The Vanier Museopark inaugurates new gallery and proudly presents a reinvented permanent exhibition, “Vanier. Our Place.”

Published on 27.06.2023
Ribbon-cutting at the new Vanier Museopark Museum, from left to right: Madeleine Meilleur, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Diane Doré, Yanick Labossière, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, Lucille Collard, Stéphanie Plante and Sarah Mensour. Photo credit: Caleb Ficner.


OTTAWA, June 27, 2023 – It was with great enthusiasm and pride that the Vanier Museopark inaugurated its new exhibition gallery at a reception attended by numerous partners, elected representatives and community members earlier today.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by the Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, the President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, the Honourable Mona Fortier, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, Lucille Collard, City Concillor for Rideau-Vanier, Stéphanie Plante, and members of the Vanier Museopark’s Board of Directors and team.

A major renovation for a community museum

The Vanier Museopark was closed since March 2020, but used the COVID-19 pandemic to good advantage and embarked on its biggest renovation project since its creation in 2004. The design of the museum and the new permanent exhibition “Vanier. Our Place.” was entrusted to Stefan Canuel, who has over 25 years of experience in the creative and design industry and is currently Senior Designer at the National Gallery of Canada. His work has received national and international recognition and awards from a host of prominent design and graphic design figures (AIGA, Alcuin Society, Applied Arts, Communication Arts, Graphis, The Society of Typographic Arts). Construction of the new permanent exhibit was handled by EXPOZONE, a local manufacturer which specializes in the creation of exhibitions.

“We were fortunate to surround ourselves with reputable experts, such as Stefan and EXPOZONE, to bring the museum’s exhibition gallery to another level,” says Jonathan Paquette, President of the Museopark’s Board of Directors. “The Vanier Museopark is proud to be Ottawa’s only French-language museum and one of 11 community museums in the Ottawa Museum Network. This major renovation, costing over $500,000, has transformed us from a community museum into a museum space worthy of our national capital’s great museums. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Museopark team, I would like to sincerely thank all the partners who contributed to this major investment in local culture, one that will help us reach new visitors.”

The Vanier Museopark would like to thank the following financial partners, without whom this renovation would not have been possible: Ontario Trillium Foundation (Resilient Communities Fund and a capital grant from the Community Investment Fund), Ottawa Tourism (via the Tourism Relief Fund of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), Canadian Heritage (Museums Assistance Program, Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, Development of Official Language Communities, a sub-component of the Community Cultural Action Fund), the Government of Ontario (Francophone Community Grants Program), the City of Ottawa and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Jeanne d’Arc Institute.

“As they reach the Vanier Museopark’s new gallery, visitors will be able to appreciate the extent of the renovation work carried out over the past two years,” says Madeleine Meilleur, Executive Director of the Vanier Museopark. “The museum’s curator has done a rigorous job of creating an exhibition that meets our mandate and the mission of the Museopark. The time has finally come for the community to reclaim its museum and come and visit in large numbers!”

“Vanier. Our Place.”: the Museopark’s new permanent exhibition

The Vanier Museopark commissioned journalist and proud Vanier resident Denis Gratton to write the introductory text for its new permanent exhibition. From the outset, his words take visitors on a journey to the heart of this emblematic neighbourhood of Ontario’s French-speaking community.

“The physical renewal of the museum’s gallery was the perfect pretext for reinventing the permanent exhibition that has been presented since the Museopark’s opening,” says Yanick Labossière, curator of the museum. “The new exhibition ‘Vanier. Our Place.’ highlights the history of both Vanier and its community, as well as their key contribution to the struggles of Ontario’s French-speaking community.”

More than 150 artifacts, including some new finds, are on display throughout the new tour, which features five sections on Vanier’s history, from its foundations to its current transformations, with a special focus on Vanier as a stronghold of the Ottawan Francophonie.

A touch of technology to enliven your visit

Thanks to a grant from Ottawa Tourism and a partnership with My Smart Journey, the Vanier Museopark is now able to offer visitors a digital itinerary providing access to exclusive, complementary content.

“Our museum is entering a new era – a digital era,” the Executive Director says proudly. “During your visit, you’ll be able to use various technological supports (QR codes and NFC chips) throughout the exhibition. Tablets can also be used to browse through the many photos. All this allows us to offer a unique, enriching experience to our visitors.”

The Vanier Museopark Museum will open its doors to the public on Tuesday, July 4, at 10 a.m. To find out more about opening hours, entrance fees, and how to become a member of the Vanier Museopark to take advantage of numerous benefits, please visit the Museopark website.

About the Vanier Museopark

The Vanier Museopark is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Vanier, a popular neighbourhood near downtown Ottawa. It celebrates the rich heritage and history of its community. Through its exhibits, talks, workshops, school programs and interpretive tours, the Vanier Museopark allows curious people of all ages – and all cultures – to discover and learn about the habits and customs of the local Francophonie. It is the only French-language museum in Ottawa and one of the few Canadian museums outside Quebec devoted entirely to the Francophonie. The Vanier Museopark also operates an authentic sugar shack in the heart of an urban sugar bush, the only one of its kind in the world. It also hosts the Sugar Festival, a family-friendly annual event that promotes the culture of maple syrup as well as Franco-Ontarian and Aboriginal artists. Proud of its roots, the Vanier Museopark has been anchored in the community since its creation in 2004.

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For additional information, visuals or questions, please contact:

Annick Normand
Manager, Communications and Marketing, Vanier Museopark

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