Riopelle’s Centenary: Celebrations Officially Launched


Riopelle’s Centenary: Celebrations Officially Launched
New Projects Announced Across the Artist’s Native Province for the Centenary Year

MONTREAL, October 7, 2022 – As today marks the 99th anniversary of Jean Paul Riopelle’s birth, the Riopelle Foundation and its prestigious partners are officially kicking off five seasons of festivities with the unveiling of new cultural projects that will honour the world-renowned Canadian artist to the four corners of his native province, Quebec, during the centenary year.

From Gatineau to Montmagny, Trois-Rivières, Montreal and the region of Charlevoix, the projects announced today will offer the public the opportunity to (re-)discover Riopelle’s impressive oeuvre and legacy through various art forms, including cinema, poetry and visual arts.

These projects are presented as part of the Riopelle Centenary Celebrations’ official program, along with other Canadian and international projects previously announced. Many of these projects will then embark on Quebec and Canadian tours to inspire, thanks to Riopelle’s artistic vision, as many people as possible across the country.

The beginning of the 2022 cultural season was already punctuated with multiple announcements in view of Riopelle’s Centenary Celebrations. The launch of the Studio Riopelle interactive educational platform, the Dialogues: Encounters with Riopelle’s Oeuvre from Sea to Sea Canada-wide cultural mediation program, the unveiling of the architectural concept for MNBAQ’s future Espace Riopelle pavilion, as well as the inauguration of Marc Séguin’s monumental mural in tribute to Riopelle in downtown Montreal and the beginning of CBC/Radio-Canada’s special programming for the centenary year, all contributed to pave the way towards today’s official kick off.

Region of Chaudière-Appalaches

Throughout 2023, the Montmagny Library, a region where Riopelle spent his last years, between his Isle-aux-Grues residence and his Île-aux-Oies studio, will hold a series of activities to commemorate Riopelle’s deep roots with the region, including educational and cultural mediation workshops, the inauguration of a new monument in tribute to Riopelle, a cruise on the magnificent St. Lawrence River tracing back the artist’s endless sources of inspiration, from the islands’ nature and landscapes to the legendary wild geese, and much more. This rich program will also feature, from June 16 to September 10, 2023, the new exhibition Sur les traces de Riopelle – its fourth exhibition entirely dedicated to the artist – made possible thanks to the collaboration of Riopelle’s widow, Huguette Vachon. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire some of the artist’s last creations, inspired by the islands’ light and surrounding environment.

Find out more information about the Montmagny Library’s complete program for the Riopelle centenary year online (in French):

Region of Montreal

The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) will premiere, as part of its 41st edition from March 14 to 26, 2023, a series of five short films inspired by the life and work of Jean Paul Riopelle. These films will be directed by the Institut national de l’image et du son’s alumni, whom will be selected by a jury through a contest. Winners will be announced in the coming months.

Region of Outaouais

The City of Gatineau’s Galerie Montcalm will present, from May 18 to August 20, 2023, the exhibition EMPREINTES, showcasing prints created by Riopelle between 1967 and 1990. Guest commissioner Michel V. Cheff selected around 50 artworks out of some 100 Riopelle etchings and lithographs that comprise the City of Gatineau’s permanent collection. The public will have the chance to discover how Riopelle’s engraving work has evolved over the years, influenced by nature, seasons, fishing and hunting. Archive documents, as well as a reading section, will allow visitors to find out more about the artist’s creative process and his large-scale oeuvre. This exhibition will be complimented with multiple cultural mediation activities.

Region of Charlevoix

The region of Charlevoix will host not one, but two exhibitions dedicated to Riopelle in 2023.

La Malbaie’s Musée de Charlevoix will present, from June 8, 2023, to April 2024, an exhibition created by guest commissioner Yseult Riopelle in tribute to her father. Titled Riopelle et l’art populaire : Objet trouvé, détourné, volé, the exhibition is a nod to Jean Paul Riopelle’s great interest in folk art. Hunting, fishing and nature have all inspired Riopelle, whom used objects he found or used differently to create artworks, sometimes giving them a whole new meaning. The exhibition showcases Riopelle’s deep connection with the St. Lawrence River and the living creatures that influenced his work in the 1980s. It is also linked to the Musée de Charlevoix’s folk art collection, an art form that Riopelle particularly appreciated.

