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Preserving the collective memory

Tracing the link between the industrial and artistic legacy of Bruck Mills and its Art Centre, the Bruck Museum combines the preservation of both social and cultural heritage. A prestigious flagship for the development of Cowansville and the region, it also houses a tourist information office.

A cameraman films two elderly men looking at photographs placed on a table.

Filmed interview with Gerald H. Thomas, 2017

Reunion and archive gathering
In 2017, the Bruck Museum undertakes a major search for documents, artifacts and testimonials from former Bruck Mills workers in an effort to keep this precious collective memory alive. The initiative also aims to maintain the sense of pride and belonging of the French-speaking and English-speaking communities to a significant yet bygone era. Several interviews are conducted and a reunion with former plant employees is held. These meetings lay the groundwork for building an invaluable source of filmed interviews, documentation and archives for the indoor exhibition project.

Factory memories. Discover the video with the transcript (ENG). 

Black and white poster with photos of factory workers and title: Invitation to a reunion.

Poster announcing the former workers reunion, 2017

“There was a personnel and training department, there was a full-time nurse and a doctor who occasionally came in. There were all the trades, maintenance, electricians, mechanics. There was also tinsmithing, carpentry, plumbing, and even an industrial engineering department. And all was mainly done in English, especially with foremen and managers.”

– Martial Chartier, former employee and graduate of the Institut des textiles de Saint-Hyacinthe

An art and heritage museum
The Bruck Museum asserts its connection to the industrial heritage of Cowansville by taking inspiration from the artifact of the first yard of silk as the backdrop for its logo. Building on its industrial heritage in addition to its artistic vocation, the museum is developing a showcase for contemporary textile art. A series of thematic exhibitions related to textile heritage is added to the program, in view of the centenary of the opening of the Bruck Silk Mills factory in 1922.

Cultural hub and tourist attraction
Bolstered by its strong community values, the Bruck Museum enters the new decade as an important artistic venue and cultural hub for the region. Located in the heart of the Eastern Townships, halfway between Montréal and Sherbrooke, the Museum is also a popular tourist attraction for Canadians and visitors from the American East Coast, who share a connection with the history of the textile industry.

Color photo where elderly people are seated around several tables in the foreground and are talking. Other people are standing in the background talking in small groups in front of two windows and a screen.

Former Bruck Mills workers reunion at the Bruck Museum, 2017

Two elderly women sitting at a table are talking to each other.

Régina Lapointe and former colleague, 2017