Montréal, November 21, 2014 – Francine Lelièvre, Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s Archaeology and History Complex, has been awarded the centrepiece of the Canadian honours system, the Order of Canada.
This honour, which recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation, was bestowed upon her by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 21. With this distinction, the Government of Canada recognizes Francine Lelièvre’s exceptional contribution to the Canadian museum sector, and highlights the excellence of her achievements throughout her prolific career. She founded and has administered Pointe-à-Callière 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. Since it first opened, the Museum has received over 80 awards, including 15 international distinctions.
Accomplishments and innovations that move the museum sector forward
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. She was also part of the founding team at the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City, and she created and 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. 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. 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.
A boldly visionary woman
Throughout 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. 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.
A new distinction that is a testament to her exceptional contribution
The Order of Canada 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, most recently, the 2014 Women of Distinction Award, in the Arts and Culture category, presented by the YWCA and its Foundation; the CMA’s Award of Distinguished Service in 2013; 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.
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 the founding of Montréal 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.
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