When extraordinary events happen, we often come to realize just how extraordinary the people around us are.

The Foundation is run by a team keen to create meaning and give the best of who they are, especially when it comes to looking out for the well-being of colleagues, collaborators, partners, audiences and the community. Backed by a board of directors committed to helping us get through these challenging times, the team rallied together and, with much agility, forged into less familiar territory, in particular working remotely in a digital environment.  

Within the Foundation’s various departments, this translated into accelerated learning, the launch of completely reformatted activities and increased collaborations with our networks. It was an opportunity to broaden our perspectives and refine our reflections.  Even virtually, we were able to spark new relationships and bolster existing ones beyond geographical and sectoral limits, open many new doors and begin conversations; confirming that together, we will pave the way toward a more just society.   

In 2020-2021, we adapted, reacted, listened and supported one another. In Valcourt, although cultural and educational activities fluctuated with the changing government guidelines, unexpected experiences and new skills led to improved programming. The Museum team leveraged their new skills to prepare celebrations for the institution’s 50th anniversary in 2021, with programming extending over several weeks and culminating on September 11. The Cultural Centre, which will celebrate its 50th in 2022, gave careful thought to how it would showcase and share its exhibitions with audiences beyond its traditional area of influence.  

The philanthropic activities team in Montréal was the first to move to the remote workplace. The shift was simply a pretext to ramp up efforts to provide organizations shaken by the crisis with support, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Employees activated the levers available to them, focusing on personalized support, virtual conversations and workshops, an adapted donation strategy and increased collaboration with stakeholders in the philanthropic community, making sure that their actions remained relevant.  

We would like to express our profound admiration and solidarity with organizations in the sector, who maintained their commitment to their clientele despite the ever-changing circumstances and the complexity of the pandemic measures. It is their expertise, their immense capacity to adapt and their belief in a better future that gives meaning to our mission.  

Thank you to our partners, collaborators, and peers. Thank you to the members of the board of directors for their unwavering support and presence at our side. Thank you to all of the Foundation’s employees who gave their best, and more, during this exceptional year. 

Nicole Beaudoin, President and Sonia Labrecque, Executive Director 

The Foundation’s talent

Talent : character, aptitude, natural or acquired ability in a field or activity

Like many teams in Québec and across the globe, the Foundation’s staff and board of directors felt the immense shock brought on by the pandemic. On one hand, our ready-to-launch programming  was cancelled and our institutions, bursting with visitors, were closed; on the other hand, there was an urgent need to accelerate support measures in the non-profit sector, and a spike in requests for support and meetings with philanthropic stakeholders.  

We were able to turn things around in just a few short weeks, capitalizing on the incredible diversity of talent at the Foundation and transforming this period of turbulence into a time of opportunity. Bravo, team!

The management team – tactical leaders

Agile and proactive, the management team transformed into a communication corridor, keeping departments connected and making sure everyone had a job to do. 

Giving the best of yourself

We asked our colleagues the following question:
What strength/aptitude/talent did you use to help you bounce back after the crisis?

The board of directors – Listening, understanding and moving forward together

Always supportive and attentive, the Foundations board of directors rallied to support the numerous decisions to be made.

The management team – tactical leaders

Agile and proactive, the management team transformed into a communication corridor, keeping departments connected and making sure everyone had a job to do. An inventory of projects eligible for inter-team cooperation allowed us to reassign certain tasks. For example, Museum guides who were left without visitors to welcome were of great help with projects that needed attention, such as updating the philanthropic activities database, reclassifying magazines at the Library and correcting archival records in the AtoM database. 

Not only did the management team ensure job stability, it was also careful to support the psychological well-being of staff. Even from a distance, the team maintained a high level of communication, sharing resources and recommendations to help keep everyone healthy. A virtual workshop entitled “Self-care tips for staying on course” proved popular among staff. 

We conducted a work environment diagnostic in collaboration with consulting firm Humance, with a view to fostering an organizational climate that is enjoyable and stimulating. With smooth communication and inter-departmental collaboration identified as avenues for action, we held a reflective exercise with staff, led by Coopérative Niska. The exercise shed light on a number of possible approaches that an ad hoc committee will explore in the coming months.  

Giving the best of yourself

We asked our colleagues the following question: What strength/aptitude/talent did you use to help you bounce back after the crisis? The answer is eloquent, and reflects the diverse skills within our organization (in French only). Watch it here! 

The definition of the word talent includes the word character. Not only did the team jump in feet first to embrace new remote and hybrid working arrangements, but it also took full advantage of the explosion of online training opportunities to explore new knowledge and expand their fields of expertise. Here is a list of the training activities our team members attended.  

