Message from the Executive Director
Photographer: Michel Dubreuil
In 2017, Montréal is celebrating the 375th anniversary of its founding. Maison saint-Gabriel has preserved the vestiges of the early days and has been sharing them with the public for over 50 years.
Our museum, which is a stakeholder in the history of Montréal, is making the most of this year’s festivities to highlight the major contribution played by exceptional women about whom little is known. Its new exhibit, 375 years in the heart of the action!, highlights the legacy of the women’s religious communities of Montréal and honours those who played an active role in building one of the most beautiful cities in our country.
New France was packed with male personalities: explorers, missionaries, soldiers, governors and intendants. But, from the time of its founding, Montréal was also shaped by pioneering women, without whom our history would have been quite different. In order to take a new look at these women of vision, we launched the 2017 programme with an invitation to luncheon lectures highlighting three women who built Montréal. Hosted by a historian, At Jeanne Mance’s table, in January, At Marguerite Bourgeoys’ table, in February, and At Marguerite d’Youville’s table, in March, demonstrate our concern for continuously renewing the manner in which we transmit memory.
The public’s enthusiasm for these luncheon lectures, which were all fully booked even before the first one was given, confirms the pertinence of our undertaking and encourages us to continue our mission in an original and living manner.
In the same manner, several new activities will revitalize the summer programme during this festive year. Specifically, these include the inauguration of the “Jardin des origines”, which highlights the contributions made by women in the early days of the colony, particularly the First Nations women with their knowledge of medicinal plants and agriculture. The innovations to be discovered also include the integration of new technologies to visits of our site. Our young audience has not been forgotten; an entertaining and musing workshop concerning games in the time of New France has been developed.
Finally, for the third year, I am particularly delighted to launch the “Bread run” in the streets of Pointe-Saint-Charles. In addition to drawing a great deal of attention on the part of the media., this historic reconstitution is most beneficial for the people living in the neighbourhood, keeping the museum at the heart of their living environment.
I am convinced that you will appreciate your next visit to Maison Saint-Gabriel and I personally invite you to share our passion for history.