[ Newspaper article ]
Philemon Wright National Museum
By Olivier Pilon, journalist for Bulletin d’Aylmer / Free article translation by Richard Henderson
Gatineau, December 10, 2018 – Connecteurs, better known as A.B.C Stratégies, is proposing the idea of a museum on the history of the Raftsmen and the Log drivers.
The project has evolved over the past few months. Initially, the non-profit organization thought it would have the future museum at 61 Laurier Street, just next to the Canadian Museum of History. Now however, the primary vision is a museum with two pavilions that will feature three development themes (artistic cultural development, scientific research and open-air events & activities). One pavilion will be located in Gatineau and the other in Ottawa. The two institutions will have separate exhibitions and will be located very close to the ZIBI development project.
The Quebec pavilion will focus on the birth of the settlement through the stories of the workers – the heroes – of the timber industry. Emphasis will be placed on the history and importance of the Ottawa River in the economic development of the Outaouais and Quebec, focusing on the role of the Raftsmen and the Log drivers in the region and their role in Quebec pride and identity. It will be the ideal place for history buffs to learn more about the history of those who created and worked in the timber industry. The museum will feature the power that heritage has as a vehicle of identity. « The presence of the Philemon Wright National River Museum will make a tangible contribution to the region and the province by presenting a unique page of history that unites them, » says A.B.C Strategies. The museum will also be a celebration of the first square timber raft, the Columbo, which was launched by Philemon Wright in 1806. The project’s initiators plan to present regular seasonally-adapted programming as well as temporary exhibitions/events and « special » activities. The future museum intends to solicit and partner with several local and international museums, archives and other research institutions to validate its work, benefit from their expertise and draw inspiration from their many collections.
The Ontario pavilion will highlight Ottawa and its birth as a capital in 1857, as well as the importance of the timber trade in its creation. In addition, the pavilion will highlight the symbolic legacies of the first industrial era.
Currently, a feasibility study of the project is being conducted by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. The study, which began on July 25, is expected to be completed in early 2019. The organization applied for a grant from Tourisme Outaouais. A.B.C Strategies should receive a response before the end of April 2019. After the feasibility study, there may be a deposit of funding related to the business plan with various funds such as the Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions (FARR) or the Desjardins fund.
For the greater Outaouais region, this cultural site will be a unique tourist attraction that will certainly attract tourists from all over the province, says the organization responsible for the project. In addition, A.B.C Stratégies wishes to integrate a research centre focused on archaeological study of the Raftsmen era for the museum.
At the moment, the Outaouais is the only region in Quebec that does not have a national museum. A.B.C Stratégies specializes in cultural media coverage. Its primary role is to « deploy action strategies and implement cultural projects aimed at encouraging education, promoting civic participation, inclusion and diversity ».
Link towards the article in french : https://bit.ly/2zUTp2S