Although the pandemic threw a wrench into our employees’ regular volunteering for causes dear to their hearts, their commitment to serve the community remained steadfast. This was reflected in numerous activities, including participating on boards of directors, helping out with remote data entry and taking part in together-apart fundraising walks. Some employees also took part in the vaccination campaign: two of our Montréal employees joined the Canadian Red Cross Partners for Action program, helping out at the Olympic Stadium vaccination centre for a day. In Valcourt, a number of employees volunteered at the vaccination centre set up by BRP at the arena.

Finally, the administrative team proposed that money earmarked for an employee Christmas meal be donated to La Parolière, an organization supported by the team. The proposal was unanimously approved. Unfortunately, Social Action Day had to be postponed, but the setback is only temporary! 

The board of directors – Listening, understanding and moving forward together

Always supportive and attentive, the Foundation’s board of directors rallied to support the numerous decisions to be made, many of which were urgent and in flux because of government directives in effect at our Valcourt facilities, and in response to information gathered by the philanthropic sector. The grants committee held numerous special meetings to quickly establish and implement a strategy to support communities in the short, mid and long term.  

In parallel with this emergency support, the board of directors reviewed the Foundation’s investment strategy, making a shift toward sustainable and ethical funds. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are now included in the Foundation’s investment decision-making process. This prompted an in-depth analysis and review of the investment policy by the investment committee.  

In addition to the Fonds d’Investissement de Montréal (FIM IV), the Foundation committed to a second impact investment fund, placing $1 M in the Fonds Social d’Investissement Immobilier (FSII) project. This fund, which aims to renovate 1,200-1,500 affordable community housing projects in Québec, is supported by donations from the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, the Société d’habitation du Québec, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Fondation Mirella et Lino Saputo and the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon.  

The board of directors also supported the Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre in its application for accreditation from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications. The move allowed the Centre to reposition its identity as an Exhibition Centre, to adopt a mission and programming policy, and to rethink the composition of the arts committee, sparking a review of the Foundation’s general rules.  

Finally, the board of directors welcomed two new members:  

  • Alain Auclair, Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Corporate Financing, Ubs Securities Canada Inc.  
  • Richard Neault, Vice President and pension fund manager at Bombardier, replacing Olivier Marcil, who stepped down after eight years on the board.  

The board of directors:  

Nicole Beaudoin, President 
Isabelle Bombardier, Vice President 
Luc Bachand, Treasurer 
Alain Auclair 
Élaine Beaudoin 
France Bissonnette 
Nathalie Bissonnette 
Louis-Armand Bombardier 
Maxime Codère 
Marc Fontaine 
Paule Fontaine 
Olivier Marcil 
Richard Neault 
Luce Samoisette 

Internal services provides energy and fuels excellence

The anchor point for a smooth transition

Internal Services are all too often left out of the limelight. This year, however, the teams performance was worthy of multiple trophies, for providing departments with unwavering support, magically (seemingly) enabling remote working arrangements, transforming activities into digital formats, and adapting our institutions to comply with the ever-changing health measures. More than ever, the administrative team capitalized on its capacity to support and amplify the recovery efforts launched a year ago. 

of staff on the job

compliancy with health measures

employee and public safety

0 %

adaptation to two closures and two re-openings of the Museum and the Cultural Centre

professional quality in the new digital programming

of IT requests answered

Administrative Services – a central pivot at the heart of the action

Bolstered by a newly created position—coordinator of administrative services—the team kept the numerous administrative and human resources tasks running optimally, even while working remotely.

 

Maintenance – Combining safety, functionality and beauty

Over the past year, the two-person team responsible for maintaining the Foundation’s buildings seemed to be plugged into a high-voltage current, zipping through projects and accomplishing missions at lightning speed!

IT and multimedia – anticipating the rebound and leading the pack

This year, the IT department played a key role in keeping our work teams operating smoothly. 




Administrative Services – a central pivot at the heart of the action

Bolstered by a newly created position—coordinator of administrative services—the team kept the numerous administrative and human resources tasks running optimally, even while working remotely. The daily schedule was jam-packed as they made sure the various departments could stay on track with projects and operate normally.  

Although the team works in the shadows, without their magic, we would not be operational! The following list outlines tasks that require a keen attention to detail and a thorough approach, as those with an eye for numbers will recognize. The team coordinates the annual budgets for the entire Foundation (Philanthropy, Museum, Cultural Centre and Internal Services); monitors monthly operational budgets, providing support when necessary; and helps take inventory of products at the Museum boutique and materials at the Fab Lab.  

The team also carried out the pay equity audit conducted every five years, supervised the sound management of group insurance plans, looked after grant applications and accountability reports, helped get the Museum’s online ticket office off the ground, and monitored decisions made by the investment committee, alongside portfolio managers. And let’s not forget that, for the first time, the annual audit process was managed remotely.  

Maintenance – Combining safety, functionality and beauty

Over the past year, the two-person team responsible for maintaining the Foundation’s buildings seemed to be plugged into a high-voltage current, zipping through projects and accomplishing missions at lightning speed! 

