Monday, July 25, 2011

Hilton Lac-Leamy: Loto-Quebec Art Gallery

     The Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, is rated four diamonds by AAA, and five stars by Tourism Quebec. On top of that, this hotel has won the Hilton Hotels "Connie" Award (named after founder Conrad Hilton) four times, in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Connie Award is given annually to the Hilton hotel that has excelled in customer service, as rated by customer surveys. It's a big deal for Hilton-branded hotels, and the four trophies are proudly displayed in a glass case in the Lac-Leamy lobby.

Hilton Lac-Leamy's Connie Awards

     However, that's not all that is on display at this hotel, which is owned by Loto-Quebec. In 1979, Loto-Quebec began an art collection (La Collection Loto-Québec) with the goal of stimulating the creation of artwork by Quebecois artists. It now has over 4300 pieces of art, representing the work of over 1200 Quebec artists, and many of these are on display within the Hilton Lac-Leamy hotel. This makes a visit to this luxury hotel more than just a weekend getaway to be spoiled at the spa or by fine dining. Visitors also have the opportunity to discover the many works of art that make up the Collection Loto-Québec, such as this dancing bear statue located next to the elevators.

"Dancing Bear" by Davie Atchealak, Loto-Quebec Collection no. 3155

Chihuly chandeliers in Lac-Leamy lobby

      The largest and most striking works of art that hang over the hotel lobby are the blown glass sculptures by American artist Dale Chihuly. These amazing confections are completely made of glass, blown by teams of glass-blowers in the Venetian style and held together by braided wires. Chihuly sculptures are on public display in many museums, gardens, art galleries and hotels around the world, including the Bellagio and Mirage in Las Vegas. The Hilton Lac-Leamy, however, is one of only two locations in Canada where Chihuly statues are on permanent display, and there are several. These range from the four giant chandeliers hanging in the lobby, to the smaller works mounted on a staircase column leading from the lobby to the Arome restaurant, where you can get a closer look at these intricate, serpentine pieces.

Chihuly sculptures on staircase column
     The next time you visit the Hilton Lac-Leamy, take a closer look at the "decorations" on the walls - each piece of art and its creator is named, giving an introduction to Loto-Quebec's formidible art collection and adding a touch of culture to a walk through a hotel lobby.

Read more about Lac-Leamy: Fabulous Martini Flights, and Restaurant Le Baccara.

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