1699-2018 : l'histoire d'une vie

Recipient of the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming

January 13, 2020

Musée des Ursulines de Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Quebec

The Ursulines-de-Trois-Rivières heritage site is a Catholic religious complex consisting of buildings constructed between the early 18th century and the second half of the 20th century. The site was designated a Quebec cultural heritage site in 2017, the same year the Ursulines who occupied the convent announced their departure after 320 years.

The challenge in recent years involved researching and raising broad public awareness of the history of this complex and considering new uses for the buildings before the nuns’ departure. To that end, two major historical and digital projects were launched.

First, a 360º video was produced based on testimonials and life stories gathered through interviews with the convent’s remaining nuns and in-depth historical research carried out in the congregation’s archival collections.

The second initiative, which used 3D modelling and photogrammetry, resulted in a platform that shows the evolution of the religious complex over time. Through the use of electronic tablets, touchscreens, and virtual reality headsets, visitors are transported to the Ursulines’ convent as it was in 1715, 1897, 1962, and 2018. This journey through space and time allows visitors to explore buildings that no longer exist but that are brought back to life through the animation.

Together, these initiatives have served to highlight important stories, giving visitors the opportunity to virtually explore places that very few people have had access to, until now.