The first project consisted of a multitude of “pandemic tasks” to ensure compliance with health recommendations. These jobs included installing protective Plexiglas at the reception counters at the Museum, Cultural Centre and Library, as well as in the open office space area; installing hand sanitizer dispensers (and refilling them regularly); and installing new signage and placing arrows and circles on the floor to indicate the path to follow. They also faced the extra challenge of finding suppliers when products were out of stock. We would like to thank BRP, who shared some Plexiglas panels with us! 

The team took advantage of the slowdown and temporary closures of facilities to carry out multiple projects, each more impressive than the last.  

Indoors, the team:  

  • Renovated some of the spaces off-limits to the public to optimize their utility. For example, they renovated the space at the Museum dedicated to audiovisual equipment in the snowmobile area. Experts in 5S methodology, our amazing duo also reorganized the storage space adjacent to the main hall, a project that involved sorting, categorizing, cleaning, installing shelves and painting marks on the floor;  
  • Installed acoustic panels in the Museum exhibition hall;  
  • Collaborated in the creation of a digital studio for recording and broadcasting virtual activities; 
  • Adapted furniture in public spaces to better meet the needs of people with reduced mobility. 

Outdoors, the team:  

  • Renovated urban furniture in the park, including 11 tables, 5 benches and 9 trash cans; 
  • Coordinated, supervised and participated in upgrades to the Cultural Centre parking lot; 
  • Coordinated and participated in major drainage work in the park, and trimmed and cared for trees. 

This non-exhaustive list demonstrates how “the maintenance guys” took advantage of the slowdown to spruce up the facilities for both visitors and colleagues alike.  

IT and multimedia – anticipating the rebound and leading the pack

This year, the IT department played a key role in keeping our work teams operating smoothly. Affectionately nicknamed the “department of miracles,” the duo accelerated the transition to the cloud launched in March 2020, providing teleworking solutions while keeping teams connected. In parallel with their technical activities, the two-person team offered training sessions to make the adaptation process to the new work environment as smooth and enjoyable as possible.  

We now know that transferring existing content and activities into digital format exactly as they are is simply impossible. They must be completely reformatted. The duo spared no effort in acquiring the appropriate equipment and software, and upgrading the staff’s digital skills to meet this new need. 

One project the team is particularly proud of is the new digital recording and broadcasting studio, which they taught employees from various departments how to use autonomously. Paradoxically, being forced to pull the plug on the Museum’s interactive displays for safety reasons was a catalyst for embracing the digital transformation. The team also acquired new skills and expertise, which it quickly and expertly relayed to colleagues. View some of their productions here, and see for yourselves!  

Another major project was the creation of an online ticket office for the Museum. The team formed a working group with the Société des Musées du Québec (SMQ) to evaluate their needs. An in-depth analysis helped them find a solution tailored to the needs of a medium-sized museum. The ticket office is the first of its kind in Québec, and the Museum will share the results of this pilot project with its museum peers.  

The IT team pulled off the shift to a digital environment beautifully, adapting and developing at an accelerated pace in a state of serenity worthy of the Dalai Lama! 

Philanthropic activities rally behind the community

Navigating complexity with our partners

0 $

DONATIONS
included Philagora

513 000$

Arts and culture

962 000$

Health

49 148$ Philagora Organisational capacity reenforcement program

1 395 542$

Community support

1 039 000$

Education

Donations – an atypical year

A year marked by fluctuating requests for financial support and a significant increase in the need for support services.

Partners on the front lines of the crisis

Our partners have been deeply affected by the crisis in a variety of ways and at different paces.

Supporting dreams

The philanthropic activities team coordinates three scholarship programs.

Donations – an atypical year

A year marked by fluctuating requests for financial support and a significant increase in the need for support services 

Requests: 584, 62% of which were received in the first five months of the year 

4,755 masks and face shields (donated by Bombardier Inc.) distributed to 41 organizations 

Support services: a 300% increase in time invested 

The year got off to a fast start, with a significant increase in requests for donations in the spring and summer. Because the requests were urgent, the donations committee met on multiple occasions.  

The mitigation measures announced in March were maintained:  

  • simplify the process for urgent requests; 
  • be flexible with deadlines; 
  • allow donations already made to be redirected toward the mission or priority projects; 
  • suspend the accountability process. 

 

In October, requests declined sharply. Organizations were dealing with the second wave and prioritized requests and accounting reports associated with emergency funding.  

However, with this decline, came an increased need for support for the preparation of requests, retroactivity, referrals and recovery strategies. All this as we listened closely to teams expressing extreme organizational fatigue.  

The silver lining in the past year is that the challenges have bolstered philanthropic collaborations. We joined the organizing committee for the Dialogue between the Collectif des fondations québécoises contre les inégalités  and non-for-profit networks, the advisory committee for the Foundation of Greater Montréal’s COVID-19 Collective Fund, and a Montréal-based working group on data and diversity.

