By Sylvie Dufresne, Member President
Following in the footsteps of Nathalie Langevin, Patrick McDonnell, and Sylvain Clermont, it has been my great pleasure, since 2015, to serve as Pointe-à-Callière Member president. To my predecessors, I say thanks for all your hard work and fine legacy.
In our high-pressure world, where cyberspace can make our relationships seem disembodied, nothing is more comforting than being surrounded by kind, trustworthy people who are generous with their time and enthusiastically share Pointe-à-Callière’s mission to use Montréal’s history and archaeological heritage to promote the city.
Dear Members, your attendance at museum activities deserves special acknowledgement, as do your thousands of hours of volunteer work, in particular at the Public Marketplace. Not to mention your contributions to fundraising campaigns for inspiring projects such as the museum’s numerous expansion phases – the D’Youville Pumping Station, Mariners’ House, the Fort Ville-Marie pavilion, and Montréal’s first collector sewer – which have been integrated into the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex. It is a living testimony to your attachment to Pointe-à-Callière.
Together, along with the staffs of the foundation and the museum, we form a family. Together, in our respective spheres, we contribute to the future of this institution, a jewel among Montréal and Québec museums. And as we celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2018, we must already be looking ahead to prepare for 2043 and our jubilee. We must think about the next generation – the young people who will take the reins of our community. Sharing our love of Pointe-à-Callière with family and friends is thus one of our missions as Members.
So I appeal to the museum’s various audiences: take the opportunity this year to join us. Among the various benefits of membership is the privilege of being part of the dynamic history of this great Montréal museum, whose renown has spread across the country and around the world.
Let the festivities begin!
25 years of friendship - a brief history
2018 will be a landmark year for Pointe-à-Callière Members. All year long, this gathering of the museum’s faithful friends will celebrate a quarter-century of existence, recording even more wonderful gatherings and partnerships in the organization’s 25-year-old history book. Here are just a few of the memorable moments in the history of the museum’s Friends and Members.
A tradition begins
Following the creation of the Pointe-à-Callière Foundation, the Friends of the Museum took their first steps in 1993, and by November the first fundraising campaign had been launched. The call was quickly heeded. The first “friend” was named Francine Perryman, and the first young recruit, barely 12 years old, was Michaëlle Bouchard. 1994 was an organization year. Under the coordination of Odette Poitras, the Friends officially began operations. In June, a benefit concert, with the theme of the music of New France, attracted numerous attendees, and later that summer, the first edition of the newsletter La Recrue was published. In October, I had the honour of being your first guest speaker; I spoke about the history of Pointe à Calliere up until the museum opened in 1992. Later that month, in the enchanting mood of Halloween, a tradition was born: the annual Friends party, which has been a delightful opportunity for friends of the museum to get together every year since.
As the years flowed gently by, there were seasonal activities to which the Friends generously donated their time. In winter it was the Port Symphonies; in spring, Montréal Museum Day; in summer, the Public Marketplace required a huge volunteer effort. Volunteers also donated their time to classify archives and rare books, build an inventory of the collection of designer Jean-Claude Poitras, or provide assistance in moving the museum’s reserve laboratory and collections. To recognize the contributions of its Friends, the Foundation created the Volunteer of the Year award in 2005. The first winner, Marthe Beauregard, was followed by 11 other members whose exceptional contributions have been so acknowledged.
Trips to Cyprus and Costa Rica
Over the course of its 25 years, the Friends of the Museum did not lack imagination or initiative, organizing bazars, excursions to Quebec City or even trips abroad (Cyprus and Costa Rica), and guided walks of Old Montréal. Friends might find themselves aboard the schooner Lois McClure, exploring a cave in Saint-Léonard, or touring a foundry. With the museum, history is explored in many ways: lectures, guided tours, or exclusive previews of temporary exhibitions.
Archaeology was also a favourite among the Friends, who were called Members starting in 2012. That same year, the newsletter underwent a rejuvenation treatment and became the magazine Cité. Members flocked to Archaeological Field School open-house events at the Fort Ville-Marie excavations and the Place D’Youville worksite, at the site of the Parliament of the Province of Canada (1844–1849), and at the site of the Sainte-Anne Market.
As the year 2000 dawned, along with the internet era, the Members launched their first web-based recruitment campaign. And what can we say about 2017, the year of Montréal’s 375th birthday and the museum’s 25th? Museum members threw themselves into the celebrations, offering hours of volunteer time for, among other events, Encounters in New France.
A commitment for the future
And now, for this group of people who love their city and their museum, the future is bright, with the magnificent Montréal Archaeology and History Complex project, expertly guided by Pointe-à-Callière’s executive director, Francine Lelièvre. Just as with the beginning of this adventure, the Members will be called upon to face the challenges of growth and consolidation along with her.
With 25 years of experience behind them, the Members of Pointe-à-Callière have laid the foundations of the quarter-century to come by offering vital support to this marvellous museum with characteristic enthusiasm and remarkable loyalty. Long live the Members of Pointe-à-Callière!
- John LeBoutillier: 1993–2001
- Gilles Ouimet: 2001–2004
- Claude Lemay: 2005
- Daniel Desjardins: 2006–2008
- Daniel Garant: 2009–2010
- Russell Goodman: 2011–2015
- Robert Dumas: 2015–
- Nathalie Langevin: 1994–2000
- Patrick McDonnell: 2001–2003
- Diane Paquin: 2003-2005
- Sylvain Clermont: 2005–2014
- Sylvie Dufresne: 2015–
Volunteers of the year
- Marthe Beauregard †: 2005
- Martine De Lajudie: 2006
- Simone Ladoux †: 2007
- Aline Roby: 2008
- Rollande Laplante: 2009
- Annette Tremblay: 2010
- Yolande Pellas: 2011
- Aline Roby: 2012
- Benoît Carrier: 2013
- Maurice Plante: 2014
- Grégory Taillefer: 2015
- Micheline Tardif: 2016
- Murielle Godard: 2017