Visiting Gatineau, Quebec, and its Maison du Citoyen: cultural efforts with an international dimension
Plenty to see and do
The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) at rue Laurier , Gatineau, Quebec, otherwise known as the Maison du Citoyen (House of the Citizen), is striking for the sheer range of services: cultural and municipal, that are offered here. Here in Gatineau, the Maison du Citoyen is actually close to the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Musée canadien des civilisations ), which is Canada's most visited museum, the distinction being that the Maison 's cultural facilities are sponsored directly by the City of Gatineau. (The comments below are not remotely exhaustive, nor are they presented in any particular order of importance.)
One important facility at the Maison du Citoyen is the Galérie Montcalm . Every year, this Gallery usually mounts six art exhibitions every year; among the significant exhibitions here have been historical works by the illustrator Jean Dallaire , who has specialized for many years in depicting scenes from salient events in the history of New France. The Maison du Citoyen has also collaborated in providing an Online access point to a large selection of important historical illustrations by Jean Dallaire which are particularly relevant to French Canadian history and culture.
A branch of the municipal library is found in the Maison du Citoyen. Gatineau's library system also sponsors literary creation. Included among special programs has been that of Ecrivain en résidence (Writer in residence). In cooperation with the Association des auteurs et auteures de l'Outaouais (Outaouais Authors' Association) candidacy is open to competition from members of Québecois and Franco-Ontarian writers' professional associations. The library system also organizes storytelling sessions.
The Salle Jean-Despréz (Jean Despréz Hall) is the venue for various, regular musical and other functions.
In 1982, the Regiment of Hull / Le Régiment de Hull was presented with new colours by The Right Honourable / Le Très Honorable Ed Schreyer, Governor-General of Canada / Gouverneur-Général du Canada; its old colours were subsequently given for display at the Maison du Citoyen of what is now called Gatineau.
The Hall des nations (Hall of the nations) at the Maison du Citoyen contains a collection of works of art presented to the people of Gatineau by the representatives of many countries. These include Mexico, Portugal, Egypt, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey, Philippines, Brazil, Greece, China, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Thailand, and Morocco. Examples of these works of art include: the mosaic base of a fountain area situated by near the entrance to the Maison du Citoyen presented by HE the Moroccan Ambassador; a fine example of traditional embroidery presented by HE the Bulgarian Ambassador — I recall that this item stands out in my mind, from my visit to the Maison .
It seems to me that the idea behind the existence of such a wide collection of international art of quality sponsored by the Gatineau municipality is evidence of a strong, collective desire by citizens and their representatives to participate directly in cultural engagement with other nations of the world. This is particularly striking, since it would doubtless have been all too easy for local people, by default, to leave to nearby Ottawa and its officials the task of liaising with the many resident Embassies and their cultural attachés. Such a collection also marks the definite willingness of diplomatic missions in Ottawa to engage meaningfully with Quebec's fourth city, as they look beyond English Canada in their efforts to radiate significant, cultural exchanges.
Thus the citizen of Gatineau, and the visitor, is very well provided for in terms of cultural opportunities provided under the patronage of the municipality at the Maison du Citoyen ; and these are in addition to the many other cultural facilities in the Gatineau area.
Also worth seeing
Le Lac Pink (Pink Lake; distance: approx 8 kilometres) offers a very interesting example of what is known as a meromictic lake; display panels describe various of the lake's features.
Le Domaine Mackenzie King (the Mackenzie King Estate; distance: approx. 13 kilometres), is where the longserving Prime Minister of Canada, whose name the Estate bears, lived for many years and where he hosted such visitors as F D Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill . The Estate contains Kingswood , Moorside and The Farm , the first two of which being open to the public; The Farm is the Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons' official residence.
Ottawa , Ontario (distance: approx. 2 kilometres) possesses cultural treasures, structures of architectural excellence and noted museums which are too numerous to mention properly here; but a few of these include Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the Chateau Laurier, Laurier House, the Rideau Canal, and the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum.
How to get there: Air Canada flies from various North American destinations to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport / Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa; car rental is available; however, visitors may wish instead to use OC Transpo public transit for travel within Ottawa / Gatineau. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may be of interest
- Visiting Downtown Gatineau: hub of Quebec's fourth largest city
For such a vibrant, energetic and substantial place, the city of Gatineau, Quebec's fourth largest city, deserves to be better known. Part of the reason for its relatively low profile in English-speaking...
- Visiting Pink Lake, in Quebec's Gatineau Park: secrets of the deep preserved and respected
As if Gatineau Park (French: Parc de la Gatineau ), with its fresh, wide open spaces, and closeness to nature, were not special enough, Pink Lake (Lac Pink ), situated in the Park, is very special, indeed. ...
- Visiting Quebec's Moorside at the Mackenzie King Estate, Chelsea: memories of F D Roosevelt and Wins
This tranquil home, in the peace and seclusion of a part of Gatineau Park (French: Parc de la Gatineau ) is where Canada's long-serving Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950) received...
- Visiting Notre-Dame-du-Nord: western Quebec's scenic municipality where three cultures meet
The west of Quebec province certainly deserves to be better known, and Notre-Dame-du-Nord, in Abitibi-Tmiscamingue region has plenty of rich variety. Temiskaming First Nation The home of Timiskaming...
- Visiting Quebec's Montmorency Falls: spectacular sight, higher than Niagara
Shared between Boischatel and Quebec City, the Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency ) contains spectacular scenery centred on Falls which were given their name by the Montmorency River (la...
For your visit, these items may be of interest
More by this Author
- 0Visiting an unusual church building on St. Clair Avenue, Toronto, Ontario: memorializing a business figure
Timothy Eaton Memorial Church stands monumentally in the Toronto suburb of Forest Hill, on St. Clair Avenue. Not dedicated to any religious figure, its name instead recalls a business personality.
- 0Visiting Lougheed House, Calgary, Alberta: a National Historic Site of Canada, this sandstone mansion dates from 1891
Lougheed House, Calgary, has been a real witness to the history of Alberta. Associated with a dynasty of Provincial leaders, its 19th century sandstone walls have harboured many distinguished visitors
- 0Visiting Mexico City, and its Venustiano Carranza suburb and airport: remembering figures of Mexican history
It is well known that Mexico City's international airport is named for Don Benito Juárez (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México Benito Juárez ). Texans and American travellers...
No comments yet.