Partners on the front lines of the crisis

Our partners have been deeply affected by the crisis in a variety of ways and at different paces.

Organizations working to ensure basic needs experienced a sharp and sustained increase in their activities, paired with physical distancing requirements. Many of these organizations work in the areas of food security, housing, homelessness, gender-based violence, and with the elderly and marginalized populations.  

There were also considerable repercussions for organizations working in areas not deemed priority by health authorities. The shift to teleworking required a quick transition to a digital environment. It was a logistical, financial and human challenge that underscored the inequalities in terms of knowledge and access to technology.  

The teams went beyond the call of duty, sometimes to the detriment of their physical and mental health. However, feelings of solidarity and the desire for a more just society resonated loudly. 

More than ever, we believe in the importance of core-mission funding and partnerships built on trust and mutual respect.Together, we can march into the future as complementary components of the plural sector, at the service of the community.

Discover the organizations with whom we have the privilege of working with.

Les Scientifines, partner organization

Supporting dreams

The philanthropic activities team coordinates three scholarship programs:

The Yvonne L. Bombardier Visual Arts Scholarship :

The scholarship recognizes excellence in a student enrolled in a Master of Art program, awarding a cash prize of $10,000, an exhibition and the production of a video portrait. This year’s winner is Maude Arsenault. The exhibition by our 2019 winner Maude Corriveau took place in November, at the Pôle de Gaspé in Montréal. 

J. Armand Bombardier Scholarship Program :

These scholarships have been supporting students from Valcourt and the surrounding region for more than 50 years. This year, we awarded $209,000 to 91 grantees. 

Excellence Grants for the Next Generation of Women Entrepreneurs :

Worth $10,000 each, these grants recognize the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs who have been running a business for less than five years.  

The winners of the third edition are:

Janine Bombardier Grant – cultural and creative field: Camille Rouleau, Ballet Hop!

Claire Beaudoin Grant – processing and manufacturing field: Andrée-Anne Adam, Animora

Huguette Fontaine Grant – technical innovation field: Marie-Michelle Boulanger and Pamela Champagne, Elite Neurokinétix

We would like to thank the members of the jury!

Philagora –Together, we’ll bounce back stronger!

Our priority has been to rethink the way we do things and explore new avenues to best support nonprofits and their teams. 

The importance of connecting, even through screens

Our wish: continue to build a community, even at a distance. 

On the road to the Possibles

A new format, giving even more changemakers the opportunity to meet. 

Philagora –Together, we’ll bounce back stronger!

Our priority has been to rethink the way we do things and explore new avenues to best support nonprofits and their teams. 

28 activities and 1,048 participants from:  

Abitibi, Bas-St-Laurent, Chaudière-Appalaches, Eastern Townships, Gaspésie-les-îles, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Laval, Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec, Montérégie, Montréal, Nord du Québec, Outaouais, Québec, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Others: Nunavut, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, France, Ivory Coast, Israel, New York, Haiti, Ecuador, Senegal, and more. 

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the 54 collaborators who weathered the storm with us.

In March 2020, all Philagora activities scheduled until June were cancelled due to health measures. Because in-person activities were no longer possible in the short and medium term, the team focused on adapting its programming for a virtual environment.  

We took the time to listen to the needs of organizations and sector-based reflections, study the emerging offer, participate in a number of online activities and acquire the equipment and skills for virtual facilitation.  

This transitional period confirmed our need to rethink formats and delivery methods for our activities, and gave us the opportunity to get up to speed with new technologies. The intense learning period led to some wonderful outcomes. 

In May, we had our activities up and running online, and for the first time, they continued throughout the summer. In September, we launched the Philagora 2020-2021 100 % virtual programming.

The importance of connecting, even through screens

Our wish: continue to build a community, even at a distance. 

The morning chat for executive directors was the first activity to move to a virtual environment. It was launched in May 2020, and ran all year long. Inspired by topics submitted by participants and co-hosted by  members of the group, the meetings provided a space where vulnerabilities and issues could be shared without judgement. The activity answers a pressing need for leaders, who feel increasingly isolated. 

The second initiative, a Circle for mutual support and co-learning was launched in June and ran for six months. Hosted by the CREDO Impact team, the Circle consisted of 15 organizations that were invited to reflect on their organizational culture, their posture, their position in the ecosystem, their principles of action and their recovery strategies. Participants drew inspiration from the experiences of their co-learners.  

The general programming launched in September was divided into five themes. Webinars, roundtables, interactive workshops… a variety of formats were used to provide complementary perspectives and experiences. The goal was to diversify our content (advocacy, speaking out, information management), in addition to looking at our usual topics from a new and original angle. 

The seventh edition of the Cohort on change and social innovation was postponed until January 2021, to give as many organizations as possible the chance to make time in their hectic schedules to take part in this initiative. We made a wonderful observation: the close ties between members of cohorts from previous years have remained strong, despite the distance!

