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Artists at school


Host an Artist or Writer.

Jacques Baril
Liliane Gagnon

Visual arts


Jacques Baril

I am a self-taught sculptor. For more than 20 years I have pursued an artistic career which has taken me around the world. My work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and symposia in Canada and abroad (Winnipeg, Whitehorse, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, etc.). I have received numerous awards including more than 30 for my snow sculpture, five awards for Prima Hydro Quebec, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec (CALQ) award for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. I have also received several artistic creation grants from organizations including CALQ and FDAAT. I have served on artistic juries at the regional, provincial, and international levels and completed several projects that integrate the arts and architecture. For the last 15 years I have given snow sculpture workshops in schools that have been met with enthusiasm and provided me the opportunity to get to know and work with over 30,000 students.

My life and my artistic work are symbiotic: each disrupts and influences how I perceive the other. My life is directly influenced by the work involved in my artistic process; conversely, my artistic work as a sculptor plays a role in the adventure that is my daily life. When I create I try to translate the human experience of my daily and social life into physical shapes. Inevitably, the joys and sorrows this approach brings are reflected in my artistic output. The impact of environmental changes on humans touches me deeply: depleted forests, workers without work, the fisheries “caught in their own net,” and the plight of the fishers as well. More often than not, I try to counter this trend and face these tragic events with a sense of humour, perhaps itself a way to escape this fate.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Our workshop is called The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened to Me. Our approach draws on two mediums: students use painting or sculpture to tell the story of the happy event or memorable moment that constitutes their fondest memory. We can adapt the workshop to take more or less time. And as all these happy moments are used to design the final work, the positive energy unleashed suffuses the entire school. As artists from two different universes—Liliane the world of the miniature, and I from the monumental—each of us benefits from the fresh perspective the other brings. We have partnered up for this project because we both bring a vision and a facet of our experience that is easily passed on in our exchange with budding artists.

Other examples of activities

I design sculptural work focusing on a surface, fashioning a kind of net out of linear materials (branches, bamboo poles, alder, metal stems, etc.) which blends harmoniously into the space available at the participating school. This form may take a variety of shapes, from 2D murals to 3D  creations like cubes and cylinders. I can provide materials or we can find usable items in the school. The basic shape is something resembling a chain link fence, rich in empty spaces and interstices where the students make their work, either by painting on canvases tailored to the spaces or sculpting shapes for each empty space. Students work individually or in groups on the theme—The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened to Me—filling up every space and in the process creating a large art work that can later be mounted on a wall or suspended in a suitable place in the school.


Special conditions

$100 per day for two or three groups

Prepare canvas and structures for the assembly and the installation of the art work

For information

Jacques Baril
Phone : 819 787-6078
Other phone : 819 333-0101
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



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