Cape Breton University Art Gallery’s new exhibit, The Most Suitable Place: The Founding of Louisbourg and île Royale in 1713, opened last week to high praise.
“The best museum exhibition I have seen lately, up there with Champlain’s baptismal certificate at the Museum of Civilization…” raved Canadian historian, author and journalist Christopher Moore in a recent blog post.
Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Île Royale and the settlement of Louisbourg, which would become its capital, Louisbourg 300 brings Parks Canada together with community, historical and cultural associations to host an unforgettable celebration of the people and stories that shaped Canada’s future. The project began two years ago and involved close collaboration with the Beaton Institute of Cape Breton University and les Archives départementales Charente-Maritime, La Rochelle, France.
Through archival maps, documents, artifacts and some modern technology, this exhibit tells the story of how the French colony of Ile Royale (modern day Cape Breton) came to be established 300 years ago and about life in the Fortress town. The exhibit showcases actual historical documents from 1713 to answer the question: why and how was Louisbourg chosen for settlement by the French?
In conjunction with The Most Suitable Place: The Founding of Louisbourg and île Royale in 1713, Parks Canada and Cape Breton University have collaborated on a Speakers Series that has been taking place all month and already included a talk about Navigation History in the North Atlantic from Captain Michael Kruger of the Canadian Coast Guard College.
Upcoming talks include an interactive and hands-on experience of 18th century letter writing on Thursday, presented by Katherine Scott of Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and Anne Marie Lane Jonnah, historian with Parks Canada and curator of the exhibit. On Tuesday, June 25, Dr. Ronald Labelle, Associate professor of French at Cape Breton University, and a specialist of Acadian traditional culture will present an illustrated talk on “La complainte de Louisbourg”, a fragmentary, tragic ballad about the fall of the Fortress that was sung in Chéticamp.
The Most Suitable Place: The Founding of Louisbourg and île Royale in 1713, will be on display at the CBU Art Gallery until August 15. Following its run at CBU, the exhibit will be hosted at l’Universite de Moncton, the Acadian Museum in PEI, and Saint Mary’s University. It will then return to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site as a legacy project from Louisbourg 300 celebrations.