Boisés-Est presented The People’s Forest at Le Chenail

More than 20 artists presented their pieces under the theme of The People’s Forest at the Chenail Cultural Center on September 27. Forty people were in attendance to glance at the artwork, watch a film and hear stories, both real and fictional.

“September 27 is National Tree Day, and every year, Boisés Est organizes an activity to commemorate this special day. We show the paintings of many artists who created pieces based on this year’s theme The People’s Forest.  The purpose of the theme is to demonstrate the links between people and the forest. The emotions covered by the art pieces were hope, worry and anger, not towards the forest but towards human activity,” said Jean-Claude Havard, secretary of Boisés Est.

The vernissage of the paintings was done on September 9 and the exposition ended on October 1.

“Our objective is to create interest towards forestry and the importance forest play in our well-being. Some people want to save the planet; we see it as saving humankind from itself. The planet and the forest will be fine once we are gone, it will actually be better without us,” said Havard.

“But if we destroy our environment, we will live in an inhospitable habitat. So the exposition had the goal of demonstrating how much our well-being is linked to the well-being of nature.”

Gilles Chartrand gave a presentation on how the forest contributed to the development of our region from Hawkesbury to Rockland. Back in the 1800s, the Ottawa River was home to two major sawmills, the biggest in the British Empire.

A film was also projected about the life of 1930s lumberjacks. The film was presented by Irving et Nancy Lachaine who also held an exposition on the lives of the people of the Chenail who operated the Hamilton sawmill in Hawkesbury. The night finished with a performance of storytelling by multiple storytellers who told real stories to fiction.

The event also marked the beginning of Boisés Est’s 20-year anniversary.