ONE DROP

ONE DROP
Ville de Quebec

Ville de Quebec
Grand Theatre de Quebec

Grand Theatre de Quebec
Commission de la capitale nationale du Quebec

Commission de la capitale nationale du Quebec
Fondation Desjardins

Fondation Desjardins

June 07, 2012 17:00 ET

ONE DROP's GAIA Photography Exhibition Arrives in Quebec City

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 7, 2012) - Today, Guy Laliberté, the Chair of ONE DROP and Founder of Cirque du Soleil®, has marked the official opening of the GAIA Photography Exhibition in Québec City. This creative project undertaken by Laliberté for ONE DROP and presented by Fondation Desjardins is a touring photography exhibition consisting of a selection of 60 large-scale photographs taken by the artist while on board the International Space Station (ISS). These never- before-seen images of the Earth bear withness to the miracle of water and its essential relationship with our fragile planet. The free exhibition will be held from June 7 to July 7 at the parc de l'Amérique-Française and the Galerie d'art du Grand Théâtre de Québec.

"I was able to take these photographs from 350 kilometres above the Earth's surface during my stay in orbit. They capture both the beauty and the extreme fragility of our planet," explains Guy Laliberté. "Through the medium of art, GAIA aims to raise awareness among visitors of the importance of water as a source of life and of the need to protect this vital resource throughout the world."

In September 2009, Guy Laliberté became the first artist to carry out a Poetic Social Mission in space. During his 11-day stay on board the ISS, Laliberté chose to use this unique opportunity to raise individual and community awareness of water-related issues and to help achieve sustainable change in terms of universal water access and protection. Up until that moment, those gazing at the Earth through a porthole of the ISS had done so prompted by a scientific purpose. Through the lens of his camera, which he always had to hand, Guy Laliberté was able to witness the beauty of the continents, which appeared to be floating on the water's surface, as well as their utter fragility.

"Fondation Desjardins, whose core value is education, is proud to team up with ONE DROP to present these works of art, which have the ability to raise awareness among the general public of the imminent need to protect water for future generations," states Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. "That is why Fondation Desjardins is offering scholarships to students of environmental studies".

GAIA is the first public exhibition ever to be held in the parc de l'Amérique-Française; entry is free of charge and it runs from June 7 to July 7, thanks to a partnership deal with Québec City Council and the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec, as well as the contribution made by Fondation Desjardins. The touring photography exhibition will then move on to The Distillery Historic District in Toronto, from August 2 to September 3, 2012.

The Grand Théâtre de Québec art gallery, which is also one of the exhibition's partners, will be offering limited edition photographic GAIA prints from June 7 to July 7. The GAIA book, which contains dozens of unseen photographs, will also be available for purchase in three distinct editions. ONE DROP is also associated with the Lacerte Gallery, official custodian of the GAIA photographic prints and books in Québec City. Proceeds raised by the sale of GAIA works of art will go to ONE DROP, so that it may continue in its efforts to make safe water accessible to all, today and tomorrow. To learn more, visit www.ONEDROP.org/GAIA.

For the duration of this exhibition, Fondation Desjardins will be offering students a chance to win one of two bursaries. The first, of $1,500, will be awarded to a student in environmental studies and the second of $1,000, will be awarded to a student in any other field of interest. For contest details and inscriptions, visit www.fondation-desjardins.com/gaia.

About ONE DROP

ONE DROP-an initiative of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil-is an international non- governmental organization created in Canada, in 2007. ONE DROP fights poverty by supporting access to water and raising individual and community awareness of the need to mobilize so that safe water is accessible to all, in sufficient quantity, today and tomorrow. With its uniquely artistic approach, ONE DROP educates and implements site-specific safe water solutions while allocating microfinance loans to help ensure sustainable development. Worldwide, ONE DROP's ongoing creative projects also raise awareness about water-related issues and encourage smarter water practices.

To learn more, visit www.ONEDROP.org, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Fondation Desjardins

Fondation Desjardins aims to set the standard for financial, cooperative and economic education in the Canadian philanthropic sector. It is a leading partner in helping young members of the next generation achieve their dreams and ambitions. Fondation Desjardins also gives many young people access to technical, vocational or post-secondary studies. It rewards excellence and encourages students to persevere until they receive their diploma. Well-known for distributing more university scholarships in Québec than any other private foundation, Fondation Desjardins encourages research, training, acquisition of skills and employability. The foundation rewards cooperative spirit, volunteerism and entrepreneurship. Since its creation, it has granted a total of 13 million dollars to over 9,500 people.

To learn more, visit www.desjardins.com/en/foundation.

Contact Information

  • Emilie Boisvert-Croteau
    Communications Coordinator
    ONE DROP
    +1 514-723-7646 ext. 7138
    +1 514-802-7305

    Francine Blackburn
    Media Relations Advisor
    Mouvement Desjardins
    +1 514-281-7000 ext. 7544