Pointe-à-Callière News
June 18th, 2024

MTL 1849 Symposium: Commemorating the 175th anniversary of the fire in the Montréal parliament building

MTL 1849 Symposium: Commemorating the 175th anniversary of the fire in the Montréal parliament building

Re-experience the MTL 1849 Symposium

On April 26 and 27, 2024, Pointe-à-Callière welcomed some 200 guests to the MTL 1849 Symposium. Marking the 175th anniversary of the fire in the Parliament of the Province of Canada in Montréal, this gathering offered a new and multidisciplinary perspective on this major event that not only led to the building’s destruction, but also to a new social and political dynamic in Montréal and Canada. A unique opportunity to review recent knowledge and discoveries that can further our understanding of this historic milestone.

A New and Broader View of the History of the 1849 Fire

Some twenty researchers shared their findings on this key historical episode. From an analysis of political tensions to the study of the era’s social and cultural impacts, the presentations gave a comprehensive picture of the many facets of the 1849 blaze.

A Program at the Heart of the Past

In addition to the program of talks on the Pointe-à-Callière site, participants had the opportunity to further immerse themselves in history with visits to the parliament’s archaeological site, and to one of our partner heritage sites: Château Ramezay and the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel. The historical immersion was extended with a concert by the Studio de musique ancienne, whose musical program was directly inspired by the “Grand Concert” of October 5, 1843—a concert that took place at St. Anne’s Market, where the parliament was established in 1844.

Thank You to our Speakers:

Mathieu Arsenault (Professor in the Department of History at the Université de Montréal), Christian Blais (Historian at the Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec), Joanne Burgess (Associate Professor in the Department of History at UQAM and Director of the Montréal History and Heritage Lab), Justin Dubé (historian and doctoral student at Université Laval), Gilles Gallichan (retired librarian and historian at the Quebec National Assembly), François Gignac (archaeologist at Pointe-à-Callière), Patrice Groulx (historian and heritage studies consultant), Elsbeth A. Heaman (history professor, McGill University), Daniel Horner (associate professor of criminology, Toronto Metropolitan University), Sophie Imbeault (historian and editor, Le Boréal), Jonathan Livernois (full professor, Department of Literature, Theatre and Film at Université Laval), Alain Roy (historian), Hendrick Van Gijseghem (archaeology and history project manager at Pointe-à-Callière), Madeleine Blais-Morin (Radio-Canada journalist), Éric Bédard (professor at Université TÉLUQ and member of the Académie des lettres du Québec), Marc Chevrier (professor of political science at Université du Québec), Jean Lachapelle (assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Université de Montréal), Valérie-Anne Mahéo (holder of the Research Chair on Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions, and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval), Julia Gersovitz (architect and founding partner of EVOQ Architecture, and professor of practice), Jean-François Nadeau (historian and journalist associated for many years with the daily newspaper Le Devoir), Josianne Poirier (art historian, author and curator of exhibitions)

Scientific Committee:

Pointe-à-Callière (Annick Deblois, François Gignac, Louise Pothier, Hendrik Van Gijseghem), Château Ramezay (André Delisle), Marguerite-Bourgeoys Historic Site (Stéphan Martel, Jean-François Royal), Assemblée nationale du Québec (Christian Blais), UQAM’s Montréal History and Heritage Lab (Joanne Burgess)

This project was made possible through the financial support of the Government of Québec.

Thanks to our partners

Historic Site Marguerite-Bourgeoys
Château Ramezay - Historic Site and Museum of Montréal
Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal
Laboratoire d'histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal
Assemblée nationale du Québec