We continually seek to expand the diversity of voices, in terms of cultural representation, range of experiences, sectors, regional realities, etc. The virtual environment has turned out to be a valuable ally for doing so.

Recognizing and capitalizing on the expertise in our community has become a pillar of our program. This year, numerous activities featured members of former cohorts, partner organizations, NPO directors, and colleagues from other foundations.

We also designed workshops collaboratively with our peers, including a bilingual workshop co-presented with the Morris & Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, a collaboration on the new Rendez-vous series held by the Foundation of Greater Montréal, and a roundtable on fundraising with the Fondation Mirella et Lino Saputo.

Discover our favourite tools and what we’ve learned! (In French only)

On the road to the Possibles

A new format, giving even more changemakers the opportunity to meet. 

Created jointly with l’EsplanadePossibles is an event series that brings together changemakers from different sectors that drive transformation in our communities. The series also moved to a virtual environment and consisted of two activities:

  • September: Finding balance 

Columnist Carla Beauvais hosted this cross-sectoral conversation with Lee Rose (CKX), Louise Sicuro (Culture pour tous), Olivier Hernandez (Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium) and Sara Mathieu C. (Thèsez-vous). 

  • January: Social innovation + economy and development  

Marie-Lou Dupont (United Nations Global Compact) exchanged ideas with Jeffrey Cyr (Raven Indigenous Capital Partners) in a conversation hosted and presented by Déborah Cherenfant from the Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal 

Learn about their perspectives in the white paper that presents highlights from the series. 

The Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier expands the range of possibilities

Virtual activities: a springboard to vitality!

COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to capitalize on our team’s expertise, as it moved its ingenuity to a virtual environment to stay connected with our audiences. Team members relied on mutual support to accomplish many things, including updating work tools and project management associated with our collections, embracing various digital platforms, and testing new Museum itineraries, programs and activities. What a list of wonderful initiatives to improve the visitor experience!

“A museum without visitors is a museum without life. The team rolled up its sleeves and shifted to the digital environment in order to remain connected with its clientele. Their ingenuity for developing and streaming digital activities and content created a vibrant experience, and even allowed us to stay one step ahead of other institutions!”
Carol Pauzé, Museum Director

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people received expert assistance for historical and technical requests, attended in-person or virtual educational activities, and took advantage of various online outreach and extracurricular activities.

0

new acquisitions (objects) boosted our collections.

+ de 0

new information sheets catalogued in the AtoM database, including entries for digital and paper publications, photos and videos.

0

Facebook posts about the collections

The most popular historical video
26 years of the Elan Ski-Doo®
with 573,100 people reached and 70,200 comments.

The most popular artifact video
The Muskeg tractor
with 217,400 people reached and 1,655 views over one minute!

Collections – Behind the scenes, merging and broadcasting in full swing

The Archives and the Collections departments took advantage of this unusual year to unite their strengths and talent.

Exhibitions – Our internal expertise in the spotlight

A challenge met head on: ensuring a meaningful visitor experience despite exhaustive sanitary measures

Visitor experience – Adapting, one leap at a time

We refine the art of receiving visitors, even when it is difficult!

Collections – Behind the scenes, merging and broadcasting in full swing

The Archives and the Collections departments took advantage of this unusual year to unite their strengths and talent. The team enthusiastically developed tools and a shared management policy, cementing their merger and optimizing their work methods. The changeover to a digital environment also led to greater agility in responding to requests and more collaborative projects showcasing the collections. The Collections department is, without a doubt, THE expert on Joseph-Armand Bombardier and his inventions. Here are some of the department’s accomplishments:  

  • The production of six videos on the Museum reserve 
  • Articles about Joseph-Armand Bombardier written for the magazine Continuité and the AQPI newsletter 
  • Collaboration on the book L’Homme des neiges by Gérald Potterton, now available at the Museum boutique 
  • Filming by TVA Sport TV network + photo 
  • Participation in the show Transmission impossible 2, broadcast on Historia 

Inter-departmental collaboration and three new interns helped make more content available for searches in the database. The basement area dedicated to the reserve was rearranged, with objects placed in accordance with preventive conservation standards, thus optimizing storage space and freeing up approximately 20% of the surface area for future acquisitions. The painstaking task of transferring 2,882 object files to a new object database was completed! Other achievements to celebrate:  

  • 6,975 files (11% of the AtoM database) were reviewed, with the aim of optimizing database searches. 
  • The Histoire de Valcourt Fonds, a portion of the NEV Fonds, as well as documents acquired from Charles Bombardier (digital files) and from BRP were processed. 
  • Newly acquired objects boosted our collections: train and plane models, textual documents and promotional items from Bombardier Inc.; a 1/20 CRJ 100 model from Airbus; a Ski-Doo® snowmobile suit, circa 1964; and a Sea-Doo® 1989 watercraft. 
  • A corpus of approximately 1,000 objects related to the development of snowmobiles and the first Ski-Doo® snowmobile was cleaned and tidied.  

