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Inauguration of Bleu de bleu - An art installation spanning eight kilometers of one of the main highways leading into Montreal

Montreal, 8 September 2017 -

Bleu de bleu is an immersive art installation by Alain Paiement created at the initiative of National Bank to celebrate Montreal’s 375th anniversary.

Video : Bleu de bleu

National Bank is proud to inaugurate Bleu de bleu. Created by Quebec artist Alain Paiement, the installation can now be viewed on a major stretch of Autoroute 20, between the Dorval Circle and the 1st Avenue overpass.

Commissioned by National Bank to celebrate Montreal's 375th anniversary, the piece transforms the stretch connecting the airport to downtown with the panache associated with Montreal.

Bleu de bleu
was made possible thanks to the support of several key partners.


- The project was entirely funded through private donations totalling $3.2 million.
- The installation will remain in place for approximately 5 years.
- Bleu de bleu is designed to evoke the shores of the St. Lawrence River. The installation changes and grows more complex as it adapts to the changing cityscape that surrounds it. Some sections are lit by blue LED lights.
- The installation was designed to offer distinctive evening and daytime experiences.
- It took 20 workers 1,000 hours over a 4-month period to create, mount and install the piece.
- Some 290,000 motorists and travellers use the stretch of Autoroute 20 displaying the installation every day and 13 million people pass through the airport each year.


"Montreal at 375 is just as dynamic and innovative as it's always been. People visiting the city will be able to witness the city's vibrancy when they see Bleu de bleu. Thanks to all our partners from the artistic and business communities, as well as local decision-makers, whose enthusiasm ensures that Montreal continues to stand out as a truly unique city in every way," Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank.

"Bleu de bleu is a tribute to one of our city's greatest assets—its proximity to the St-Lawrence River. On behalf of the government of Quebec, I commend this initiative by National Bank to share a symbol of creativity with the millions of visitors who come to our city each year and with the Montrealers who use Autoroute 20 each day," Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montreal region.

"On behalf of all Montrealers, I'd like to thank National Bank and Louis Vachon, its President and Chief Executive Officer, for his initiative and for the contributions of the key partners in offering this impressive art installation for Montreal's 375th anniversary. It demonstrates the city's creative flair and honours its history with the St-Lawrence River. And our sincere gratitude to Montreal's own Alain Paiement for developing his artistic creation spanning Autoroute 20—it will surely impress all of those who use this thoroughfare," Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal.

"Throughout history, numerous artists have worked in and with landscape—notably Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Robert Smithson with his piece, Spiral JettyBleu de bleu is now part of this select group due to its sheer size and grandiose use of space. It's truly a bold, massive piece of art. The MAC will work to preserve its memory and the utopian experience it offers," John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

"Blue. Nordic, celestial, flowing. The colour of dreams and infinity. Energetic wavelength. Both day and night. Blue Montreal," Alain Paiement, artist and creator of Bleu de bleu.

National Bank would like to highlight the contribution of its various collaborators.

- The partners who helped make the project a reality: Martin Coiteux, the Minister responsible for the Montreal region, Laurent Lessard, the Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification, Denis Coderre, the Mayor of Montreal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Aéroports de Montréal and Sid Lee.

- The members of the selection committee: Sandra Chartrand, President of the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard, Louise Déry, Director of the Galerie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director of Emeritus at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Stéphane La Rue, artist, Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank and John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

- The private partners and sponsors: Fondation Lise & Richard Fortin, Fondation Sandra & Alain Bouchard, Walter J. Somers Foundation, Gaz Métro, Jean-Pierre Léger, Lumenpulse Group and Louis Vachon.

About National Bank of Canada
With $240 billion in assets as at July 31, 2017, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. The Bank has more than 21,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank's activities at or via social media such as FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information:

Marie-Pierre Jodoin
Senior Manager – Public Affairs
National Bank
Tel.: 514-394-4209

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