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Shawinigan, Quebec (Canada)

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Keywords: shawinigan | quebec | fleur-de-lys | lightening bolts: 2 |
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[Shawinigan] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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Shawinigan

Shawinigan is a city located on the Saint-Maurice River in the Mauricie area in Quebec, Canada.


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from Canadian City Flags, Raven 18 (2011), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) by permission of Eugene Ipavec.

Design

The flag of the City of Shawinigan is white with a blue border whose width is approximately 1/30 the height of the flag. The city’s logo, name, and slogan are in the centre, running nearly the full length of the flag. The logo is an abstract object in blue, light blue, and red, containing curved components and a red two-angled “lightning bolt”. Below the logo is SHAWINIGAN centred in serif letters, above the “SHA” is VILLE DE, in letters half the size, all in blue. Above the “IGAN” is un courant d’énergies, on three lines: “un” in smallest type, then “courant” in smaller type, then “d’” in smallest type, all in blue, with “énergies” following “d’” in smaller type and in red.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The city’s documentation interprets the logo and slogan:
The electric current consists of two complementary symbols. The first refers to water, more specifically, the river, a natural element unifying all of the city’s sectors. The second alludes to human movement, which allows an entire city to mobilize itself. These energies brought together witness to a present full of life and a future filled with projects. The logo also symbolizes a wave or a current entering a turbine to exit it as energy or electricity, visually rendered by a lightning bolt. Bringing these two elements together, one obtains the letter S for Shawinigan. Shawinigan is well known for its ten hydroelectric centrals [power-generating plants] built since 1899. Because of the incredible energy of its people and the no less powerful energy of its waters, the City of Shawinigan is closely associated with the word ENERGY, which is the source of the slogan Shawinigan, un courant d’énergies (Shawinigan, a current of energy).

Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

Over 270 people participated in a flag-design process. A citizen of Saint-Gérard-des-Laurentides, Yvan Bellemare, proposed the winning slogan. To represent a new start after the 2002 merger of seven former municipalities, a logo was adopted along with the winning slogan.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Yvan Bellemare.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

More about the Flag

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.
http://www.ville.shawinigan.qc.ca/Services.aspx?section=shawirenseignement&id=538
Ivan Sache, 4 July 2009


Flag before 2002

[Shawinigan] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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 lightning bolts 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