Lachine launches 350th celebration

From left to right: Claude Dauphin, borough mayor; Thomas Gauthier, 350 Lachine ambassador; Chantal Lacroix, 350 Lachine president of honor; Stéphane Lavoie, Caisse Desjardins de Lachine General Manager

Recently, the borough of Lachine launched plans to celebrate its 350th birthday in 2017.

“Welcome to your home,” said Mayor Claude Dauphin, who has always lived in Lachine. “We are going to celebrate with Montreal and with Canada next year, although Canada is just a baby at 150 years old.”

Events will begin at midnight on December 31 with fireworks on the waterfront.

The party continues with at least one event every month until the end of the year. The calendar encompasses ramped-up versions of traditional festivities like the snow festival in February, the Fete nationale, Canada Day festivities, and Halloween.

Historic buildings in the borough will be lit up throughout the period to emphasize important cultural landmarks. Among those lit landmarks will be the Entrepôt, where the launch took place.

“Before starting our presentation today, I want to speak a bit about this building,” said Dauphin. He then explained that the stone building was founded in 1861 as the Dawes Brewery warehouse, cooling and fermenting room. Today, it serves as an impressive concert and meeting hall for up to 320 people.

Dauphin also announced that the Caisse Desjardins de Lachine will be the key sponsor for the 350th celebrations. Local businesswoman, coach, and television personality and producer Chantal Lacroix will serve as honorary president. Popular vlogger Thomas Gauthier will be the ambassador.

Planning for the event began last May 2015, when councillors approved bylaw CA15 19 0154, which assigned the Poles des Rapides Corporation with organizing the event for $100,000. The non-profit organization used to promote tourism for Lachine, LaSalle, Verdun and Southwest, but the other three boroughs no longer provide funding, so the organization will be able to concentrate fully on Lachine’s celebration.

The Pole des Rapides hired Marie-France Désy last September to take charge of Lachine’s 350th birthday. She works with the steering committee, which includes the mayor and three borough employees (Stéphanie Houle who manages the borough’s culture sports and leisure department, Nadia Said, from communications and Martin Savard, the borough director).

Thirteen business owners and community group representatives are also on the steering committee and attended the launch. They include: François Achin from Inox Communications, Sylvain Deschamps from the Port de plaisance Lachine, Raymond Ferland from Fromagerie Atwater, Frank Gomez from Club de Canoe et Kayak du Quebec, Stéphane Lavoie from Caisse Desjardins de Lachine, Valérie Léger from Léger and Audet CPA Inc. and H8S Café; François Mackay from Rotisserie Saint-Hubert; François Morissette from Lachine’s history society, Lyne Piché from Centre multi-ressources de Lachine, lawyer Éric Poulin who founded Prison Break and the local half-marathon; Janie St-Pierre from the Association centre-ville de Lachine, and the principle of Victor-Thérien school Carl Vézina.

For more information, refer to the celebration website at http://350lachine.com/.

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