The Gleaner

Towers of art on the landscape: MRC to honour agricultural heritage with tourism initiative

The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent’s rural landscape is about to change. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has announced the government will invest over $1.14 million in the creation of a network of painted murals on silos illustrating the history of the Haut-Saint-Laurent region and its farmers.

Silos dot the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent’s landscape as a testament to the region’s agricultural heritage, its founding farmers, and their families. With this project, they will now illustrate our rural tradition and the region’s history.

Three loops, or circuits, will enable visitors to discover the work of local artists from an innovative perspective while enjoying the region’s various attractions. A mobile application will be created to provide tourists and locals with pertinent information.

The $1,144,460 investment by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) stems from the “Signature Innovation” component of the Fonds Régions et Ruralité (FRR), which aims to support MRCs in the development of an innovative project that helps to establish a strong territorial identity. The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent has also committed to contributing at least $228,892 to the project.


Silos such as these in Howick can be seen throughout the MRC du Haut Saint Laurent Soon several of them will be converted to giant canvases to display the work of local artists as part of a $13 million project in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs PHOTO MRC du Haut Saint Laurent


“Farm silos are an integral part of the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, and this project represents an original way of highlighting them, as well as the region, its resources, history, and artists,” says Suzanne Roy, the minister responsible for the Montérégie region, by way of a press release issued by the government.

“Murals were once an urban phenomenon, and I am delighted the Huntingdon riding will soon be able to benefit from these works of art,” says Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette. As Huntingdon is a predominantly rural riding, we have a lot of silos, and they are beautiful. Now imagine how fantastic they will look once local artists have been put to work expressing their creativity,” she enthused.

“With landscapes steeped in field crops, livestock farms, and market gardens, it is obvious that the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent’s regional signature lies in its agricultural silos. They will become the canvas through which our rich regional history will be expressed,” says Louise Lebrun, the mayor of Sainte-Barbe and MRC prefect. 

“With this project, the MRC hopes to showcase not only its local artists, but its regional attractions, businesses, and shops,” adds Lebrun, noting the goal is to increase the number of day-trippers and tourists to the region, and to prolong their stay.

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