In all my years of writing and blogging, meeting Alain Lachance and visiting SRIIZ has been my number one subject thus far. What was supposed to be a simple media tour, turned into seven hours of intense conversation about art and life. While being Quebec’s largest private art collector, Alain is a man with so much more to him than “just” art, so here’s a bit of what his world looks like.
Upon entering his private gallery, we were immersed in a world of mystery and wonder. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, not knowing where to look, which piece of art to start our discussion, nor which room to start the tour. But, what’s special about the SRIIZ experience, (as Alain likes to call the experience at his private gallery), is the energy that carries you along, creating a natural flow to dialogue, according to the mood of the monument or painting.
Being an entrepreneur myself, and having opened my home to clients during the pandemic, the only thing on my mind was how can a man, as busy as Alain keep the energy of the gallery so high, considering it is in his home? I was baffled, and as we discussed each piece, in his bedroom, his hallway, and his “man cave”, I stared at him with amazement.
More than the art, what fascinated me, was Alain. So I asked him: “Alain, what is your inspiration? How do you do this? Why did you create SRIIZ?” And his answer was quite simple: “C’est vraiment mes coup du coeur” which translates to “I follow my heart”.
That statement alone summarized the man behind SRIIZ. Alain is more than who we see on television or read about in the newspaper, he is an art collector with heart. He is a man of strong conviction. A man of dignity and honor, who lives a life of simplicity and passion.
As the seventh hour of the media tour rolled around, and the sun was going down, I looked at him, and looked around at his art collection, and thought to myself: “Alain is probably an old soul from the age of Medici, re-incarnated to the modern world, to teach us to be fearless, go after what we want, and to live with integrity, and passion”.
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Photo credit: Stef Côté / Hiello