For immediate release
The opening of the Mariners' House is Phase 1 of Montréal’s Archaeology and History Complex.
Montréal, January 23, 2012 – Created in 1992 on the occasion of Montréal’s 350th anniversary, Pointe-à-Callière is celebrating its own 20th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History is opening a fifth building—the Mariners' House—, renewing its permanent exhibitions, and presenting two exceptional temporary exhibitions. Over the course of the year, the Museum is holding 20 not-to-be-missed events in all, and is inviting Montrealers, Quebecers, and tourists to join the celebration.
“Pointe-à-Callière is opening a new pavilion in 2012, another step towards completion of the Archaeology and History Complex, a cultural network of nine sites in Old Montréal. And our events will be made up of experiences that are at once festive, educational, and entertaining. We want to celebrate Montréal’s birthplace, which has been accessible to the public for 20 years now, by inviting people to discover the new Museum and make it their own,” explained the Executive Director and Founder of Pointe-à-Callière, Francine Lelièvre.
The year’s big event: the opening of the Mariners' House
The first phase of Pointe-à-Callière’s ambitious expansion project, the Mariners' House, located on Place d’Youville, will open its doors in the fall of 2012. As a new space dedicated to history and archaeology, this pavilion will be the setting of major exhibitions, lectures, special activities, and the Archaeo-Space—a simulated archaeological dig for children and families. It will also house a brand new Museum Shop, multifunctional spaces, and an underground passageway to the archaeological crypt. The Pointe-à-Callière Foundation will also make its home there, along with a Member’ Lounge. The building is being reconfigured and renovated by the consortium of Hanganu and Provencher Roy + Associés architects, and the Quartier International de Montréal is the project manager. Québec’s Department of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women and the City of Montréal are providing financial support for the project. A historic inauguration planned for the fall will also include detailed programming for families and the general public, as well as open house days.
An encounter with an exceptional civilization
As one of the year’s highlights, Pointe-à-Callière will present a large-scale international exhibition on one of Antiquity’s most remarkable and renowned civilizations—the Etruscans—, which lived on the territory of present-day Tuscany, before the birth of Rome. The Etruscans – An Ancient Italian Civilization, an exhibition five years in the making, will feature over 200 objects, unique and rare items of great significance and beauty, from the major international collections of a dozen museums including the Vatican Museum, Villa Giulia in Rome, the Florence Archaeological Museum, the British Museum, and the Louvre. The exhibition will invite visitors to explore this fascinating civilization through these objects belonging to the heritage of humanity, which are being presented exclusively here in Montréal. Sure to be a captivating experience, the exhibition will be presented in the new exhibition rooms at the Mariners' House this summer.
Meet a Montréal collector
Pointe-à-Callière will also present, for the very first time, an exhibition entitled Samurai – The Prestigious Collection of Richard Béliveau. Well-known in Québec, not only is Richard Béliveau a university professor, researcher, author, speaker, and broadcaster, he is also a devotee of Japanese culture and a great collector of objects and artwork from Japan. For the very first time, Mr. Béliveau has agreed to exhibit part of his vast collection. It is one of the most important collections in the world, both for its historical value and rarity, as well as in terms of the number and diversity of items it contains. Some 275 pieces will be on display, including full armours with helmets, masks, spears, and swords, as well as objects relating to the warriors’ daily lives and culture. The exhibition will be presented in the exhibition room at the Eperon, the Museum’s main building, from May 17, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
yourstrulymontreal.com – interactive games online
The new multimedia show, Yours Truly, Montréal, presented in an incomparable immersive atmosphere overlooking the Museum’s archaeological remains, has inspired the creation of a website where users can further their knowledge of Montréal history. An interactive complement to a tour of the Museum, yourstrulymontreal.com, put online by Pointe-à-Callière and created in collaboration with the Sid Lee agency, offers the public, young people, and educators an opportunity to get to the very heart of Montréal history and archaeology. Both user-friendly and informative,yourstrulymontreal.com offers a spectacular trip back in time to the birthplace of Montréal and down through the history of this magnificent city. Visitors can even become “virtual” archaeologists, making their way around a timeline filled with historical data on various periods in the city’s evolution.
