Montréal, April 7, 2021 – This Friday, April 9, marks 125 years to the day that Montréal’s Antiquarian and Numismatic Society, a local community organization, officially inaugurated the Château Ramezay Museum. To highlight this milestone, the Museum is inviting Montrealers to “Come for a Visit!” and is launching its “125 Years at the Heart of Our Community” fundraising campaign.
On April 9, 1896, Montréal high society flocked to the Château Ramezay to officially inaugurate the new history museum. A group of citizens had founded it after saving the Chateau from demolition. The next day, La Presse reported: “Montréal’s most distinguished citizens gathered last night at the old Château Ramezay. We have rarely seen a more glittering or splendid occasion”.
The Château is one of the few vestiges of New France left in Old Montréal. It was the site of many key events in our history: the first building in Quebec to be classified an historic monument, the oldest museum of its type in the province, one of the 1,001 historic sites to see in your lifetime*. The Château rightly qualifies as an institution of major importance to our cultural and patrimonial heritage.
The same non-profit community organization runs the Château to this day, assisted by over 100 volunteers. Its mission is to preserve our heritage and educate people of all ages, from far and wide. Much as this key anniversary merits celebration, the pandemic has greatly affected the Château. As this is an accredited museum, where ticket sales generate 40 % of the operating budget and government funding covers only 25 % of its expenditures, significant losses over the past year have taken a considerable and ongoing toll. Normally, the Château receives over 50,000 visitors annually, its Governor’s Garden, over 400,000. During the pandemic, only 2,000 people have visited.
The Château Ramezay is highlighting its anniversary by calling for the support of local citizens. “Our staff and volunteers encourage Montrealers to visit over the next few months, to reinvigorate this centuries-old landmark”, says Jean Brunelle, Chairman of the Board. “Now, more than ever, YOUR museum needs your help to ride out this crisis and stay accessible to schools and visitors from all over the province, the country, the world”. Maybe you haven’t been back since your last school trip? Or maybe you’ve never, ever, visited?! Surely you visit museums in other cities when you travel? Just as “buying local” is strongly advocated, the Château suggests to “Come for a Visit!”, because every ticket sold makes a real contribution to the Museum’s continuity.
Next month, the Museum will also be launching its “125 Years at the Heart of our Community” fundraising campaign. More information on this campaign can be found on the website. Online donations are also possible.
So, this spring or summer, before heading off on vacation, make sure you visit (or re-visit) the many local museums that make Montréal such a cultural metropolis. Help ensure they keep going! The Château Ramezay will be expecting you!
*Selected by a team of experts, in collaboration with UNESCO.
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