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Fort Chambly National Historic Site © Parks Canada, 2020.

The Fort Chambly National Historic Site Management Plan 2018 sets out the long-term strategy for the sites 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 partners, stakeholders and the public. Overall, several annual Management Plan objectives were met.

« In 2019, the national historic site welcomed over 33,399 visitors, a 40% increase from the 23,917 visitors in 2016 (reference year). Total site attendance (at both the historic site and the urban park) was over 150,000. »

The following is a summary of the main achievements of the Fort Chambly National Historic Site under the Management Plan.

Key strategy #1: an attractive, dynamic, and vibrant tourist destination

Objective : Diversify and regularly update the program to attract new visitors and encourage repeat visits.

Parks Canada is working closely with various stakeholders to enhance and diversify the ways the national historic site can be enjoyed. These fruitful collaborations are the driving force behind the site and have made it possible to offer :

  • Six events during the 2019 season : “Fort under the stars” season launch (May 17), Canada Day (July 1), and “I love my fort” family picnic (July 6), Archaeology Month (August 10-11), the Feast of St.Louis and the Chambly “Symposium des artistes sur le champs” (August 17-18), and the “Journée de la culture” (September 29).
  • The program for grades 3 and 4 school groups has been revised and improved. The way content is presented and objectives have been updated in line with Ministère de l’Éducation guidelines. Educational activities for both before and after visiting have also been developed.

Objective : Maintain and renew collaborative efforts between stakeholders and partners when organizing activities and events on site that align with the area’s purpose.

  • The “Fort under the stars” season launch event was a great success. It was carried out in collaboration with the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Bassin de Chambly and allowed them to highlight their “Think Local” initiative. Two elementary schools were also invited to join musical group Corsaire to sing the song the group created for Fort Chambly at the request of Parks Canada.
  • The Feast of Saint-Louis and “Symposium des artistes sur le champs” have been offered in partnership since 2015. In 2019, we welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors.
  • Three events organized by third parties were offered in the park : the Trifort de Chambly’s “Course du Fort Chambly” (May 5), the vintage car show presented by Voitures anciennes du Québec (July 13-14) and the Chambly Craft Beer Festival presented by ConceptB (August 30 to September 2, 2019).

Objective : Broaden the site’s thematic range to ensure that its different historical periods are presented.

  • An archaeological-historical tour is being developed and will be offered in the park beginning in summer 2020.
  • A historical quiz is also being developed and will be offered to Fort visitors in the Jacques-de- Chambly room. This facilitated activity provides a fun preview of significant events in Canadian history.

Objective : Work together with Indigenous communities, linked to the site, in order to honour and showcase their culture and to present their contributions to the site’s history.

Parks Canada is actively working to strengthen relationships with First Nations to increase opportunities for First Nations to share their cultures, knowledge and traditions. In 2019, the following activities were proposed by First Nations people :

  • The “Fort under the stars” evening featured performances by two First Nations storytellers.
  • Fort the Feast of St.Louis, members of the Mohawk community presented their traditional basketry and wampum beading. A member of the Abenaki community of Odanak also gave demonstrations on smoking fish and meat. A meeting and discussion space has also been established to encourage discussions.

Objective : The site uses digital and traditional media to strengthen its links with its target audience and enhance its visibility.

Using social media, regularly updating the site’s website, using search engine optimization websites and engaging in traditional media relations are effective in promoting the site’s programming. The Facebook event to promote the “Fort under the stars” event was also a success, reaching nearly 3,000 people.

Key strategy #2 : a commemorated and preserved heritage site and an evocative cultural landscape adapted to the public’s needs

Objective : Develop and implement an integrated approach to cultural landscape management. This approach must reconcile the site’s many uses as an area of historic significance, an urban park for daily enjoyment, a place for interpretation activities and events, and a natural environment to be protected.

  • Reflection on the long-term integrated management of the cultural landscape has begun.
  • Actions have been undertaken in relation to the landscape. Several diseased and dying trees had to be cut down or pruned. About 20 trees were also replanted.

Objective : Improve the presentation of activities offered inside the fort to those using the park. By drawing more visitors to the site’s exhibitions, we will be able to better communicate and commemorate the area’s historical messages.

  • Visitor numbers increased by 40% from 2016 (reference year with 23,917 visitors) to 33,399 in 2019.
  • Signage was placed at the entrances to the Fort Chambly park, events were promoted, and the welcome pavilion was spruced up to let visitors know that things are happening at the site, with a variety of services offered.
  • Guides are available in the park to encourage visitor interaction and share information on our daily interpretation activities.

Objective: Continue to ensure the protection of cultural resources.

  • Collection maintenance is carried out by the site team.
  • Heritage maintenance sheets have been produced and others are being developed.
  • The sentry boxes were inspected, and certain collection management activities were carried out.
  • The Guardhouse building was fully inspected.
  • Parks Canada archaeologists have intervened on several occasions, notably to carry out archaeological monitoring during excavations.

Conclusion—next steps

Parks Canada Agency is proud of its 2019 achievements at the Fort Chambly National Historic Site.

Given the COVID19 pandemic, over the next year Parks Canada will be working to provide public access to commemorative messages and certain facilities, in compliance with current health standards, 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 2019 Management Plan, notably continuing to actively collaborate with stakeholders, First Nations and partners in addition to updating or renewing activities and programs for individual visitors or groups.

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