Friday, May 19, 2017

PAC 2017: Fort Ville-Marie Inauguration

Fort Ville-Marie Commemorative Space
Where Montreal Began 375 Years Ago

May 17, 2017 

May 19 - June 20, 2017
Free admission to PAC Museum and all its exhibitions.

The city of Montreal and Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal's Archaeology and History Complex, had unveiled a new pavillion Fort Ville-Marie, where Montrealers are invited to follow in the footsteps of the pioneers who founded their city. It is a unique commemorative space: the site where Montreal began.

As a special gesture to all Montrealers, as well as to the founders of the city of Montreal (which was first named Ville-Marie), the unveiling of the new pavilion took place on May 17, 2017, the date of the Montreal's 375th anniversary.

The new pavilion is built atop remains of the Ford Ville-Marie where the first settlers build their protected settlement. This is the soil trod by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance and some forty other pioneers who arrived from France an founded Montréal in 1642.

With the showcasing of Fort Ville-Marie, the very first settlement that housed the European arrivals to the Montreal island, the public is invited to visit the site where they will learn about these handful of men and women whose courage and determination ensured the founding and perpetuation of the city of Montreal till today.

The new pavilion was inaugurated in the presence of Francine Lelièvre, the director of the Pointe-à-Callière museum, and the mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre who also cut the ribbon to the new pavilion.

The visitors will literally walk above the remains of the site where Montreal was founded, thanks to the glass floor protecting the archaeological digging site. The transparent floor reveals the framing and showcasing of the traces left by its inhabitants back when Montreal began.

A virtual model of the fort shows visitors the layout of the first Montreal settlement. A sound and light installation pays tribute to the 49 founding pioneers without whom Montreal would not have been born.

A display case presents period artefacts allowing visitors to imagine everyday life on the site, to learn about trade with the Indigenous people and to witness the pioneers’ survival strategies. In the fort space, a large audiovisual projection transports visitors outside the fort, into the natural surroundings at the time, when the forest and its creatures prevailed on the island that was destined to become the city of Montreal.

To reach the new pavilion, the visitors will walk through the just opened and inaugurated portion of the former Sewage collector canal.

At the end of the route, visitors will revisit the exact spot where in 1701 the Great Peace of Montréal treaty was signed between Governor Louis-Hector de Callière and delegates from 39 Indigenous Nations.

Click on images to enlarge them.

For more information about the museum and its 2017 activities, visit the PAC Museum's website.

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