The 14 history museums of Montreal have come together, in collaboration with organizations linked to history and heritage, to organize this festival which aims to be festive and unifying. Everything will be presented in a hybrid format, in person and virtually.
Some of the participating museums are the Château Dufresne, the Écomusée du fier monde, the Maison Saint-Gabriel, the Holocaust Museum and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum.
Showcase history museums
It was in 2014 that the idea of such a festival germinated.
The editor Sophie Imbeault proposed to the 14 museums to celebrate history by taking inspiration from the Rendez-vous de l’histoire de la ville de Blois. [une ville du Centre-Ouest de la France]. Montreal is a city of history and has layers of identity. So we thought that we could have our meeting that we called festival. Montreal is a city of festivals and we wanted access to the experience of history, tells Jean-François Leclerc, historian and consultant for the programming of this festival, to Catherine Richer, cultural columnist at 15-18.
The objective is to showcase history in a way that is as lively as it is authentic and to make known the various Montreal museums that present history all year round.
A first attempt took place in 2017 during Montreal’s 375th anniversary.
There was the Off festival, which was an initiative of the grouping of history museums, to inject history into the very fun festivities of the 375th. The idea worked and we ended up convincing everyone, specifies Jean-François Leclerc.
A few more controversial subjects will also be discussed, including the unbolting of statues.
We will seek out this somewhat more controversial aspect of the story when possible. We are going to have an activity that will address the controversies we have had at the level of monuments and history, adds Jean-François Leclerc.
We will also talk about Africanity and important places for people of African origin. The Afromusée will present a map of these places.