Jacques Cartier Bridge-lighting ceremony repeat planned for June 25
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is living up to his promise to hold a repeat of Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge-lighting ceremony.
The mayor tweeted the news on Monday morning.
The inaugural ceremony held on May 17, as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, was attended by 400,000 people and televised to over 1.8 million viewers, according to marketing research firm CROP.
Coderre had raised the possibility of a repeat performance after some 3,000 off-duty Montreal police officers staged a noisy protest the night of the original ceremony.
READ MORE: Montreal bridge-lighting ceremony re-do?
Protesters took aim at the mayor, denouncing the slow pace of negotiations to renew their collective agreement.
The unionized members of the force have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2014.
WATCH BELOW: Police without a contract for three years take to the streets to protest
According to Coderre, the protests marred people’s enjoyment of the event, with some unable to hear the accompanying music.
“The taxpayers, Montrealers, who are paying [the police officers’] salary deserve better,” Coderre said following the May 17 incident.
Organizers said the resounding success of the half-hour show, featuring a soundtrack by the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal, convinced them to go ahead with the repeat performance.
For Coderre, the ceremony is about making Montrealers proud.
“So that as many people as possible can experience the full, shining potential of this work, I am delighted that this grandiose spectacle will be presented for a second time, on June 25 at 10:30 p.m,” Coderre said in a written statement.
“Our city will have pride of place once again!”
Glen P. Carlin, CEO of the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridge Corporation (PJCCI) echoed the sentiment.
“The lighting of the Jacques Cartier Bridge has attracted attention beyond our borders, enhancing the historical and architectural character of this iconic structure and providing Montréal with a unique signature. We are pleased to take part in the reprise of the inaugural show to give everyone the chance to admire this urban bridge in a very special light,” he said.
Still, some feel a second bridge-lighting ceremony is simply unnecessary.
City hall analyst Karim Boulos feels that the repeat show may have less to do with Montrealers’ enjoyment, and more to do with Mayor Coderre himself.
“It just sounds like we missed the photo of the kid blowing out his candles for his birthday, so we have to relight the candles,” Boulos told Global News. “We already know that the kid blew out his candles, you know what I mean? It just doesn’t seem like a real event.”
The cost of this second ceremony will be covered by the Society for the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary.
A PJCCI spokesperson told Global News that funds had been specifically allocated for contingencies such as this one.
However, the price tag for the repeat show has not been made public.
Despite the success of the inaugural show, the bridge lighting has had its share of detractors.
Some have criticized the $39.5 million price tag attached to the project, which has a 10-year lifespan.
The federal government contributed $30 million to the project, while the City of Montreal covered the rest.
The bridge corporation told Global News in December that the investment made sense.
“It’s a good investment, in terms of landmark. It’s for the tourists,” PJCCI project coordinator Raphael Lavoie, said.
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