In Baie-Saint-Paul, the Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul will host, from June 24 to November 5, 2023, an exhibition around the theme of migrations that will premiere at the Musée d’art de Joliette starting on February 5, 2023. Showcasing important works by Jean Paul Riopelle, this exhibition will bring together international contemporary artists and highlight the impact of mobility in the work of visual artists. During his lifetime, Riopelle lived and worked in several environments. Montreal, New York, Paris, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Isle-aux-Grues and Sainte-Marguerite are all socio-cultural contexts that have influenced the artist’s production. This exhibition is directed by Italian-Danish commissioner Irene Campolmi.

Region of Mauricie

From September to December 2023, Culture Trois-Rivières and the International Poetry Festival will be presenting the exhibition L’empreinte Riopelle. Three important cultural venues of Trois-Rivières – the Centre d’exposition Raymond-Lasnier, the Atelier Presse Papier and the Galerie d’art du Parc – will host artworks from various collections, including the personal collection of Yseult Riopelle, daughter of the artist, author of the Catalogue raisonné de Jean Paul Riopelle and honorary commissioner of the Centenary Celebrations. Nearly 100 masterpieces and poems will be featured, honouring Riopelle’s legacy and artistic genius.


“After years of planning, the Riopelle Centenary Celebrations’ official program is richer than ever thanks to the contribution of our precious partners who will make these festivities a tremendous success across Riopelle’s native province. Exactly a year ahead of Riopelle’s 100th birthday, which will be the culminating point of the celebrations’ five seasons, the Riopelle Foundation is extremely proud to kick off the centenary year which promises to be historic with projects to the four corners of Quebec, Canada, and the world. Prepare to be bedazzled in 2023!”

– Manon Gauthier, Executive Director of the Riopelle Foundation and General Commissioner of the Riopelle Centenary Celebrations

Never-Before-Seen Celebrations for a Canadian Artist

Orchestrated by the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation, the festivities surrounding Riopelle’s 100th anniversary in 2023 will offer the general public a unique opportunity to (re)discover this Montreal-born artist who has marked the history of art. Featuring a wide variety of artistic disciplines, from classical music to circus, theater, literature, as well as with the participation of museum and educational institutions, the official program of the Centenary Celebrations will give rise to a multitude of cultural projects in Canada and around the world. Starting in the fall of 2022 under the theme “One with Nature“, a host of prestigious partners will contribute to making these celebrations – the most important ever planned for a Canadian visual artist – a resounding success, promoting Canadian talent and inspiring new generations of artists through Riopelle’s impressive legacy.

Discover the Centenary Celebrations’ official program on

Riopelle: Ambassador for Canadian Art throughout the World

World-renowned Canadian painter, engraver and sculptor Jean Paul Riopelle was born in Montreal on October 7, 1923 and died on March 12, 2002. From his native Montreal to his more than 40 years in France, his expeditions and adventures that brought him to the very limits of our world, and his return to Quebec during the last decades of his life, Riopelle’s artistic and cultural legacy extends to the four corners of the globe. Through the admiration that scores of collectors and museums have for his oeuvre, and the archives and treasures that he created throughout his life, his influence on the history of art is unequivocal. Along with other key members of Les Automatistes movement, Riopelle co-signed in 1948 the Refus Global manifesto that deeply marked Quebec society in the mid-20th century, and his impact is still today felt far beyond the boundaries of art.

About the Riopelle Foundation

Envisioned by Riopelle in the 1960s and established in 2019 by a group of Canadian philanthropists, the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation’s mission is to celebrate and broaden the appreciation of Riopelle and his oeuvre in the history of Canadian and international art, to support and inspire emerging visual artists, to encourage creative exploration and experimentation, and to promote teaching and learning. The Foundation also serves as a repository and centre of scholarship in the documentation, publication and discourse on the oeuvre of Riopelle.

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A press kit including complementary information, the full calendar of the Riopelle Centenary Celebrations’ official program, as well as high resolution photos, is available for journalists to download online:

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Source: Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation

Raphaël Melançon
Trafalgar Strategies
514 765-7879 | 514 444-6968