In the heart of the La Baie district of Saguenay, Quebec, stands a unique and moving monument: the Pyramide des Ha! Ha! Pyramid. Designed by artist Jean-Jules Soucy, this structure commemorates the devastating Saguenay floods of 1996, and offers a breathtaking view of the Baie des Ha! Ha! from its 21-metre height.

A testimony to the past

The Pyramid of Ha! Ha! is much more than a simple memorial. She embodies the resilient spirit of the La Baie community, which faced a devastating natural tragedy. Erected in memory of the 1996 floods, the pyramid is covered with some 3,000 “Yield to Traffic” signs, carefully fixed to an aluminum structure. These panels, fitted with reflective film, form a Greek letter “delta”, symbolizing not only the site in the Ha! Ha! but also the idea of transition and passage, evoking the “système D” and solidarity shown by the inhabitants during the cataclysm.

A Tribute to the Citizens Touched

At the heart of the pyramid is a staircase leading to an observation promontory, offering spectacular views over the bay. The pyramid’s inner walls bear the names of La Baie citizens who were directly or indirectly affected by the floods, creating an emotional link with the community’s history.

A place for entertainment and reflection

One side of the pyramid can be raised to reveal a removable performance stage, making it a versatile space for local cultural and artistic events. It’s one more way of bringing the community together and celebrating the resilience of the residents.

A Collaborative Project

The Pyramide des Ha! Ha! Pyramid was created in 1997 and 1998 by RÉMAC Innovateurs Industriels Inc. headed by André Poulin. The company, which specializes in the manufacture of industrial parts and metal structures, worked closely with artist Jean-Jules Soucy to bring this exceptional work to life.

Light and Color to Brighten the Soul

In 2019, an illumination system was added to the pyramid, allowing it to light up in different colors such as green, amber, blue or red depending on the event. This touch of color adds an extra dimension to an already emotionally charged monument.

In short, the Pyramide des Ha! Ha! is much more than just a monument. It’s a poignant reminder of a community’s resilience in the face of adversity, a celebration of unity and solidarity, and a gathering place for arts and culture. A visit to this unique monument is not only an exceptional visual experience, but also a deep dive into the history and spirit of The Bay.

Art is not without Soucy

Feature-length documentary on Jean-Jules Soucy, an artist from La Baie in the Saguenay who possesses a strong imagination and a great sense of humor. He uses everyday objects – onion skins, industrial floor cloths, paper bags, milk cartons – to turn them into funny, lucid works of art. A funny artist or a funny artist, Soucy loves wordplay and images that make you think about (serious) socio-environmental issues.

Source: L’art n’est point sans Soucy – Bruno Carrière – National Film Board of Canada

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