The mission of this recently designated national historic site of Canada includes the interpretation of the life and political career of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911, and the authentic restoration of Sir Wilfid Laurier's former home in Arthabaska (now part of Victoriaville). The mission also includes the interpretation of political history in Canada and Quebec, support for the cultural life of Quebec, and the promotion and enrichment of heritage.
a) Wilfrid Laurier House (1876), National Historic Site. This house was Laurier's principal home until his election as Prime Minister in 1896, and his summer home until his death in 1919. The Laurier Archives are currently in development. Artifacts and furnishings testify to Laurier's life and times, and to his legal and political careers. As well, temporary exhibitions are devoted to political themes.
b) Grange Fleury (children's theatre -- summer only). Adjacent to Laurier House.
c) Maison Fleury. Adjacent to Laurier House.
d) On site: Picnic tables.
e) Pavillon Hôtel des Postes (1910). Also operated by the Laurier Museum, this former post office, built in the Second Empire style, and the last "gift" of the Prime Minister to his town, houses an art museum, with four floors of rotating exhibitions from the Museum's art collection.
Collections number 4,000 objects, not including the archives pertaining to Laurier and his wife Zoé that are deposited at the Archives nationales du Québec, in Quebec City. The Wilfrid Laurier House Collection includes Victorian furniture, artifacts that had once belonged to the Lauriers, photographs, 17th and 18th century Quebec furniture, and other artifacts. The Hôtel des Postes Collection of visual arts (early 20th century as well as contemporary art) includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and engravings. Canadian artists comprise 99% of the collection, Europeans 1%. Artists represented include: Suzor Coté, Alfred Laliberté, Philippe Hébert, and many others.
Guided tours (with guides or animators - "Lady Laurier"). Annual picnic, with concert (June 24). Conferences on art history, political history, stamps, etc. Educational programming, including workshops for children. Special thematic exhibitions. Participant in the Rallye culture au pays de Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a tour of heritage sites in the region. "Fêtes victoriennes" takes place every Labour Day, and includes street theatre performances by 125 actors in period costume.
La Feuille de Laurier (Bulletin, published four times a year; mailed free to members).
Catalogues, art publications, etc. (please inquire for complete list and prices).
Maison Wilfrid Laurier,
16, rue Laurier Ouest, Victoriaville, QC, G6P 6P3.