pow Wow at Alexander or the St Jean Baptiste Festival in Morinville,” Noel said. “Through these we learn to appreciate each other’s culture and heritage.”

The other tableau installed June 17 portrays the various religious denominations in Morinville. The painting, by artist Karen Blanchet, depicts the churches that have been established in Morinville over the years. “The artist presents the churches as a gathering of people who meet on a weekly basis to celebrate and share their values and beliefs,” Noel said.

The two tableaus were installed on metal frames erected in the park beside the west wall of St. Jean Baptiste Church two years ago when the project began. Vignettes installed in the park June 7 included paintings depicting Father Georges Primeau, the Cardiff Coal Mine, agriculture, hotels, parades and festivals. A vignette of Doctor Fergusson and Sarah Rondeau has not yet been completed.

The ongoing art in the park initiative provides residents and tourists an opportunity to learn a bit of the community’s history while visiting the park.

The Musée Morinville Museum will be open Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. during St. Jean Baptiste Festival 2013.

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Morinville Historical and Cultural Society (MHCS) members Andre Noel, Yvon LeBlanc and Lucien Houle installed the Father Primeau vignette June 17 in St Jean Baptiste Park.

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Morinville Historical & Cultural Society members Murray Knight, Lucien Houle and Andre Noel measuring and placing finishing touches to the Morinville Churches tableau on Monday morning.

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