Delayed sunshine makes up for two days of rain at 2023 Symposium de Ste-Rose

Seventy artists participated in this year’s art exhibition in Vieux Sainte-Rose

Although two days of rainfall last month put a dent in the usually strong attendance at the Symposium de Ste-Rose, abundant sunshine on the art exhibition’s last day made up for the shortfall.

From July 27 to 30, appreciators of fine sculpture and exquisite art came from all over Quebec as well as other parts of eastern Canada to enjoy the 27th annual symposium.

Impressionist landscape painter Serge Nadeau from Disraeli in Quebec’s Eastern Townships was among the artists who travelled from far to take part in the 2023 Symposium de Ste-Rose. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

As has been the case for nearly three decades, the symposium took place in downtown Sainte-Rose along Sainte-Rose Blvd., next to the Old Firehall (La Vieille Caserne), near the historic Sainte-Rose-de-Lima church.

A gathering of talent

The Symposium de Ste-Rose is regarded by some as one of Canada’s most successful gatherings of visual artists and their works. Each year, attending the symposium is seen by connoisseurs of art as a great opportunity to enjoy the creations of many different artists who express themselves in many different styles.

As the Symposium de Ste-Rose Art’s reputation has grown across Quebec and other provinces, the organizers have also received some significant recognition. In 2019, the Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented them with a Dunamis award for helping to promote tourism in Laval.

An annual pilgrimage

For years now, the symposium has been an annual pilgrimage for collectors seeking quality works to enhance the home, or as lasting gifts for family and loved ones. Patrons had the opportunity this year to purchase works by 70 talented artists, expressing themselves in styles ranging from traditional and impressionistic to modern and abstract.

The symposium’s organizers were a finalist for a second Dunamis in 2020 as a “sustainable” organization or enterprise. And indeed, tourism has been growing by leaps and bounds in Laval over the past few years, as travellers from all over Canada and the U.S. discover hidden treasures such as the Symposium de Ste-Rose.

Unwelcome rainfall

“I have to admit that things haven’t been great over the past two days and I was a little discouraged,” Oprina-Felicia Dolea, the president of the Corporation Rose-Art which organizes the symposium, said in an interview with the Laval News on day two. “However, they are calling for sunshine tomorrow so let’s hope,” she added.

Patrons had the opportunity to purchase paintings, sculptures and other art works

Local musicians Antonio Varano (who is also a restauranteur) and Danny Bergeron provided some musical diversion during the three-day Symposium de Ste-Rose. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

Some came from far

Regardless of the weather and a corresponding decline in attendance, she said serious buyers still managed to show up and were seemingly determined to buy art works. “I sold seven,” she said, noting that painters and sculptors tend to have an optimistic outlook.

Impressionist landscape painter Serge Nadeau, who came all the way from the town of Disraeli in the Eastern Townships to be among the nearly six dozen artists exhibiting at the symposium, said he loves taking part in an art show set in a such a picturesque area of Quebec whose history is also closely tied to Québécois art.

“There is something special about Sainte-Rose, firstly because of its association with Marc Aurèle Fortin,” he said, noting that the world-famous artist lived and worked in Sainte-Rose. “The overall atmosphere here is also very nice. There are a lot of artists who like to come here year after year.”