Date : 2016
Source : Espace Temps-Libre
This video, filmed in December 2015 inside Manoir Fraser, features three people who were involved in the project for many years. In order of appearance, they are Francine Lagacé, Philippe Lagacé, and Denise Laforest. Here, they explain how they furnished and decorated the manor, the choices they had to make, and the vision they sought to convey once it was open to visitors. Each in turn expresses pride in the work that was accomplished and satisfaction in the preservation of the heritage that Manoir Fraser represents for Rivière-du-Loup.
In the video, we catch glimpses of work on the manor such as the stripping of the walls and the wallpapering of the drawing room.
Francine Lagacé: I told myself that this manor should bring history to life and be a living thing. I didn’t want people to come into a dusty, boring place out of the past. So our guides have been young people, students, and we’ve tried to recreate life as it was lived and the lifestyle of the residents at that time.
We did it all in one shot! We charged ahead, and little by little, the family came forward, saying: “Oh, I have this, and he has that.” One thing led to another, and finally, it all came together, like gears meshing. We were involved physically as well. I found curtains in a shed outside; I washed them and sewed them. And finally, the wallpaper: it’s a Victorian pattern, and Philippe, my husband, Madame Bérubé, and I spent the weekends papering the walls. [Laughter] That was also a very physical effort.
Philippe Lagacé: I’m very proud of the work we did. We wanted to recreate the seigneur’s residence, but also the time when the manor was occupied by English-speaking people, which wasn’t so easy because some people in Rivière-du-Loup don’t appreciate that aspect. They’d ask “Why English people?” First of all, they weren’t actually English, they were Scottish. And finally, that was the manor’s history.
Denise Laforest: I’d like young people to remember the origins of the town, too. I’ve always been fascinated by that history, which I’ve had an opportunity to know better. And I’d like our young people to continue in this direction. When we talk with them, I’m pleasantly surprised that they have that interest too, but it’s up to us to make our history better known.
F. L.: I’m proud that it is continuing. Also, I have the impression of being at home, because people have asked me “Do you sleep at the manor? Do you live in the manor?” [Laughter] Because I spend so much time here! But it’s important that all this remains, and not only the physical decor, but for the town of Rivière-du-Loup. I think when people travel a bit, they’re interested in history, and we have a wonderful history! The manor holds love stories! It holds life stories; it was full of children. What we’d like is that people continue to claim the manor as their own, because it belongs to them.
P. L.: I was afraid it would fall apart when I left, but now I can see that things are going well.