Montreal's McCord Museum welcoming visitors for free for 100 days to celebrate centenary

·2 min read
President and CEO of the McCord Museum Suzanne Sauvage said the museum is now looking ahead to its next century of programming. (Charles Contant/CBC - image credit)
President and CEO of the McCord Museum Suzanne Sauvage said the museum is now looking ahead to its next century of programming. (Charles Contant/CBC - image credit)

Starting Oct. 13, visitors will be able to explore exhibits at the McCord Museum in downtown Montreal free of charge, as part of the 100th birthday celebrations of the institution.

People will be able to visit the museum for free for 100 days, ending Jan. 19, 2022.

"To mark the Museum's 100th anniversary, we wanted to offer Montrealers of all backgrounds and all visitors a gift," said Suzanne Sauvage, president and chief executive officer of the museum, in a news release.

"Our goal is really to give access to the museum to a much broader public, maybe one who hasn't yet discovered the McCord Museum or who seldom come and who will use this opportunity to see our new wonderful exhibitions," she told CBC's Daybreak.

"We are looking at the future. This is a moment for us to think of the past and to think of the future. We have a lot of exciting projects coming up and it is an important anniversary."

Sauvage told CBC that the museum "plays an important role in the life of Montrealers," and since it reopened after being forced to close due to the pandemic, attendance has been very high.

"We have limited the number of visitors we can accept in a day, but we are almost sold out everyday. So there is a need for Montrealers to come and visit museums. I think it's a way of forgetting the trauma of the pandemic, it's a way of nourishing your spirit, in a way."

The museum is currently programming several exhibitions that will run during the 100 days, including "Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience," which is on now.

Sauvage said the exhibit is a way to "foster dialogue" between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and an opportunity for visitors to listen and learn.

LISTEN | Meet the Huron-Wendat curator behind the new, permanent exhibit:

The exhibit features about 100 objects from the museum's Indigenous Cultures Collection combined with more than 80 testimonials from members of the 11 Indigenous nations of Quebec.

The testimonies were gathered by Huron-Wendat curator Elisabeth Kaine, who teaches at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi.

Kaine told CBC's All in a Weekend that the exhibit provides a chance for people to encounter the real stories of Indigenous people in Quebec, which she gathered as part of a consultation of more than 700 people.

"If we don't listen to them, there's no healing possible," she said.

"We want to tell our own history and that history is branded by a lot of suffering."

Other exhibits running during the 100 days include ones that focus on 1980s fashion and subculture and a display of work by Quebec cartoonist Serge Chapleau.

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