For several years now—and more specifically as the Director of Exhibitions and Development of New Technology from 2016 to 2020—I have had the chance to be on the front lines of Pointe-à-Callière’s growth and development. This museum, initially designed to welcome 150,000 visitors per year, has been enhanced over the years to become a magnificent museum complex consisting of 7 buildings. Today, 500,000 visitors per year come explore Montréal’s birthplace and the history of its occupancy from the time of its first native inhabitants to the present day. Now that I have been given the opportunity to guide it towards the future, to ensure that it continues to make its mark as one of the largest museums in Canada, I intend to take on this exciting challenge with great passion, reflecting my attachment to this remarkable institution.
My role will consist of furthering the development of our institution. In the trying context of the pandemic, the immediate challenges we have to face will involve boldly working to maintain our assets while continuing our dialogue with our dear visitors. For starters, the revamping of the Crossroads Montréal exhibition, in the archaeological remains located beneath the main building, will offer an all-new experience that will allow visitors to explore the rich history of this unique site in a much more active and inclusive way. Over the last few months, our teams also enthusiastically and creatively immersed themselves in the development of an outstanding digital offering that has truly distinguished itself. The Museum’s teams put their skills and knowledge to work to deliver a great deal of timely and diverse content for the general public and for schools, available on most of the major virtual platforms. Pointe-à-Callière is now available everywhere and anytime! Schools throughout Canada have been asking us to give their students the chance to benefit from this content. New avenues are opening up to us. A new podcasts is now available, allowing you to explore treasures of our past. Keep following us, as our digital presence continues to stand out with the new content being offered.
In the next few years, I hope to see Pointe-à-Callière continue to progress and grow, becoming a major cultural and educational complex for the 21st century! The fulfillment of Phase 3 of the Museum’s development plan—through the showcasing of Canada’s largest archaeological site, Saint Anne’s Market and the Parliament of the Province of Canada—will be central to our endeavours, as will the conservation of our in situ archaeological sites, and the further expansion of our cultural and educational activities for schools and the general public. We will also continue to work on the presentation of national and international exhibitions and to offer our audience moving and genuine contacts with treasures of our global heritage. Creating a dialogue between past civilizations and contemporary issues, while continuing to provide opportunities to forge ties between ourselves and the rest of the world, is now more relevant than ever. The development of our collections—along with the establishment of a collections centre that allows them to be brought together, preserved, studied, and showcased—is also an integral part of our vision for the Complex in the 21st century.
It’s quite a program! And it is the dynamism and talent of the Museum’s teams that will allow us to enter this new stage in the life of Pointe-à-Callière.
I look forward to seeing you at the Museum!
Anne Élisabeth Thibault
Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière