5.1 Cultural Sectors
The presentation plan for the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada defines how the site will be organized, what its precise mission is, which activities should be a priority, while also underscoring the facilities, activities and infrastructures that are planned.
The plan takes the following considerations into account:
- Parks Canada objectives according to the Historic Canals Policy as well as the National Historic Sites Policy;
- Parks Canada’s Cultural Resource Management Policy;
- Parks Canada strategic goals;
- The site’s commemorative intent;
- The site’s potential and limitations;
- General directions established for presenting and managing the site.
The presentation plan of the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada centres on the following governing ideas:
- Create a cultural core organized around the presentation of the remains and resources of the first lock and the existing lock;
- Develop a second core focusing on the superintendent’s house;
- Upgrade the main entrance and reception area on the Saint-Ours side as well as an access point and secondary reception centre on the Saint-Roch side;
- Upgrade the nautical function of the canal;
- Consolidate the extensive use of the Darvard Island, the dam and the west bank;
- Present natural components.
Parks Canada aims to provide the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada with a structuring core of cultural activities based on the communication of the site’s heritage values so that all visitors can understand its national historic significance.
The presentation concept calls for creating a core of interpretation and cultural activities on the east bank—more precisely, around the remains of the first lock and close to the existing one—and a second core of cultural activity in the superintendent’s house.
The east bank
On the east bank, the presentation of heritage will table largely on uncovering and interpreting a significant portion of the old lock. To achieve this, a section of the existing parking lot must be removed, as well as the underground storage area for stoplogs.
On Darvard Island, heritage values would be best communicated by upgrading the exhibition in the superintendent’s house as well as by adding some outdoor information panels highlighting various hitherto unexplored aspects of the site. Panels indicating the whereabouts of outbuildings are planned, as are future archaeological digs and the presentation of building remains.
In continuing their operations, the lockmasters will play an important part in presenting and interpreting the canal to pleasure boaters. Once-only events highlighting specific aspects of the history of the canal (theatrical presentations, theme games, talks, on-site productions of works of art) could also be arranged depending on available resources and partnerships.
The Parks Canada website will continue to be upgraded periodically so those who cannot come to the canal in person, for whatever reason, can still become acquainted with and understand its commemorative intent and heritage values.