The Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière honoured for her great contribution to museology
Montréal, October 9, 2013 – Francine Lelièvre, the Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s archaeology and history museum, is the recipient of the 2013 Career Award from the Société des musées québécois (SMQ). She received the honour at the SMQ’s annual congress in Québec City on October 9, 2013, acknowledging her exceptional contribution to museology, management, conservation, presentation, education, and to the showcasing of Québec’s historical and archaeological heritage.
With this coveted award—the greatest distinction in the field of museology in Québec—the SMQ recognizes the contribution and innovative achievements of Francine Lelièvre, who has worked in the field since 1973, founding Pointe-à-Callière in 1992, and managing it since. The only major archaeology museum in Canada, its mission is to preserve and showcase sites and buildings of great importance that bear witness to the birth of Montréal and its history. Pointe-à-Callière welcomes close to 400,000 visitors each year, 100,000 of whom are young people.
A career focused on development and major achievements
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.
Renowned for the high quality 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 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 several objects from numerous 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 received two 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.
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.
Francine Lelièvre is the recipient of several awards and distinctions, including the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec, which she received in 2002, and that of Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite de France, appointed in 2008. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2011, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award in 2012.
The Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: a large-scale project
Pursuing the Museum’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 about a dozen 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.
Pointe-à-Callière is subsidized by the City of Montréal.