For immediate release
Saturday, August 22, from 10 am to 8 pm
Sunday, August 23, from 10 am to 6 pm
In Place Royale and the area around the Museum
Montréal, July 22, 2015 – The year is 1703, and Governor Louis-Hector de Callière has just died. This will be the backdrop this year, setting the scene at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s Archaeology and History Complex, for its now famous 18th Century Public Market, which takes visitors back to the days of New France.
For the occasion, merchants, entertainers, craftspeople, and natives—all in period costume—will meet at the marketplace on August 22 and 23, in the area around the Museum and in Place Royale, in Old Montréal.
Pointe-à-Callière’s Public Market has been one of the Museum’s main events for the past 22 years now. In a family-friendly atmosphere, the area around Pointe-à-Callière is transformed into an entertaining and educational hub of historical activity. The Public Market now draws a new generation of parents who had visited the site as children in earlier years, when their own parents took them to the event! Proof that the celebration resonates with all of our audiences!
A European tradition
Pointe-à-Callière recreates the marketplace on the very site where it stood during the French regime. At the time, the market was held twice a week, and—in keeping with European tradition—the marketplace was the city’s main public square. That was where the bailiff would read out decrees, and where peasants, merchants, innkeepers, workers, travellers, soldiers, sailors, noblemen, middle-class citizens, and civil servants mingled to buy and sell, while discussing the news of the day and the latest gossip... Strolling musicians, street entertainers, and craftspeople also were on hand to make market day truly delightful!
Two days of activity—as it all happened in the days of New France
In addition to musicians and craftspeople, the Public Market will also be host to plenty of other activities involving some one hundred figures enthusiastically re-enacting period scenes. A military regiment and a native camp will also be part of the festivities.
Meet historian Jacques Lacoursière
As always, historian Jacques Lacoursière will be in attendance at the Public Market, for the 22nd year in a row. Starting out as the Market’s main historical advisor, Mr. Lacoursière then took on the role of a scribe who taught the art of writing with a quill pen, while discussing Montréal history with participants. Each year, from his very own kiosk, he enthusiastically shares his knowledge of New France with visitors. Jacques Lacoursière is, without a doubt, a Public Market must-see!
A not-to-be-missed performance by the Buffalo Hat Singers!
The Buffalo Hat Singers are a group of contemporary powwow singers based in Montréal. Singing along to the rhythm of traditional drumming, the group will perform powwow songs, primarily in the Anishinabe language.
During the Public Market on August 22 and 23, Accès Montréal cardholders will enjoy a 20% discount on admission to the Museum. The Museum Shop will also be offering a 10% discount on all purchases.
On a final note, due to the work currently taking place around the Museum for the eventual showcasing of Fort Ville-Marie and the William collector sewer, both opening to the public in 2017, the Public Market’s contemporary zone will not be featured this year.
Pointe-à-Callière thanks the partners and sponsors that provide financial support for the Public Market: the Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program; the Department of Culture and Communications of Québec and the City of Montréal, under the Agreement on the cultural development of Montréal; the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones du Québec; the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal; and La Presse.
The Museum is subsidized by the City of Montréal.