The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Opening of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

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Opening of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

Winnipeg, Thursday, August 26, 2010

For me, the opening of a new space for culture and artistic exploration in the urban landscape is always a moment of grace.

That is why I am delighted to be here for the official opening of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s new permanent home, and for the unveiling of the first work of art to be exhibited here.

The Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, which has distinguished itself here in Canada and around the world, is not afraid of venturing into the very heart of the creative experience to teach us to see things differently, to make us question what we have always believed to be true and to open our hearts and minds to new ideas and possibilities.

Artists speak in a language made up of shapes, materials, colours and the movement of light.

In their way, their works show us the countless possibilities that exist every time we consider them.

It is one of the richest experiences we can have, and today we have the opportunity to warmly thank those who have helped the Institute establish itself in a space that is as relevant as it is spectacular to add to our pleasure of seeing and interpreting the world in all its dimensions and in complete freedom.

Riopelle said that artists do not worry about theories and definitions in the act of creation, and focus instead on creating works without labels.

It is precisely this power to open our eyes to ever-growing and amazing horizons that the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art celebrates; let us rejoice in this beautiful break in the city’s walls so that our senses, our hearts and our spirits can escape in search of meaning and beauty.

I strongly believe in the power of art to influence our attitudes, enrich our vision of the world, express the desires and anguishes of our societies, and bring us together as we search for common meaning.

That is why I have made it such a priority over the past five years as Governor General of Canada with the wonderful collaboration of the artist with whom I share my life, my husband Jean-Daniel Lafond who initiated a series of forums entitled Art Matters which have been held throughout the country as well as during our State visits abroad.

I would like to wish the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art long life in its new home, and many new discoveries to those who come here to find a fuller life, because anything is possible here.