For immediate release
Montréal, October 9, 2012 – Francine Lelièvre, Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, has received the 2012 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award, presented by the Heritage Canada Foundation, for her exceptional contribution to Canadian and specifically Quebec heritage conservation. The Honourable Pierre Duchesne, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, will be presenting the 2012 National Awards at a reception in Montreal on October 12, 2012 at St. George's Anglican Church National Historic Site as part of the National Heritage Summit.
Ms. Lelièvre has a huge number of achievements in heritage and museology to her credit in Quebec, from the Gaspé to Montréal, Quebec City and the Eastern Townships. She has made a name for herself as the driving force behind and manager of cultural, heritage and tourist institutions and by creating highly praiseworthy programs of activities over more than three decades. Her greatest accomplishment remains the founding of Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, which she has also directed since it opened on May 17, 1992. Rising above Montréal's birthplace, the Museum safeguards remarkable architectural remains, displayed in situ with absolute respect for their integrity.
Pointe-à-Callière is the only archaeology museum of its size in Canada. Since it opened, it has welcomed an average of 350,000 to 400,000 visitors a year, totalling close to 7 million people to date. The Museum has received a total of 78 awards of excellence, 14 of them international distinctions, including prestigious awards from the American Association of Museums and the American Institute of Archaeology. Pointe-à-Callière is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, and to mark the occasion it will soon be inaugurating a new pavilion, the Mariners' House, a building restored with respect for its heritage significance – another example of Ms. Lelièvre’s exceptional heritage conservation work.
The members of the jury for the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award saluted Ms. Lelièvre’s impressive accomplishments, which include not only Pointe-à-Callière in Old Montréal, but also the Louis-S. St-Laurent National Historic Site of Canada in Compton, in the Eastern Townships, and the Grande Grave site in Forillon National Park, in the Gaspé. She played a decisive role in both projects.
With regard to cultural and commemorative activities, the jury also praised the Great Peace of Montréal exhibition and program of activities at Pointe-à-Callière to mark the 300th anniversary of the treaty in 2001. Lastly, in research, the jury emphasized the importance of the Archaeological Field School on the site of Fort Ville-Marie and Callière's Residence. The School, in an urban context, was founded 10 years ago, in partnership with the Université de Montréal, and the research done there has added to our knowledge of Montréal's birthplace.
An exceptional career
Francine Lelièvre began her career in heritage with Parks Canada, where she was successively project manager and head of interpretation services, directing activities at the 30 historic and national parks throughout Quebec. In the early 1980s, she created the first multimedia show in Quebec, at the Louis-S. St-Laurent National Historic Site, in Compton. She also served as Director of Exhibitions at the Musée de la civilisation, in Quebec City. She contributed her expertise to most of the major museum construction projects in Quebec, from the Canadian Museum of Civilization to the Biosphère and the Gaspé museum network, to name only a few. Francine Lelièvre has also been a guest professor in the Master's in Museology program at the Université de Montréal, in heritage at the Université du Québec à Montréal, in anthropology and ethnology at Université Laval and in history and teaching at the Université du Québec à Rimouski.
She has spoken widely both in Canada and abroad, and penned many articles and publications. Ms. Lelièvre has received numerous awards and distinctions in management, museology, heritage, history and tourism. In 1993 she received the award of excellence in public administration from the Association des diplômés de l’École nationale d’administration publique for founding Pointe-à-Callière; the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Canadian Museums Association for her efficiency as a manager and her museological vision in creating Pointe-à-Callière; and the Award of Merit from the Association québécoise en interpretation du patrimoine, for her exceptional contribution to heritage interpretation in Quebec.
She was honoured with the Medal of honour from the Société historique de Montréal in 1997, and in 2002 she was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec and a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Mérite de France in 2008. In 2003, she won the award in the manager or professional category, non-profit organization, presented by the Quebec Business Women’s Network for the importance of her work at Pointe-à-Callière and with various other cultural institutions in Quebec. In June 2011, Ms. Lelièvre received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Humanities at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Pointe-à-Callière, the only major archaeology museum in Quebec and all of Canada, is a museum complex rising above a concentrated number of national historic and archaeological sites that illustrate the history of Montréal, Quebec and the rest of Canada. It opened in 1992, to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montréal. Pointe-à-Callière’s mission is to bring visitors to know and appreciate the history of Quebec’s metropolis and to forge bonds with local communities and regional, national and international networks concerned with archaeology, history and urban issues.
The Museum is subsidized by the City of Montréal.
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