The Morrin Centre launches a new immersive tour on capital punishment in Quebec City’s old jail

On May 15, Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub, the Morrin Centre, launched a new guided tour allowing visitors to travel back in time to when its building housed a prison. The Hanging of William Pounden: Capital Punishment at Quebec City’s Common Gaol takes visitors through the spaces of this stately edifice―nestled in the heart of the Historic District―used to imprison and hang the condemned. Thanks to captivating audiovisual animations, participants can follow the series of tragic events that led to William Pounden’s execution, from his imprisonment in death row to his hanging above the entrance in 1823. By examining this specific case, this historical tour sheds light on the 16 hangings that took place at Quebec City’s common gaol open from 1812 to 1867. Offered in English and in French, the tour also allows participants of all ages to understand the steps that led to the most severe punishment of that time. The Hanging of William Pounden is offered every day of the week until Labour Day weekend. A new permanent exhibit titled The Hanged: Two Centuries of Executions in Quebec is also accessible at the end of the tour and allows visitors to learn about the history of capital punishment in the province. Presented by Desjardins Group On the occasion of the Morrin Centre’s most recent annual fundraising dinner held last fall, on November 15, the President and CEO of Desjardins Group, Guy Cormier, announced a contribution of $150,000 to develop this immersive tour on capital punishment. Desjardins Group’s donation was made through the $100-million development fund which was launched in 2016 to support and promote key projects for its members and communities in Quebec and Ontario. Desjardins’ support made this new educational activity possible for tourists and school groups alike. In 2018, the Centre welcomed 57,000 visitors. During this period, 25,000 people immersed themselves in the history of this unique National Historic Site on the occasion of one of the Centre’s guided tours. Of that number, 8,700 were students and their teachers. For Barry Holleman, the President of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec which manages the Morrin Centre, “the launch of this project marks the culmination of several years of planning, coordination, and building partnerships. It is central to our mission to offer educational, artistic, and historical programming that provides the local population and visitors from outside the region with opportunities to gain a better perspective on the city’s unique French- and English-speaking heritage.” Presented by Desjardins Group, The Hanging of William Pounden and the exhibit The Hanged were also made possible thanks to the support of the Entente de développement culturel and the Quebec City Tourism. About the Morrin Centre As an English-language cultural centre located in Quebec City’s historical quarter, the Morrin Centre is a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Anglophone and Francophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. Building upon our Centre’s history and key institutions, our programming aims to provide historical perspective on […]

Sparking Imagination in Children

The Morrin Centre’s tenth annual writers’ festival brings stories to life in schools From April 2 to 7, 2019, the Morrin Centre will be celebrating its tenth annual Imagination writers’ festival. Twenty-six authors will travel from coast to coast to share their stories, ideas, and imagination with audiences of all ages. In addition to the events being held at the Morrin Centre, the festival’s programming this year includes 24 activities outside its walls,in elementary and high schools, as well as at Champlain St. Lawrence College. Sheree Fitch, Vikki VanSickle, Lorina Mapa, Waubgeshig Rice, and Lisa Moore are the authors who will be traveling throughout Quebec City, Lévis, and Portneuf to meet students in English-speaking and French-speaking schools. They will give talks and workshops in English, offering teachers and their classes the opportunity to connect with these authors in the context of their mother tongue or in that of their second language. In many cases, these intergenerational encounters allow students to meet published writers in the flesh for a first time, and lead to surprising discussions that reflect their interests. Portneuf Elementary, La petite école Vision Lévis, Quebec High School, and the Collège Saint-Charles-Garnier are some of the schools who have partnered with the Morrin Centre on the occasion of Imagination 2019. For the president of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, Barry Holleman, “outreach and engagement with the community are at the heart of the Morrin Centre’s vision. We want to continue developing projects with partners in education and offer a variety of cultural experiences to young audiences across our region that reflect our country’s diverse cultural fabric.” Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub works with teachers and school boards to host activities with writers and artists outside its walls all year round. As an example of this, Central Quebec School Board’s Performing Arts Festival to be held on March 29 is another event for which the Centre will be bringing writers to Quebec City. On this occasion, the Centre will present workshops with two storytellers on travel writing and song writing. A variety of activities exploring literacy, arts, and sciences are put together by the Centre’s Education Coordinator Azanie Roy, to allow youth to access cultural programming around the year. The Centre’s children’s programming has expanded considerably since September 2018 and now includes coding workshops, a hands-on music series titled It’s Instrumental!, as well as a theatre project with high school students. Imagination in schools: a short history Education, heritage, and the arts are the three pillars that guide the Morrin Centre’s mission. Building on its rich history and the institutions that shaped it, including the Morrin College (1868-1902), the Centre is committed to allowing students of all ages to connect with authors and develop a love of reading. The Centre’s programming aims to provide historical perspective on the region’s unique French-English heritage, develop enhanced educational opportunities for youth, and act as a springboard for artistic creativity. Writers have been visiting schools through Imagination every year since the festival’s beginnings in 2010. About […]