Exhibitions – our internal expertise in the spotlight

The teams sprang into action, designing temporary exhibitions, improving the permanent exhibition and rethinking the hands-on interactive displays to meet health guidelines. Their ingenuity and expertise were key assets in creating a meaningful experience for the public despite the restrictions.

Comfortable? Test your transport, presented at the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier, was developed in collaboration with partners, including BRP, Bombardier Inc. and the GAUS, which loaned objects and helped to validate content. Popularizing and giving meaning to the notion of comfort is a challenge! Our in-house expertise fuelled the design of 14 brilliant interactive displays.

The team worked on designing the Young inventors exhibition, to be presented at the Museum as of April 2022. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s first vehicle, designed at age 15, and also shines the light on the up-and-coming generation of Canadian inventors. The design process included researching content, forming assembling a scientific committee with researchers from the University of Sherbrooke and drafting a scenario. The exhibition is slated for a tour of Canada, thanks to a $266,601 grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program.

The exhibition 50 years of design on display in the Museum’s public spaces from July 8 to December 31, 2020, highlighted the BRP design department and its past 50 years of creation. The presentation included unpublished archival documents and a working model on loan from BRP’s Laurent Beaudoin Design and Innovation Centre. The team also discovered interesting content for the next exhibition, which will celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary.

The permanent exhibition’s bogie zone was improved. An MR-73 Montréal subway car was reproduced on one of the walls and content was added to the photo mosaic. These wonderful initiatives really spruced up the zone. In response to the pandemic, the team got busy finding ways to make our interactive displays compliant with health measures.  

The Museum participated in an innovation incubation activity on the development of zero-contact interactive displays, led by PRISMthe Montréal Museum of Fine Arts digital mediation innovation lab. We tested the PRISM prototype in our B12 snowmobile exhibition in October 2020, which led to more great ideas for showcasing artifacts in a lively manner. 

Visitor experience – Adapting, one leap at a time

The year was marked with uncertainty and change: museum openings and closures, and health measures that changed from one week to the next. The team in charge of visitor experience caught the ball on the rebound, always adaptable, versatile, willing to remain active during closures, and ready to give the public a warm and safe welcome when the situation permitted.  

  • A versatile team: During Museum closures, our guides kept busy by lending a helping hand to other departments at the Foundation. 
  • A guided tour: The Museum offered tours by reservation, with a guide taking each group on a visit and disinfecting the displays between each family bubble. The guides were able to answer questions during the tour and grant special and free access to the Museum reserve. Tickets are available online. 
  • Summer visitors defy all expectations: Between the reopening on June 22, 2020, and the end of August, 3,912 people brought life to the Museum, breaking the anticipated projection of 2,096 visitors. 
  • Reopening of the Fab Lab: On April 3, 2021, the Fab Lab opened its doors with new health measures in place! Three users at a time can access the space on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, by reservation. 

A survey conducted by the Société des Musées du Québec (SMQ) in summer 2020, reported that: 

  • 93% of visitors said the adapted visit met or exceeded their expectations. 
  • 91% of visitors enjoyed having a guide to answer their questions on the tour. 
  • 90% of visitors reported that staff courtesy made their experience more positive. 

Visitor Experience and Communications jump feet first toward recovery

Reaching audiences in classrooms, living rooms and institutions

The Cultural Centre and the Museum  new collaborative projects. A restructuring process within the Foundation bolstered resource sharing between the two entities. The Museum team took the Communications and Events teams under its wing. Educational Activities and Customer Service merged to become Visitor Experience, which includes the cultural mediation and events components for both the Museum and the Cultural Centre. 

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elementary school students in the Museum and Cultural Centre

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posts on the Musem and Cultural Centre’s social media

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new “homemade” activities

Cultural mediation – Taking the leap

Preserving the links with our audiences and continuing to offer fun and educational activities via digital technology? No problem!

Education – Forging paths to audiences

Pedal to the Metal, Invent your gadget, Programming with Minecraft… a small sample of the creativity of the techno-pedagogical team.

Communications – Expanding responses

The publications beat records, the video clips abound… here are some of them if you missed them, and don’t forget, subscribe to our networks! 

Cultural mediation – Taking the leap

Would we be able to welcome visitors for Cultural Days? At Christmas? For spring break? The answers to these questions trickled in slowly, often only days before events were scheduled to take place. And so, following a small turnout at Cultural Days and the Museum closure at Christmas, the team took the digital leap! The focus was on creating online family activities for spring break, with a program of five free activities and a series of techno-pedagogical activities available for purchase. 

