In 2014, when the community of Barachois started its revitalization process with support from CEDEC, community members were driven by a number of great ideas to put their lagoon, teeming with wildlife and possibility, on the map.
With the popular Percé rock just a short drive away, their first priority was to develop their own tourism attraction and supporting infrastructure to draw in visitors from neighbouring areas.
Realizing that they needed to restore and beautify their dilapidated wharf and halte routière (rest stop) areas, they called on the artist community to play a key role.
The idea for the Barachois In Situ, a “living art” event was borne. In 2016, the community invited six artists to work on site for eight days to create new art pieces using materials found around the wharf and beach area.
Their works remained in place for the duration of the summer attracting several thousands of tourists to the site. During this time, the wharf area was also cleaned up, and both it and the halte routière had essential structural improvements completed in the process, setting up this community for future economic development opportunities.
Now, with the second edition of this biennial event coming up in August 1-11, 2018, there is plenty of buzz once again.
This summer, nine artists will work on site, actively contributing to the revitalization of this community, including tourism infrastructure and product development, job creation, ascending this small community into a tourism mix of heavy hitters including the neighbouring tourism hotspot, Percé.
On July 19, Vaste et Vagues, the host organization, will launch the ten-day schedule for the BARACHOIS IN SITU, LA BIENNALE, BISLaB 2018 event. CEDEC is proud to be a partner in this event, through financial contribution and the mobilization of the English-speaking community.
As part of the event, Vaste et Vagues, CEDEC, and many other partners including the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec, the MRC of Rocher Percé, and the municipality of Percé, will unveil the People, Art, and History photo exhibit at the historic Thompsons General Store, formerly known as Robins General store, one of the oldest businesses in North America, established first in Gaspé in 1766.
The brainchild of John Michaud, a local citizen, this collection of photos gathered from within the community will celebrate the history and heritage of the area, share highlights from the In Situ 2016 event, and add value for this local business which services Barachois and surrounding communities.
The exhibit at Thompsons General Store will be open until September 2, 2018. While many photos will remain in the store, others will be re-located throughout the community, serving as a reminder that in 2022 Barachois will be celebrating its 350th anniversary.