Ten years of stories, ideas, and Imagination

The Morrin Centre celebrates its tenth annual writers’ festival From April 2 to 7, 2019, the Morrin Centre will celebrate its tenth annual Imagination writers’ festival. This year’s festival once again features acclaimed authors from the current, diverse, Canadian literary scene, but also brings together artists from different fields for surprising and delightful pairings. Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub will present new activities and bring back popular events inside and outside its walls. Literary Notes, a new musical event organized in partnership with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) is one of the activities designed to mark the Centre’s special anniversary festival. This concert to be held on Wednesday, April 3, will allow participants to tune into the stories being read, thanks to music meant to capture the spirit of these works of fiction and poetry. Foodies will also get a taste of literary arts thanks to the festival’s annual Books and Wine pairing event hosted by local sommelier Yann Barrette-Bouchard. This renowned and usually sold-out event will feature the 2018 Giller Prize-finalist Éric Dupont and Canada Reads-winner Lisa Moore. The festival’s much anticipated Books and Brunch event will also be back for a fourth consecutive year and will take on a humouristic twist thanks to the participation of Indigenous author and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor. Hayden Taylor is one of two authors from a First Nation community to take part in Imagination 2019. Waubgeshig Rice is also part of the festival’s roster and will discuss his latest post-apocalyptic thriller, Moon of the Crusted Snow, on Wednesday, April 3. A total of 26 authors will be traveling from coast to coast to connect with our community. Two-time Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan will be traveling from British Columbia for a conversation on her epic novel, Washington Black, while award-winning author Sheree Fitch will travel from Nova Scotia to delight children and young adults with her stories. A panel event on borders, migration, and identity will also bring together Newfoundland-based novelist Sharon Bala (The Boat People), as well as Iranian-born author Nilofar Shidmehr (Divided Loyalties) who now lives in Vancouver. As noted by Barry Holleman, the President of the Literary and Historical Society which manages the Morrin Centre, “the festival’s aim is to offer meaningful encounters between authors and festival-goers, while allowing audiences of all ages to enjoy literature through multidisciplinary activities which are insightful, surprising, and even sometimes playful.  In addition to talks, foodie events, and musical performances, this year’s festival will present two hands-on activities. Two writing and illustrating workshops will indeed bookend Imagination 2019. Claire Holden Rothman will host Trouble and Strife: The Lifeblood of Good Fiction on Tuesday, April 2, while Lorina Mapa will explore how to tell stories through comics during her graphic novel workshop on Sunday, April 7. Tenth anniversary festivities will come to an ultimate conclusion with Emma Hooper’s musical event on Sunday afternoon. Starting at 3 p.m., the Alberta-born author and musician who now calls Bath, England home, will be joined on stage by […]

Desjardins Group confirms a 150 000 $ donation to the Morrin Centre during its 10th annual Literary Feast

