Great-lakes-Saint-Lawrence-Gulf Symphony

The Great-Lakes-Saint-Lawrence-Gulf Symphony is a citizen-led initiative that aims to raise public awareness around the importance of living in the hydrographical basin of the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River and the Saint Lawrence gulf, of protecting that resource and above all, of building cross-border ties among citizens. The Great-Lakes-Saint-Lawrence-Gulf Symphony project envisions:

  • Building a shared vision for the whole basin with the men and women who live in it.
  • The promotion of citizen-led initiatives in the basin.

From Duluth, Minnesota to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, via Chicago, Toronto, Buffalo, Montreal, Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, Gaspe, Blanc-Sablon and Charlottetown, people are invited to participate in a vision-building exercise around the future of the hydrographical basin of the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River and gulf. Youth, First Nations, civil society representatives, academics, artists, elected officials and economic and industry stakeholders, in short all basin residents are invited to participate in this process. Since spring 2011, several local consultations throughout the basin have brought to light experiences and the initial elements for a shared vision focusing around five questions: What unites us? What worries us? What do we want to promote? What is our shared vision for the future? What action should we take to realise that vision? In June 2012, ISW and its partners organised the “Quebec Rendez-Vous” which brought together citizens of the Great lakes, the Saint Lawrence river and the gulf in order to carry out an initial basin-wide exercise. Shared objectives were developed during this workshop and the conditions for better citizen participation in integrated management were defined. A citizens’ appeal was adopted “From Solitudes to Rallying”. On 28 June, ISW was invited to present the first message of the basin residents to the Mayors of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Cities Alliance, gathered for their Annual General Meeting.

From September 2014, a roving exhibition entitled “Great Towns, Great Lakes, Great Basin” was produced to share the basin vision in a context of climate change. Since then, the exhibition visited in 2016 the AquaHacking Summit in Montreal and the Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec Congress in Quebec city.

Made up of easy-to-assemble panels, you can use and display the exhibition at your own events, such as conferences, general assemblies, forums, etc.

Please contact us should you require any further information on this exhibition.


logo u laval
Logo OIF
Logo alliance des grans villes
Chamber of Marine Commerce



  • An overall vision for the basin shared by all the men and women living in it.
  • An on-going process to promote initiatives taken by basin residents to preserve and protect the basin within the context of the overall vision.
  • An exhibition that shares the overall basin vision mounted in five places in three different countries (United States, Canada, France).
  • 1,000 visitors annually visit the exhibition.


The Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence and its golf and The Urban Agriculture exhibits at the COP21 events

In the framework of the Conference of the Parties 21 for Climate Change (COP 21) the ISW prepared two exhibits that shared experiences and proposals related to the water sector. One at the basin level, where a vision for the next 100 years is embodied in the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence and its Golf … Continue reading The Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence and its golf and The Urban Agriculture exhibits at the COP21 events

Read more >