18th Century Public Market

A trip back to the heart of Montréal’s first public market!

Over the course of a weekend, take a trip back in time to find yourself in the company of farmers, craftspeople, and entertainers as they existed in 1750, at the time of Montréal’s very first public marketplace. A not-to-be-missed event in Old Montréal, Pointe-à-Callière’s 18th Century Public Market is a unique experience, a festive marketplace that retains its agricultural role while offering an array of historical activities and presentations in an atmosphere unique to New France.

Discerning gourmets will be delighted to taste authentic 18th-century products and goods: wild fruit jams and jellies, maple products, cheeses, sausages, cider, and even spruce beer.

Along with storytellers, musicians, and artisans, the Public Market is host to plenty of other activities involving some one hundred figures enthusiastically re-enacting period scenes. A military regiment and a native encampment will also be part of the festivities. The Public Market also gives children the opportunity to dress up, discover French games from the era, and play soldier by taking part in a parade.

Pointe-à-Callière takes on the ambience of a marketplace in New France for its popular Pointe-à-Callière’s Public Market, which takes place free of charge in Old Montréal, in the area around the Museum. The event offers visitors a chance to travel back in time to the days of New France: merchants, entertainers, craftspeople, farmers, and Natives—all in period costume—will meet at the marketplace, all around Place Royale, to joyfully liven up the site.

The Public Market has been one of the Museum’s main events for the past 21 years now. In a family-friendly atmosphere, Pointe-à-Callière is transformed into an entertaining and educational hub of historical activity. The Public Market now draws a new generation of parents who had visited the site as children in earlier years, when their own parents took them to the event! Proof that the celebration resonates with all of our audiences!

A European tradition
Pointe-à-Callière recreates the marketplace on the very site where it stood during the French regime. At the time, the market was held twice weekly, and—in keeping with European tradition—the marketplace was the city’s main public square. That was where the bailiff would read out decrees, and where peasants, merchants, innkeepers, workers, travellers, soldiers, sailors, noblemen, middle-class citizens, and civil servants mingled to buy and sell, while discussing the news of the day and the latest gossip… Strolling musicians, street entertainers, and craftspeople also were on hand to make market day truly delightful!

New this year: Animals at the Market
The Public Market’s contemporary zone will be hosting a farm. Children will be able to see donkeys, pigs, sheep, hens, turkeys, roosters… and more!

Two days of activity—as it all happened in the days of New France
In addition to musicians and craftspeople, the Public Market will also be host to plenty of other activities involving some one hundred figures enthusiastically re-enacting period scenes. A military regiment and a native encampment will also be part of the festivities. One of the few craftspeople to still know how to lace snowshoes in the Abenaki style will demonstrate the technique.

Several Public Market activities are geared to children, who will have a chance to dress up in the styles of New France, or to dress wooden dolls in authentic New France clothing. Two new Amerindian games will be played this year: the Medicine Wheel and Lacrosse.

On August 23 and 24, Pointe-à-Callière visitors will get a 20% discount. All Museum Shop purchases will be 10% off on these same two days.

Saturday, August 23, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information: pacmusee.qc.ca  514-872-9150

Photo: Historian Jacques Lacoursière at the 18th Century Public Market
Marc-Antoine Zouéki – zoueki.com