May 17: a gift for Montrealers
2012 is an important year, as it coincides with two other significant anniversaries relating to Montréal history: the 370th anniversary of the city’s birth, and the 400th birthday of Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, who founded Montréal in 1642. Pointe-à-Callière, the birthplace of Montréal, is the place to celebrate these important occasions. From that date until the end of the year, the Museum will be offering Montrealers a special gift: free admission to its permanent exhibitions, Where Montréal Was Born and Montréal Love Stories - individual admission only. A perfect opportunity to discover or revisit the archaeological remains of Montréal’s birthplace.
Explore Pointe-à-Callière again… or for the first time
2012 will also be an ideal time to discover or rediscover the Museum, with its revamped permanent exhibitions in the archaeological crypt, where visitors can also see a new interactive mural on the Port of Montréal and an archeoscope on the fortifications. Spaces in the Ancienne-Douane building are also being revamped, as is the belvedere, where a new photo exhibition will take visitors on a trip through time. New thematic display cases, a new Museum Shop, and L’Arrivage, one of the best restaurants in Old Montréal... all reasons to make your way—or make your way back—to Pointe-à-Callière.
Montréal Faves: the public speaks out
For the Museum’s 20th anniversary, the public is being invited to voice its opinion by choosing the 20 symbols that best represent Montréal; the 20 songs, 20 films, and 20 novels that best showcase Montréal; and the 20 greatest moments in sports in Montréal. The public can vote all year long on the Museum’s website or Facebook page. Pointe-à-Callière will compile lists of the Top 20 in each category, revealing Montrealers’ and visitors’ favourite things about the city.
Open House on the Archaeological Field School’s 10th anniversary
In 2012, Pointe-à-Callière’s Archaeological Field School—operated through a partnership with the Université de Montréal—celebrates its 10th anniversary. Each year since it was first created, several students have been given a unique opportunity to dig at the very spot where Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, and the first Montrealers settled. Remains of Fort Ville-Marie and of Callière’s residence have been brought to light, and discoveries made on the site are important steps towards furthering our knowledge of the history of Montréal. The open house takes place on May 27, 2012, and the results of 10 years of archaeological excavations at the birthplace of Montréal will be presented in August.
A Museum for one and all
Discover, explore, have fun, and meet friendly historical figures… Pointe-à-Callière invites young people and their families to take part in popular and well-appreciated events: the Port Symphonies, A Cultural Feast, The 18th Century Public Market, Jack O’Lantern: Halloween at Pointe-à-Callière, and Who is the Real Santa Claus? The Museum will also present a series of lectures and cultural activities relating to its permanent and temporary exhibitions.
20 times thank you!
Pointe-à-Callière will also take advantage of this year of celebrations to mark its 20 years of friendship with the Members of Pointe-à-Callière and the Museum’s neighbours, thanking them for their support and loyalty. It would also like to thank the business community, with which it has built strong ties since the creation of the Pointe-à-Callière Foundation in 1992. The Foundation holds two benefit events each year: The Builders Club of Montréal Evening and The Major Donors Evening. These events make a real difference, through their fundraising efforts, for the Museum’s development and its expansion project.
A special invitation for businesses and collectors
To mark its 20th year of existence, the Museum is making a new presentation space available to businesses and collectors. Companies can thereby present exhibitions showcasing their history to the general public or celebrating an important anniversary. Collectors can also share their passion and display their collections to the public for the very first time, as Richard Béliveau is doing with his prestigious collection of samurai artefacts. The Museum also hopes to increase awareness of historically important objects that are not usually accessible to the public.
Pointe-à-Callière is the only major archaeology museum in all of Québec and Canada; its museum complex rises above a concentrated number of national historic and archaeological sites that illustrate large parts of the history of Montréal, Québec, and Canada. It opened in 1992, on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montréal. Pointe-à-Callière’s mission is to raise awareness and foster an appreciation of Montréal’s history, and to forge bonds with regional, national, and international networks concerned with archaeology, history, and urban issues.
The Museum is subsidized by the City of Montréal.