Born in Ottawa in 1926, Yvette Bond was passionate about literature, French culture and exploration. For a few years, she corresponded with Pierre Debain, a young French artist who lived in Algeria and Morocco. He decided to come to Canada to marry his sweetheart Yvette, who was 26 at the time.
Yvette and Pierre started a family in a heritage house in Old Aylmer at 7 Front Street. In the 1970s, they built the L’Imagier Art Centre as an annex to the house using wood from the old barn located behind it and recycled materials. L’Imagier was officially opened in 1975. Successive exhibitions reflected contemporary regional artistic expression in an educational space created for Yvette Debain, who strove to convey the pleasure of discovering works of art.
Yvette loved animating tours and making young audiences experience a sense of wonder at the sight of a picture or sculpture. She always welcomed her visitors with her legendary smile and kindness. She appreciated the pleasure people felt in discovering artworks in the spaces of L’Imagier.
In 1987, in partnership with the City of Gatineau, Yvette created the Parc de l’Imaginaire, a small outdoor museum with sculpted benches and a Japanese fountain featuring musicians and professional performing artists. A pavilion welcomes artists during the summer months. In 2005, the city awarded the Ordre de Gatineau to Yvette Debain. The Imagier Art Centre and Parc de l’Imaginaire will continue to thrive with artistic performances.
(Photo: Ville de Gatineau)