April 20, 2016

For immediate distribution


Les Jardins de Métis Opens Fishing Stories
A new Virtual Exhibition on the Story of Salmon Fishing on the Metis River

Grand-Metis, April 20, 2016. Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens is proud to announce the opening of Fishing Stories, a new virtual exhibition for the Virtual Museum of Canada. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the unique history of the Metis River and the fishing stories associated with it. Many never before seen photographs and objects are presented with texts that tell more than a few fishing stories. Les Amis des Jardins de Métis has opened its collection. Sixty photographs of unique objects, maps, photographs and material are on view.

The Metis River has attracted fishermen for centuries, even millennia. Indigenous peoples were among the first to catch Atlantic salmon on the river. George Stephen was attracted by the river’s potential and invested in the first conservation measures to restore the salmon habitat, removing the dams and weirs built for the forestry industry. He built his fishing lodge, Estevan Lodge, in 1887. Ever since that year, the river has attracted fishermen to its pools. They included the rich and the famous. But none was more enthusiastic than his niece, Elsie Reford, who spent many summers fishing on the river. Over several decades she waged her battle to catch salmon and then to protect the river. Recent efforts to re-open the river to the salmon and the extraordinary measures taken to assure their safe passage up river and down again are just one of the many parts of this exhibition.

Fishing Stories is the first ever exhibition dedicated to the history of salmon fishing on the Mitis River. We are thrilled to be able to share our unique collection of objects and stories with all Canadians,” commented Alexander Reford, director of Les Jardins de Métis, and one of the authors of the project. “We are fortunate to have such a unique archive of photographs, documents and objects. What better way to share them than through the Virtual Museum of Canada platform which allows our story to be told across the country”.

Fishing Stories was made possible with the support of the Virtual Museum of Canada’s  Community Memories Program, an investment program that enables small community museums to develop online local history exhibits to share with all Canadians through the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) website. The VMC is managed by the Canadian Museum of History.

The exhibition was prepared by Julie Corriveau, Sylvain Legris, Alexander Reford and Marjelaine Sylvestre. 

Click here to consult the virtual exhibit Fishing Stories. 

About Les Amis des Jardins de Métis
A National Historic Site and Québec heritage site, the Reford Gardens / Jardins de Métis are an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Québec. Owned by Les Amis des Jardins de Métis, this organization as a mandate to preserve and develop the site and to share its unique collections with the public. Fishing Stories is one of a series of new initiatives to make the organization’s unique collections available to the public through virtual exhibitions, exhibitions and digitization projects.

Cultural space and tourist destination for over 50 years, the Reford Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in the Gaspésie region, providing visitors with experiences for every sense. Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, the gardens were created between 1926 and 1958 by avid gardener and plant collector, Elsie Reford. Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of the Reford Gardens since 1999. Reford Gardens will be open every day from May 30 to October 2, 2016. Children 13 and under are admitted free of charge. Consult refordgardens.com for more information.

About The Virtual Museum of Canada
With more than 500 virtual exhibits, the Virtual Museum of Canada is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country. A wealth of learning resources is also available to teachers. Explore at virtualmuseum.ca.

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Further information
Alexander Reford
Jardins de Métis
418 775-2222



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