The Morrin Centre will launch an immersive tour on capital punishment in Quebec City’s former jail, in May 2019 Quebec City, November 15, 2018 – On November 15, Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub, the Morrin Centre, hosted its tenth annual Literary Feast that benefits its programming and mission. The event which started with a cocktail in the Centre’s magnificent Victorian library, was followed by a dinner catered by Espace Arte Vino in the ballroom. The evening featured keynote speaker, Ken Dryden, and was presided by the President and CEO of Desjardins Group, Guy Cormier. Over $48,000 were raised during this fundraising dinner thanks to ticket sales, sponsorships, donations, as well as the sale of books and auction items. Keeping the memory of local English-speaking communities alive As part of Mr. Cormier’s opening remarks, he announced Desjardins Group’s contribution of $150,000 to the Morrin Centre. “With this contribution, the Morrin Centre will be able to move forward with its plans to build an immersive exhibit on the history of capital punishment, opening in May 2019,” said Mr. Cormier. “Desjardins is proud to be associated with this new venture – an educational tourist attraction. It’s important for all of us to acknowledge the contribution of those who arrived here from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well as the Loyalists from the U.S. Many of these people were entrepreneurs, and they played a pivotal role in shaping the communities in and around Quebec City.” It must be noted that the Morrin Centre’s building still houses, to this day, cells from Quebec City’s common jail which was closed in 1867 and replaced by the prison on the Plaines of Abraham. Desjardins Group’s donation is made through the $100-million development fund which was launched in 2016 to support and promote key projects for its members and communities in Quebec and Ontario. During his keynote speech, celebrated Montreal Canadiens goalie, lawyer, politician, and author, Ken Dryden, discussed his fifth book, Game Change, outlining the state of modern hockey, but also the history and chronology of this sport that ultimately led to Steve Montador’s death. He argued that the game is also having a serious impact on several other players in the NHL who suffer repeated concussions which lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Dryden also presented what he sees as the solution to save other players from Montador’s demise and identifies Gary Bettman as the only person who can resolve this issue. The Morrin Centre would like to thank all the Major Partners for this event which include Desjardins Group, Québecor, La Maison Simons, McCarthy Tétrault, and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. It is thanks to their support and the people present during the Literary Feast that the Morrin Centre is able to continue offering rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. About the Morrin Centre As an English-language cultural centre located in Quebec City’s historical quarter, the Morrin Centre is a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Anglophone and Francophone public with rich, […]

Quebec City celebrates CanLit during the ImagiNation Writers’ Festival

From April 3 to 8, 2018, the Morrin Centre will be hosting its ninth annual writers’ festival. Building on popular recurring activities, such as the Books and Wine pairing event, and the Books and Brunch activity, the festival will present a smorgasbord of celebrated authors, translators, and artists, during a week-long celebration of Canada’s diversity, and rich history and culture.   Some of the headlining authors include Indigenous writers David Wolfman (cooking demonstration on April 7), and Lee Maracle (Books and Brunch onApril 8). Other visiting writers include hockey dad, Karl Subban, visual artists Kyo Maclear and Jack Breakfast, literary stars Elizabeth Hay and Barbara Reid, as well as musicians Ron Sexsmith, Gary Barwin and Randall Spear. Festival events will explore themes including Quebec history, the giants of CanLit, contemporary science fiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, translation, seeking out nature in urban settings, and First Nation cultures.   Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with English-language authors from across the country, in the heart of Old Quebec. For more information on the complete program, and to purchase a festival pass or single event ticket, visit morrin.org/imagination or contact the Morrin Centre at 418-694-9147.   The festival is made possible thanks to the support of many partners, including Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.   About the Morrin Centre As an English-language cultural centre located in Quebec City’s historical quarter, the Morrin Centre is a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Anglophone and Francophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. Building upon our Centre’s history and key institutions, our programming aims to provide historical perspective on the region’s unique French-English heritage, develop enhanced educational opportunities for youth, and act as a springboard for artistic creativity.

Christiane Germain and Louise Penny Come Together to Support the Morrin Centre’s Annual Literary Feast

Louise Penny, renowned international author, will be keynote speaker for the evening. Penny received many literary honours including a New Blood Dagger for Best First Novel; two Arthur Ellis awards; three Anthony awards; and an unprecedented four consecutive Agatha awards for best novel, in addition to a nomination for a fifth. Her books have made the New York Times Bestseller Lists repeatedly, and her Gamache novels have been published in 23 languages. One of her Inspector Gamache novels, Bury Your Dead, uses the Morrin Centre’s Victorian library as backdrop for a terrible murder. She will be talking about her new book, Glass Houses, on this occasion.   The evening’s Honorary President, Christiane Germain, is co-president of Groupe Germain Hotels, as well as the soul behind the experiential concept at Germain establishments. She is also in charge of operations for all hotels under the Le Germain Hotels banner and the Alt Hotel banner. Dynamic, tenacious and inventive, Christiane has made her mark in the restaurant and hotel industries. She is also a “dragon” on the show Dans l’oeil du dragon on Radio-Canada, the Quebec adaptation of Dragons Den. A silent auction will also take place during the evening, with proceeds enabling the Morrin Centre to continue offering a variety of stimulating and innovative English-language cultural programs at a reasonable cost.   A limited number of tickets for this black-tie (optional) event are available for $250 per person. A private VIP Bury Your Dead tour of the Morrin Centre with Louise Penny can also be purchased with your ticket for $100. We strongly advise purchasing your tickets in advance since a limited number are available for the evening and tour. Tickets may be reserved by calling our Administrative Assistant, Rosemarie Fischer, at 418-694-9147, extension 221, or by e-mailing info@morrin.org.  