2020 Cultural Days 
Nos métiers en coulisses26 visitors had the opportunity to meet the Museum and Cultural Centre staff to learn more about the professionals working behind the scenes.  

243 people participated in the spring break activities: 

  • Two free activities at the Museum: Families learned how to design a three-wheeled vehicle powered by air escaping from a balloon, as well as a catapult.   
  • Three free activities at the Cultural Centre: Discovering the Le cycle de la vie exhibition through a seek and find game, a creative workshop set to music and a conference by “Prof Nomade.” 

Education – Forging paths to audiences

“Closer despite the distance!” The team took advantage of downtime caused by repeated closures to connect with its audiences by diversifying its educational programming. With support from the IT and multimedia teams, a recording studio was set up, where guides host live and interactive educational activities, such as “techno-science” and artistic activities for school groups and families. When possible, the team does outreach at schools, taking activities to students in their classrooms.  

This new programming has allowed us to reach audiences well beyond our region. The team led an activity for a class in Alberta, and set a new record for number of attendees at school activities since the opening of the new Museum, with 676 participants in April! 

Our new programming at a glance: 

  • Pedal to the Metal: An introduction to the scientific method. Using small wooden vehicles built at the Fab Lab, children experiment by changing components, running road tests and recording the results to see whose car, powered by an elastic band or on a slope, will go the furthest.  

 

The Cultural Centre’s mobile and digital activities centred on art gave people the opportunity to discover last year’s exhibitions, which had largely passed under the radar due to pandemic restrictions.  

  • Educational programming: Games that spark discussions about the artwork in the exhibitions Le cycle de la vie and Kaléidoscope, followed by creation workshops. 
guide-animatrice, prête pour l’animation mobile
Guide-animatrice, prête pour l’animation mobile
Sur les chapeaux de roues
Sur les chapeaux de roues

Communications – Expanding responses

The Communications team fell into sync with other departments to promote the new programming and develop new digital products, including videos, exhibition launches and virtual events. It also revamped the Museum website and revisited its promotion strategies.  

  •  New promotion strategy: distribution of pamphlets, the decision not to advertise on television or in cinemas in order to focus on promotion via our websites and social media. 
  • Production of a video explaining our new school products and five newsletters sent to promote our mobile and digital educational activities.  
  •  548 posts on social media over the year about the Museum and the Cultural Centre. 
  • Newsletters: Our newsletter open rate is 50% for the Museum and 41% for the Cultural Centre, while the Canadian average is 27%.  
  • The Mordus de l’hiver event goes virtual: The event page was visited 143 times on February 6 and 7, 2021, and some content remains available to audiences. 
  • Digital launch of the Kaléidoscope exhibition: The exhibition’s digital launch includes a video presenting the works on display and an interview with the artists and Sylvain Trottier. During the first 24 hours, the video was viewed 104 times for more than one minute. 

The Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre moves physical and virtual mountains

Access to culture, an essential service!

Although life at the Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre was unusual this year, it was also eventful and full of activities, which included learning and adapting to various  changes. Just like the Foundation’s other sectors, the team invested the digital world and discovered its panoply of possibilities. Certain activities, conferences and workshops were postponed; however, most were reviewed, transformed and successfully launched in the digital environment! We also transformed our physical spaces: the layout of our exhibition halls was redesigned and foot traffic in the Library was adapted to comply with the ever-changing health measures.  

“The government acknowledged the essential role that libraries play in the community when it allowed them to remain open during the 2nd wave. The team went above and beyond to organize spaces and modify work methods in order to meet the needs of users and to remain in contact with them.”
Karine Corbeil, Director
 

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visitors of the Le Cycle de la vie exhibition over 170 business days

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visitors of the Kaléidoscope exhibition over 39 business days

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books and 143 searches for the Accès-livres bins

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physical document loans

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increase in digital loans, or 2 112 loans

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members went to the Library to stock up on books before the partial closure in November 

Exhibition Centre

Inviting spaces, increased radiance

Like many cultural institutions, the Exhibition Centre juggled with the numerous announcements regarding closures, restrictions and progressive reopenings. 

Two exhibitions that put a smile on your face and your heart

Art is good for you! On site or through the screens, the exhibitions Le Cycle de la vie and Kaléidoscope brought colour to our daily lives. 

Library

Activating connections beyond distance

Members come first! The team deployed energy and creativity to maintain impeccable services despite the ups and downs. 

Inviting spaces, increased radiance

Like many cultural institutions, the Exhibition Centre juggled with the numerous announcements regarding closures, restrictions and progressive reopenings. Despite these fluctuations, the team maintained dynamic programming and made it available as quickly as possible.  

Guided tours of the current exhibition Le cycle de la vie began the moment the Centre reopened in June 2020, and continued throughout the summer. We held a number of activities with collaborators, in particular la grande murale des ados, organized in partnership with Valcourt2030 and the Maison des jeunes L’Initiative. The activity gave youth and participating artists a unique opportunity to express and share their experience during the lockdown.

