Maison Saint-Gabriel

Recipient of the 2016 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

November 2, 2016

Madeleine Juneau and Pierre Rodrigues accepting their award on behalf of la Maison Saint-Gabriel at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Montreal, Quebec

Maison Saint-Gabriel, a museum and historic site in Pointe-Saint-Charles, Quebec, made quite an impact with its recent project celebrating the 350th anniversary of the first horses to arrive in New France (1665–2015). By capitalizing on the popularity of equestrian culture, the centre was able to create the project with minimal resources while also instilling a strong sense of pride in a Canadian breed whose continuation was in jeopardy. To bring its ambitious plan to light, the centre’s staff sought out widespread community support to develop an array of experiential learning opportunities both inside and outside the museum. Their efforts certainly paid off: thousands of visitors came to see the exhibition The Canadian horse, a unique breed. Visitors were also treated to carriage rides, a large civic parade (the “Grande Cavalcade”) and even a chance to deliver bread by carriage. The program also included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and a host of other activities.

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