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One Hundred Years Without Dropping a Stitch: The Cercle de Fermières Saint-Eustache

Who are the Fermières (farm women) from Saint-Eustache? Based on their name, you might wonder if they are women farmers growing carrots, potatoes or broccoli. But actually, today what the group’s members cultivate isn’t the soil but traditional crafts. The Cercle de Fermières du Québec were founded in 1915, and in their early years, a large proportion of members were women from farming communities. Today, less than 2% of members are farmers. The Fermières are women of all ages who get together to practice, preserve and pass on a rich heritage of crafts, and to get involved in their communities. They still maintain their predecessors’ wide range of skills, eagerness to share, and dedication.

In 2020, the Cercle de Fermières Saint-Eustache turned 100. Through the eyes of Alice, a young Fermière, we invite you to discover the changes this organization has seen over the years, the kinds of activities its members engage in, their supported of one another, and their contributions to the surrounding community. Through the many personal stories they share, you’ll meet accomplished craftswomen who are passionate about what they do.

We would like to dedicate this exhibition to the former President of the Cercle de Fermières Saint-Eustache, Normande Gaudreault, who passed away in June 2020. She believed it was essential to highlight the contributions made by all the women who went before her. She considered them to be builders. Today, it is our turn to pay tribute to her, a devoted member of the Cercle for 50 years.

This exhibition was produced by Patrimoine Culturel Vieux-Saint-Eustache in collaboration with the Cercle de Fermières Saint-Eustache.

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