Finding their niche
Tomorrow, women right across the country who contribute to their communities will be celebrated. We’re getting a little jump on the celebrations this week with an article about two Coaticook women who have made notable contributions in that community,
and they came from across the globe to do it! Both of them artists, Rosa Aguirre and Koni Marcoux founded in 2007, along with photographer Bertrand Thibeault, Coatic’art, an active art group that has been growing ever since.
Rosa, who creates jewelry, sculptures and decorations with copper wire, moved here from El Salvador, in 1995, after falling for a Coaticook man. “I came here for a vacation to visit my cousin and he introduced me to Christian (Mc Duff). After we met the second time, he offered to give me a tour of Coaticook. That was the beginning!” explained Rosa. Koni is a visual artist who grew up in the Philippines and then moved around the globe with her husband, Col. Luc Marcoux, before relocating to her husband’s hometown of Coaticook, in 2004, after he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Whereas Rosa used her art to help herself integrate into her new community, taking part in craft exhibitions and finally opening a small boutique in Coaticook’s downtown area, Koni dreamed of joining an art group soon after arriving.
“I found out there was no art group here, but I started to meet other artists. I knew Bertrand, and he knew Rosa, so we met over coffee to talk about starting a group,” said Koni. With a few added members, the group began slowly, meeting once a month on a Thursday, giving them their first name: “Le gang de jeudi”. In 2009, with a clearer vision, the group was renamed Coatic’art and incorporated itself as a nonprofit organization.
Although the group quickly became implicated in the community through their exhibitions and tourist events in places like the
the Beaulne Museum and the their most ambitious project to date is “Histoi’art”. Fashioned after an art/history project that took place in France, Coatic’art member Lise Bertrand came up with the idea.
“We transfer a photo of a historic building on acetate, then the image is projected onto a large canvas. We trace the main lines onto the canvas and then they are painted in bright colours – like pop art,” explained Koni. But with the mission to promote the appreciation of art in the community, it’s not the Coatic’art members who get to add the colour to the images. “We have had three editions of Histoi’art with the public. People of all ages have helped paint them with guidance from our artists,” added Rosa. The completed works hang in various locations around the town, such as at the arena where the pop art painting of the town’s first girls hockey team now hangs.
The continuing project has garnered financial support from the town and local businesses like the
and “They see the big potential of the project.” Histoi’art will culminate in 2014 with a series of historical pop art images, all created by members of the community in time for its 150th anniversary celebration.
Other upcoming activities for Coatic’art include
Koni Marcoux (left) and Rosa Aguirre, seen here in the art boutique on Child Street, are happy in their “adopted home”.
The Donald-patrick Award, also presented during this ceremony, is given to an individual or a group who has greatly contributed to the community of the Borough of Lennoxville. This event is an opportunity for the Borough of Lennoxville to pay tribute to the accomplishments of its citizens, and to make the general public aware of the extraordinary involvement of their fellow citizens within the community. Arts & Culture: Community Art Lab, Yaël Filipovic
Yaël Filipovic is an education curator who holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Art History & Education from Mcgill University in Montreal. Her work combines her passion for research, art, activism, and pedagogy. With a keen interest in the use of communal space, her public interventions have taken place in both Toronto and Montreal. In May 2010, she took on the position of Curator, Education and Cultural Action at the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec to develop their Community Art Laboratory.
The Community Art Lab is a special project, exploring from a creative point of view, the pressing social issues of our day and how these affect our immediate community. It gathers individuals from the community and through public events, it works towards stimulating an enhanced understanding of the visual and media arts in the city of Sherbrooke. Citizenship & Volunteer Work: Volunteers of the Bibliothèque de Lennoxville Library
The volunteers of the Bibliothèque Lennoxville Library are busy every day, all year long, contributing to the Library’s daily operations. They are also always there to step up when additional hands are needed to see special projects to completion. Some of these projects require significant effort, such as last year’s bar coding of over 24 000 books and this year’s planning and organizing of our centennial year activities.
The Library has more than 30 regular volunteers in any given year who help it run smoothly. Its volunteers represent all generations. Business Development: Karine Séguin & Maxime Fabi – Brûlerie de café Lennox
A believer in the Borough of Lennoxville’s potential, co-owner Maxime Fabi knew how to set his business apart and draw on the success of downtown Sherbrooke’s Brûlerie de café. By investing close to $200 000 in the building at 112 Queen Street, Maxime didn’t hesitate to make this project a reality, creating more than seven jobs in the Borough.
Karine Séguin maintains close contact with the community and welcomes the suggestions of Borough residents.
Acting as a link between local actors such as Townshippers’ Association, the Lennoxville Curling Club, Global Excel, the Champlain College residences, students and others, Karine and Maxime have succeeded in incorporating local, fresh, healthy and Quebec-based products by doing business with companies like Pâtisserie Coaticook and the Ferme Beaulieu. Education: Dr. Lorne Nelson
To put it simply, Dr. Nelson is a true star at Bishop’s University. A Physics professor with a focus on astrophysics, Dr. Nelson is one of the University’s most distinguished researchers, and one of its best teachers, having won the highest honours from the University with the
in 1995 and the in 2011. He has also held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. Dr. Nelson inspires students; in fact, some of the top students at the University are in the Physics Department, and they came to Bishop’s for one reason: to study with Dr. Nelson. What makes Dr. Nelson such a perfect candidate for this award is the fact that he works very hard to make a complicated topic–astrophysics–accessible to the general population. Dr. Nelson is responsible for the Bishop’s University Observatory, which welcomes close to 700 people per year to learn more about the universe. Students and community members visit on a