Press release

2017 Temporary Exhibit
The Legacy of Montréal's Women's Religious Communities

From May 31 to December 22, 2017 


In the context of the 375th anniversary of the founding of the city, Maison Saint-Gabriel, museum and historical site, is proposing a new temporary exhibit that dares to explore a subject that is seldom talked about. During this year of historical festivities, the museum is presenting, with 375 Years in the Heart of it All !,the legacy of Montréal's women's religious communities. This exhibit is open to the public from May 10 to December 22, 2017. All are welcome to learn more about these not so well-known groups of women and discover their heritage.

The themes presented invite visitors to take a fresh look at the history of Montréal's women's religious communities and the contributions they have made since the founding of Ville-Marie (1642) to the present day. “The museum’s mission remains education through history,” recalled Madeleine Juneau, its executive director. “The founding of Montréal is also a story of women, exceptional women such as Jeanne Mance, Marguerite Bourgeoys and Marguerite d’Youville, but also First Nation’s women, women of calling and, let us not forget, the King’s Wards. They all contributed to the development of our metropolis,” she added enthusiastically.

Numerous archival objects and documents attest to the extent of the involvement of the members of these communities and preserve traces of their expertise. Women of action, religious sisters were nurses, teachers, missionaries, architects, musicians, scientists, etc. Establishing the basis of the services to the population, they founded hospitals, schools and laid the foundations of our social system.

After holding such an important place in society, what has become of them? Even if they are less visible today, they still pursue their mission. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to discover the diversity of their commitment, past and present, over a 375-year period.

Project financed under the Agreement on the cultural development of Montréal by Ville de Montréal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.