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Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site © Parks Canada, 2020.

The Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site Management Plan 2018 sets out the long-term strategy for the site as well as how the site is administered. Parks Canada’s mandate is to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations.

The purpose of this annual update is to share 2019 achievements with the public.

« 2019 was a successful year : the site attracted 4,781 visitors, a 6,7% increase from 2016 (4,478 visitors). Several annual Management Plan objectives were also met. »

The following is a summary of the main achievements of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site under the Management Plan.

Key strategy #1: a site that inspires a sense of attachment and creates a personal connection with the people and ideas that shaped modern Canada.

Objective : Visitors develop a strong sense of attachment to the national historic site and the political history of modern Canada and the Confederation of today.

  • Two new exhibits, “State of play” and “Stories in Silver”, were opened in summer 2019.
  • In collaboration with VOX, Centre de l’image contemporaine, the site participated in the “Period Rooms” project by hosting a contemporary work of art. This artwork is part of a series of eight art experimentations in various Montréal museums.
  • The site participated in Montréal Museums Day (May 2019) and the “Journées de la Culture” (September 2019).

Objective : The cultural resources are well-maintained and help immerse visitors in the Victorian era and the daily life of Sir George-Étienne Cartier.

  • The site team carried out the annual collection maintenance program.
  • Targeted interventions were performed on the collection when the exhibits were renewed.
  • The roof was also restored.

Objective : Many visitors return to the site annually, creating a “visit tradition”.

  • The Champagne, Charlotte and Crinoline : A Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s activity was presented for the third consecutive year. The annual event saw a 10% increase in attendance.

Key strategy #2: a site that is well-positioned in the heart of Old Montréal’s tourism offer, online, on social media, and with groups.

Objective : The offer and operating schedule meet the needs of new Canadians, school groups, and language learning groups.

  • Opening hours are adjusted to meet the specific needs of visitors (school groups, language learning, tour operators, foreign tourists). The site team met with a number of community stakeholders to ensure that the offer meets the needs of the target clientele.

Objective : Integrate the national historic site with other tourism offers in Old Montréal, the Old Port, and other Parks Canada heritage sites.

  • The site is a member of various tourism organizations including Tourisme Montréal, the Montréal Museum Society and the Regroupement des musées d’histoire de Montréal.
  • The site has taken part in Montréal initiatives, notably as part of Montréal Museums Day.

Objective : Increase the site’s presence in Montréal by encouraging opportunities to use the site in new and alternative ways that are compatible with its heritage value.

  • Hosting an art installation in collaboration with Vox, Centre de l’image contemporaine, is using the national historic site in an alternative and innovative way.
  • The historic site has a presence on several social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, partner websites).

Conclusion — next steps

The Parks Canada Agency is proud of its 2019 achievements at the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site.

Actively collaborating with partners, offering dynamic services and integrating the site into its environment all contribute to sharing the rich history of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and to Parks Canada’s mandate.

Given the COVID19 pandemic, over the next year Parks Canada will be working to provide public access to commemorative messages and to protect the cultural resources of the national historic site.

Following this major crisis, Parks Canada will resume implementing the objectives identified in the 2018 Management Plan.

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