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Shawinigan, Quebec (Canada)

Last modified: 2012-08-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: shawinigan | quebec | fleur-de-lys | lightening bolts: 2 |
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[Shawinigan] image by Ivan Sache, 4 July 2009

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A photo published in "L'Hebdo du Saint-Maurice", 2 July 2009, shows the Canadian soldier Alexandre Tardif displaying the flag of his home town, Shawinigan, in the Nathan Smith Camp, Kandahar, Afghanistan. The flag, officially offered to the soldier by the Mayor of Shawinigan, should return to the town in October 2009 when the soldier's mission is over. The current flag of Shawinigan is white with a blue border and the municipal logo in the middle: (no longer available).

The page of the municipal website dedicated to the logo explains that a new logo was required after the administrative reform of 2001. Originally incorporated as Shawinigan Falls in 1901, renamed Shawinigan in 1957, the current municipality of Shawinigan was formed on 1 January 2002 by the merging of Shawinigan (including Baie-de-Shawinigan since 1998), Shawinigan-Sud, Grand-Mère, Saint-Georges-de-Champlain, Lac-à-la-Tortue, Saint-Jean-des-Piles and Saint-Gérard-des-Laurentides. Entered in a competition with some other 270 proposals, the new logo was designed by Yvan Bellemare, from Saint-Gérard-des-Laurentides, with the motto "Shawinigan, un courant d'énergies" [Shawinigan, a stream of energies]. The logo includes two symbolic moves, first the river that unites all the parts of the town and second the human move that triggers the town's development. The merging of the two moves represents the lively present and the promising future of the town. The logo also symbolizes the water stream entering a turbine to form electricity and energy, represented as a flash of lightning. Together, these two symbols form a "S", for Shawinigan.

The river Saint-Maurice is indeed the source of the economic development of the region. The towns of Shawinigan and Grand-Mère were born from the energy provided by the local waterfalls; the "Laurentide" power plant was built in Grand-Mère in 1887, while the "Shawinigan Water and Power" company was founded in Shawinigan in 1898. Several industrial companies subsequently set up factories near the river, for instance "Belgo", "Alcan", "Shawinigan Chemicals", "Dupont" and "CIL". Since 1899, no less than 10 hydro power plants have been built on the territory of Shawinigan, which is a kind of world record. When set up, the Shawinigan plants ranked among the most powerful in Canada.
Ivan Sache, 4 July 2009

Flag before 2002

[Shawinigan] image by Blas Delgado

translated from city documentation:

The flag was created by Mr. Alban Dufresne. The azure field dominated by a fleur de lys is inspired by the geographical location of the city within Quebec. The silver wave represents hydraulic energy from the Saint-Maurice river. Two golden lightnings come out of this wave, symbolizing electricity and the wealth that this wonderful element has brought to Mauricie, to Quebec and to Canada for over a half-century.
I first observed the flag in December 1998.
Luc Baronian, 8 May 2005