The Tourist Shores of the New World: A historical love letter to the raftsmen that built North America
Four years of work gathering information across Canada, the United States, England and France and corresponding with eight different universities have led tothe creation of a breathtaking 38-page collection of educational stories, images and anecdotes of the 19th century raftsmen and logging trade based largely in Aylmer and Ottawa.
Written by Florentine de Cia with the help of A.B.C. Stratégies and the CREE’s publication axis, The Tourist Shores of the New World is a brilliantly informative and palatable dive into the “woodrush” which lead to the development of six major cities along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes as well as the subsequent birth of Ottawa as the nation’s capital.
The eighth book published in the Edurama collection, the book is filled with many prints of the world-renowned British artist, William Henry Bartlett, best known for his numerous engraved illustrations of Canada and the United States from 1836 to 1852. These gorgeous images can also be seen alongside reworks of the art done by contemporary craftsman and engraver Yves Baril.
A limited number of copies of the book has been printed with a select number of copies available online by contacting A.B.C. Stratégies via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Aylmer Bulletin’s office in the Galeries Aylmer.
A new museum in the works
In an interview with the Bulletin, Alexandre Pampalon, Project Manager at A.B.C. Stratégies, informed us that ABC Stratégies is currently in talks with both the city of Gatineau and the NCC in Ottawa for the inauguration of a set of museums on either side of the Zibi project.
The Philemon Wright National Fluvial Museum would seek to be a place of memory of the exploits accomplished by the raftsmen and log drivers, as well as the founding myths and legends of the Ottawa-Gatineau area which are attached to it, such as Jos Montferrand and Philemon Wright.
The Gatineau side of the Museum would focus mainly on the raftsmen, their stories and the cultural heritage they left behind. The pavillion would serve as a historical reference point for the logging industry’s importance on the area and various local myths and legends that surfaced from it. A location which is being heavily considered is the historical E. B. Eddy manufacturing building in Hull.
The Ottawa branch would in turn focus on the historical importance of the logging trade on the Crown’s perception of North America and its future development, leading to the birth of Bytown and the naming of Ottawa as the capital of the British colony that would one day become Canada.
According to documents provided by Mr Pampalon, the Ottawa Pavillion would present itself as one of Canada’s most prominent cultural complexes with the NCC promoting the construction of a great architecturally unique site in the heart of Lebreton Flats.
The name of world-renowned Canadian architect Frank Gehry and his works can be seen and mentioned multiple times in the 220-page document. Some of Gehry’s best-known work can be seen in the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
According to Mr Pampalon, a wing of the Ottawa museum would also be given to the Algonquin Anishinabeg people. This wing would be managed and curated in collaboration with members of their community, so as to best represent their historical perception of this period in time.
“The region has such a rich, but little-known history. What we would like to do is show people how important Ottawa, Aylmer and Gatineau have been in the grand scheme of things. The raftsmen were the country’s first businessmen, their work sense and drive were essential to convincing the British empire that the region was worth investing in.”
“Local history is so very important. Many great stories and heroes came from the raftsmen, stories that can make local people profess their pride for being from here. That’s what we want to cultivate through our Edurama books and ultimately our museums, a sense of unity between both shores and a feeling of belonging for the work we’ve done together in the past and can still do in the future,” expressed Mr Pampalon in his interview with the Bulletin.