For immediate release
Montréal, April 9, 2014 – Francine Lelièvre, the Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s Archaeology and History Complex, is the recipient of the 2014 Award of Distinguished Service from the Canadian Museums Association (CMA). This honour was bestowed upon her during the CMA’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto on April 9, 2014, for her significant contribution to the Canadian museum sector.
Through this award, which recognizes the accomplished career of a dedicated museum professional, the CMA acknowledges the contribution and excellence of Francine Lelièvre, who has been involved in the milieu since 1973, and who founded Pointe-à-Callière and has administered the museum since it was created in 1992. The only large-scale archaeology museum in Canada, its mission is to preserve and showcase important sites and buildings that bear witness to Montréal’s birthplace and history. Pointe-à-Callière draws close to 400,000 visitors each year, including 100,000 young people.
A prolific career distinguished by excellence
With a great many achievements to her credit, Francine Lelièvre first made her mark at Parks Canada, where she was in charge of the development and interpretation of some thirty historic sites and national parks, including the Grande-Grève site in Forillon National Park of Canada, and the Louis St-Laurent National Historic Site in Compton (in the Estrie region). She was also part of the founding team at the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City, where she served as Director of Exhibitions, and she created and—for several years—presided over Processus Inc., a company specializing in museology, where she was involved in the birth of some twenty museum institutions in Québec and abroad. Francine Lelièvre is the founder and Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s Archaeology and History Complex, which—since opening in 1992—has received over 80 awards, including 15 international distinctions.
Accomplishments and innovations that move the museum sector forward
Renowned for the high quality and effectiveness of her project management, and for her administration of cultural facilities, Francine Lelièvre has many areas of expertise—from the implementation of large-scale research projects in archaeology, among other fields, to the in situ preservation of major Québec and Canadian heritage sites, as well as the production of wide-ranging exhibitions noted for their innovation and their use of technology as applied to museography. These exhibitions have brought magnificent objects from various collections to Montréal, including several belonging to our world heritage. Among the major world-exclusive exhibitions presented at Pointe-à-Callière are Archaeology and the Bible – From King David to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Japan, The Etruscans – An Ancient Italian Civilization, Easter Island – An Epic Voyage, and Varna – World’s First Gold, Ancient Secrets. Over the years, Francine Lelièvre has built a large network of contacts with some of the largest museums in the world, and she has been the instigator of important international conferences.
A boldly visionary woman
Since the beginning of her career, Francine Lelièvre has made use of new technology to better showcase and raise visitor awareness of historical and archaeological content, and to relay the past using cutting-edge means of communication. She also led research efforts that resulted in the development and implementation of innovative conservation methods, preserving the remains of Montréal’s first Catholic cemetery (1643-1654) and those of the archaeological crypt, for which the Pointe-à-Callière team has received prestigious international awards. Francine Lelièvre is behind the creation of Pointe-à-Callière’s Archaeological Field School, held through a partnership with the Université de Montréal, as a means of developing knowledge in the fields of historical and urban archaeology.
Raising awareness and fostering an appreciation of museums
Francine Lelièvre is also responsible for the creation of the association of Montréal History Museums, and she chaired the Board of Montréal Museum Directors for five years. She was also the treasurer of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) education committee. A member of several boards of directors, she has also successfully held numerous positions on major international committees, spoken at some fifty international conferences, and published many articles. Also of note: she was twice invited as a special guest for major conferences at the Musée du Louvre.
A new distinction that is a testament to her exceptional contribution
The CMA’s Award of Distinguished Service is yet another acknowledgment of the importance of Francine Lelièvre’s body of work in the museum sector. She is the recipient of several awards and distinctions, including the Order of Canada in 2014, the 2013 Career Award from the Société des musées québécois (SMQ), the Grand Ulysse Prize from Tourisme Montréal for her exemplary contribution to promoting tourism in Montréal, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award in 2012. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2011, and was appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite de France in 2008, as well as a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 2002.
The Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: a large-scale project
Pursuing Pointe-à-Callière’s development and mission, Francine Lelièvre is the instigator of the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex project, a large-scale cultural and tourist attraction that will bring together some ten major and unique historical sites and buildings, which are to be preserved and showcased. This heritage site is being planned to mark the 375th anniversary of Montréal’s birth in 2017. The recent opening of the Mariners’ House is the first completed step of this new tourist attraction in the making.
The Museum is subsidized by the City of Montréal.
Director, Communications and Marketing