4. Issues and Strategic Directions
4.2 Strategic Directions
4.2.3 Communicating heritage messages and values of the site
To date, few awareness-heightening means have been developed and implemented to communicate messages of national historic significance as well as messages in support of the meaning and role of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.
Nonetheless, work is under way to replace the old and out-of-date interpretation panels that used to be located near the lock.
Because of its central location, the old superintendent’s house could serve as a reception and information centre for canal activities and the West Island tourist circuit. Since the main heritage resources are concentrated around the old lock, the lock-master’s house might be a good place for housing interpretation and communication activities.
The current visit experience is still centred mainly on recreational and relaxation activities. Most visitors see the canal as a pleasure boating site/urban hot spot, as well as an excellent place for going on picnics or taking walks. No cultural events are held to foster a better understanding of the meaning of the place or its economic role in Canadian history.
- Design and offer an enjoyable visit experience in keeping with the particular character of the site, while also taking steps to ensure the canal fits into the system of national historic sites of Canada.
- Present messages of national historic significance to visitors in such a way that they clearly understand them.
- Implement methods and instruments of evaluation to determine the effectiveness with which messages are conveyed.
- Enrich visitors’ experience by the possible uncovering of archaeological remains and artifacts related to the different periods of canal-building.
- Upgrade the training given to the lockmasters so that they can better communicate the history of the canal.
- Develop, with the help of outside resource people and groups, the cultural programming on the site by means of activities and events that have a heritage character and that therefore serve as support for the interpretation efforts.