There was also the snow sculpturecarved by artists Luc Pelletier and Amélie Pomerleau next to the Cultural Centres front entrance. The pair listened to tango as they worked, bringing life to the area and giving extra incentive to visit the exhibition. One couple visiting the Centre couldnt resist the music and began dancing—a nice tip of the hat to a video projection from the Abrazo exhibition on display inside.  

The Exhibition Centre collaborated with the Museum’s Visitor Experience team to develop two school group activities based on the exhibitions Le cycle de la vie and Kaléidoscope. In addition, the Cultural Centre and the Museum teamed up to present an entirely digital program of activities for spring break.  

The Exhibition Centre also began the accreditation process with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, to receive recognition for the quality of its activities and cement its reputation within the museum community, in the region and across Québec. These steps were taken with support from Culturessort and the Val-Saint-François MRC (Regional County Municipality). Accreditation serves to bolster the identity and visibility of the Exhibition Centre, which established its own mission, revised the selection process for artists, developed new policies and set up a new sign sporting its logo for all to see.  

Two exhibitions that put a smile on your face and your heart

Art is good for you! On site or through the screens, the exhibitions Le Cycle de la vie and Kaléidoscope brought colour to our daily lives. 

Extension of the Le cycle de la vie  

Le cycle de la vie, which unfortunately was closed to visitors during the lockdown, was extended well beyond the initial timeline. While most exhibitions run for 72 days on average, this one ran for 170 days, from January to November 2020, to give it some well-deserved visibility. To grant access to the exhibition beyond the physical space, nine videos were produced to introduce the work of the three artistsLorraine DagenaisGünes-Hélène Isitan and Francesca Penserini 

Kaléidoscope: all about movement and colour

Kaléidoscope was the first exhibition presented since the pandemic began, and opened its doors in February 2021, just before spring break. The colours, the hoops, and the engaging yet light atmosphere really lifted visitors’ spirits in these uncertain times. The featured artists are Renée CarrierCaroline Hayeur and Marie-Josée Laframboise 

The exhibition was launched digitally via a short video on the works and a 30-minute discussion led by Sylvain Dodier, poet, audience development and cultural action consultant, and children’s literature facilitator. Guests took part in the launch from the location of their choice, an advantage for those living far away, and of course, in compliance with pandemic restrictions.  

Do you like our videos? Watch in fast motion, as Marie-Josée Laframboise’s work Inflexions IV is assembled for the exhibition. And another fascinating video on the Kaléidoscope exhibition produced by the Maison des arts et de la culture de Brompton showcases the best and favourite works in the region.  

Activating connections beyond distance

Members come first! The team deployed energy and creativity to maintain impeccable services despite the ups and downs.   

The team changed the layout of the Library spaces several times to keep up with health guidelines during the various reopening stages. The number of documents allowed for loan, including DVDs and games, was increased to allow people to stock up on materials for longer periods of time. 

A no-contact loan service was made available, which was quite a challenge for the team, who worked hard to prepare a multitude of personalized loan requests. The task included finding books for members who often had no specific titles in mind, and preparing long lists of books for large families, while making sure the books had not been borrowed previously. For an even better experience for new members who could not access the Library, the team set up displays featuring new books, games and suggestions at the entrance, for last minute additions to orders. During this time, a whopping 10,515 books were borrowed from the Library. We were very happy to see that the surprise changes made to the number of documents allowed for loan was greatly appreciated, as was the reopening of the service counter. 

It is important to mention that during the lockdown, a member of the Library staff was always available to answer member questions. Many people also became members during this time, taking advantage of the online services and digital resources.

In parallel, employees took inventory and streamlined collections based on criteria such as age, the need to update information and literary trends. And with the aim to improve efficiency and monitor requests, the team took advantage of the relative calm to make changes to procedures and to digitize certain forms.  

Various aspects of the digital resources were taken full advantage of: we familiarized ourselves with the digital tool Réponseatout.ca, which allows us to respond to various types of requests efficiently on the platform that powers the new online catalogue. We also took online training offered by, among others, Alphanumérique, Communications jeunesse and the Association des Bibliothèques Publiques du Québec (ABPQ). Users also had the chance to improve their digital literacy via webinars offered by Alphanumérique.  

Finally, since we could not welcome school groups to the Centre, the Accès-livres* program, a literary program tailored to the needs of our school partners, organized online activities. Some of the virtual activities included presentations by Prof Nomade, Sylvain et Lulu and Les mots s’animent, which were much enjoyed by students and teachers alike.  

The popular conference Le fameux pouce vert, by Marthe Laverdière and scheduled as an in-person event in May 2020, was finally presented virtually in May 2021. 

* “It was a wonderful activity, my students were glued to the screen. It was very well done, a moment of pure delight.” Nancy Breton, teacher, École de la Chanterelle.