Inauguration of The Athletes Gallery

2013, June 18, 2013

For immediate release

Inauguration of The Athletes Gallery
Olympic champions at the Montreal Heart Institute

Montréal, June 18, 2013 – Olympic champions Jean-Luc Brassard, Alexandre Despatie, Erik Guay and Bruny Surin, along with former Montreal Canadiens player and General Manager, Serge Savard, were gathered at the Montreal Heart Institute this evening for the inauguration of The Athletes Gallery. This exhibit of 26 photographs, donated by photographer Bernard Brault through a partnership with the Art for Healing Foundation, celebrates the benefits of physical activity for the heart. Taken between 1979 and 2013, these images present a unique perspective on the athletes, teams and athletic events that have decorated Quebec's sport history.

"We are honoured that these athletes accepted our invitation to come celebrate with us. In the eyes of the Institute, these sports personalities are models to live by, which is why we chose them to be in our exhibit. Not only do they embody discipline, will and passion, but also the benefits of physical exercise and the spirit of excellence. We thank them wholeheartedly for their presence and the inspiration they give us," said Dr. Denis Roy, Executive Director of the MHI.

A gift from Bernard Brault
Sports photographer at La Presse since 1984, Bernard Brault has to his credit more than 200 awards and distinctions, including seven Antoine-Desilets awards from the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec. Throughout his career, he has covered numerous major sporting events, including 10 Olympic Games. He is also the author of three books and is a prized guest speaker among his peers.

"This exhibit would not exist if it weren't for this photographer's passion for sport. It's extraordinary to see an ephemeral art form like press photography transformed into a permanent work that will significantly impact MHI patients and their families, as well as employees," noted Earl Pinchuk, co-founder of the Art for Healing Foundation and partner of the MHI for the second time in an artistic initiative to benefit patients.
This non-profit organization's mission is to bring the healing power of art to hospitals and other care centres and, in so doing, transform these settings into inspiring places that bestow hope and serenity to patients, families, and caregivers through the beauty of artwork. Since 2002, its founders, Earl Pinchuk and Gary Blair, have installed over 7,500 pieces in 54 healthcare establishments across five Canadian provinces.
This photography exhibit was made possible by the financial contributions of the Chirurgiens Cardiaques Associés and the Cardiologues Associés of the Montreal Heart Institute, as well as the MHI Foundation.

An auction
Over the course of the evening, the athletes who were present also generously signed a copy of their picture on exhibit in the MHI Gallery. These one-of-a-kind works will ultimately be framed and sold at auction, along with the photographs of Chantal Petitclerc, Joannie Rochette, Georges St-Pierre, Nicolas Gill, and Alexandre Bilodeau, who were unable to attend the inauguration but who nonetheless wanted to take part. All proceeds of the auction will be given to the MHI Foundation and the Art for Healing Foundation.

About the Montreal Heart Institute:

About the Art for Healing Foundation:

— 30 —

Marie-Josée Nantel
Communications Officer
Montreal Heart Institute
Phone: 514-376-3330, extension 2641