iA Financial Group Pledges to Support the Morrin Centre for 5 years

Quebec City – The Morrin Centre’s eighth annual Literary Feast fundraiser, featuring author Roch Carrier as the keynote speaker, was held on Thursday, November 10, 2016. This event was attended by some of Quebec’s most prominent public figures, including Quebec City’s mayor, Regis Labeaume, and Geoffrey Kelly, Minister responsible for Native Affairs. The evening’s Honorary President, Yvon Charest, President and Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Alliance, made a special announcement during his welcome speech: he revealed that Industrial Alliance pledged to donate $100 000 over five years to the Morrin Centre. This substantial donation was made in anticipation of iA Financial Group’s 125th anniversary. iA Financial Group has participated in more than twelve decades of Quebec City’s history. The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec’s President, Barry Holleman said: “The LHSQ and the Morrin Centre are grateful for the support that Industrial Alliance has pledged. The recognition of the importance of the Morrin Centre’s diverse cultural programming, that brings the English and French speaking communities together, is extremely encouraging. This contribution will allow us to continue to develop attractive programs and reach even more members of our community”.

Canada’s oldest learned society elects new president

The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec (LHSQ) held its 192nd annual general meeting last night at the Morrin Centre, the English-language cultural hub it manages. In addition to discussing the Centre’s accomplishments in the past year, and of its plans for 2016, members were invited to elect Council. On this occasion, Barry Holleman who has been a member of Council since 2012 and Vice President since March 2015 was elected 55th President of the Literary and Historical Society. As Senior Business Advisor at Inno-centre, Holleman advises companies on funding assistance, marketing, strategic planning, business development and partnership formation. Through his experience as CEO at Myca Health and Vice President Clinical Technologies at Cardinal Health he has worked in the life science supply chain, IT consulting and computer development, health care IT and medical equipment sales. He has a Master of Communication Science from Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands and has completed the Leadership Development Program at Duke University in North Carolina. When addressing the members assembled on Wednesday evening, he shared his enthusiasm for the continued growth of the Morrin Centre in the areas of heritage interpretation, education and the arts. One of his objectives will be “to work with staff, members and Council to provide the environment and conditions for the Society to thrive and for the Morrin Centre to become the destination of choice for members of our community and visitors to Quebec City alike.” After four years at the head of the LHSQ, President Sovita Chander stepped down to continue her work as Vice President of Strategy at Le saint, a marketing agency where she advises CEOs and their marketing heads in the healthcare technology field. About the Morrin Centre As an English-language cultural centre located in Quebec City’s historical quarter, the Morrin Centre strives to be a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Anglophone and Francophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. Building upon our Centre’s history and key institutions, our programming aims to provide historical perspective on the region’s unique French-English heritage, develop enhanced educational opportunities for youth, and act as a springboard for artistic creativity.

Morrin Centre launches temporary exhibit on Hong Kong and the Home Front

The Morrin Centre is launching an exhibit to mark the 75th anniversary of the battle and fall of Hong Kong on March 24, 2016 at 7 p.m. During the evening, exhibit curator Patrick Donovan will answer questions such as “Why did Canadians go to Hong Kong during World War II?” and “What is the legacy of this battle 75 years later?” From March 24, 2016 until January 1, 2017, visit Hong Kong and the Home Front, and discover how the Royal Rifles of Canada, Quebec City’s main English-speaking regiment, took part in the battle to defend Hong Kong, until Great-Britain surrendered the colony to the Japanese on Christmas Day in 1941. Through photos and archives, learn about what has been called “one of the darkest stories in Canadian military history.” The odds were stacked against the Canadian troops. Some men never came back. Those that did spent nearly four difficult years in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Their stories, and those of life on the home front in Quebec City, will be shared. A limited number of places are available at the launch of this exhibit during which drinks will be served. Reserve today at morrin.org or at 418-694-9147.