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04 Dec, Sunday
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Montreal Families

History of New France comes alive at four-day event

To celebrate Montreal’s 375th anniversary, Pointe-à-Callière museum is holding a four-day event exploring what life was like for settlers in New France.

Encounters in New France will run from May 19 to 22 in front of the museum on Place Royale and Place d’Youville. To kick off the event on Friday night, local musician Alexandre Belliard will perform lyrical ballads and folktales, accompanied by characters dressed in traditional garb. Indigenous dance troupes and musicians will cap off the evening’s performance.

There will be a public market during the event, where visitors can buy products that would have been available in a 17th-century market like cheese, fresh bread, jams and maple products. Children can get up close and personal with donkeys, chickens, rabbits and sheep. Visitors can also strike up a conversation with costumed actors interpreting important characters in Montreal’s history like Jeanne Mance and Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville.

For the artistically inclined, there will be a nautical-themed arts & crafts zone where kids can design and create their own pirate flag. Families can test their swordsmanship and learn the basics of fencing with an instructor.

Members of Indigenous communities, including artists and performers, will set up an exhibition area where they will share information about their respective cultures, perform traditional chants and dances and sell handmade leather or wood products.

Just days before this event, the museum will inaugurate the new Fort Ville-Marie pavilion to commemorate the actual site where the city was founded nearly four centuries ago. An exhibit entitled Where Montreal Began will chronicle the colony’s early days and discuss the roles of key figures like Paul de De Chomedey de Maisonneuve.

Other exhibits coming in 2017 include Hello, Montreal! Bell’s Historical Collections, about Alexandre Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone, and Hockey, an ode to our national sport and legendary Canadiens players.

Activities will take place between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Saturday to Monday. The museum is located at 350 Place Royale in Old Montreal. For more information, visit pacmusee.qc.ca.

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