High above Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Patrick Forchild has been hard at work on a giant mural to honour front-line workers. The Quebec artist just unveiled his colourful six-story creation, depicting a health-care worker hugging a patient.

Forchild reportedly spent several weeks working with paint rollers and spray-paint cans atop a skylift by the Jewish General Hospital’s main entrance.

He said the mural is meant to communicate the city’s deep love and respect for the people who have been risking their lives to keep us safe while fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is a symbolic way of remembering how heartbreaking this crisis is, because it makes gestures of affection and human warmth so difficult to perform,” Forchild said in a statement.

“If a patient cannot embrace the one who saved their life, we can at least represent this gesture through art, remember its importance and continue to hope to find the chance to do it for real."

Forchild created the piece for phase two of Montreal’s MURAL Festival, a celebration of urban art.

The city has closed Boulevard Saint-Laurent to cars to open space for social distancing during the festival, which runs until September 20.

You should definitely head on down if you’d like to check out beautiful works from some of the city’s best artists.

Jewish General Hospital spokesperson Victoria Salvador said the Consulate General of Israel in Montreal approached the MURAL Festival with the idea for the project.  

From there, she said Montreal’s diplomatic corps and the Jewish General Hospital Foundation secured funds for the project.

The consular corps chose the Jewish General as a canvas because it was the first hospital in Montreal to treat adult patients with the coronavirus, according to Salvador.

 

“It was a tremendous responsibility. Our response to COVID-19 was and remains critical in containing the impact of this virus and providing our community with useful resources,” said Salvador in an email.

“As this is a global pandemic and all humans are concerned, the project is a demonstration of global solidarity.”

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