summer kickoff ed notes

Hello to our community!

This is the first time writing a note to you as ED of Heritage, and my aim is to give you a sense of what my team and I have been up to lately.

Many of you have probably heard the news: HLSL is officially the proud owner of the Café sur Mer building at 160 rue Principale in Métis-sur-Mer! This strategic move will create a community hub by housing the HLSL offices and creating a “Third Space” for both the English-speaking and Francophone residents—permanent and seasonal—to come together, share experiences, and foster mutual understanding, collaboration, and community spirit. It is a project that nicely dovetails with the work of Heritage over the past two decades to build community, contribute to the local economy, encourage youth and celebrate heritage.

Entrepreneurs Jessy-Anthony Mallette and Daphne Brunet are hard at work cleaning, preparing menus, and adding their personal touch with the aim to open the café towards the end of this month! I’m so ready to sit back and enjoy a coffee in our new space!  Another bonus: the café will stay open year-round, supported by HLSL programming and special events while providing an open work space environment. Our offices will move into the space in the fall.

We are launching a fundraising campaign to renovate this historic building. We encourage the community to get behind this project and carry on the legacy initiated by Janis Gillan and carried on by Michael Astle.

Our team will continue managing the HLSL Metis-sur-Mer Resource Centre & Library and will be canvassing the community for volunteers to help run the bilingual library. Your chance to step up to the plate!

And there is good news on the Leggatt’s Point file. The Municipalité de Grand-Métis has announced that the citation process to protect the heritage value of the Leggatt’s Point Presbyterian Church, Manse and cemetery is expected to be completed by mid-July. Unlike “classement” (government of Québec designation), citation is a municipal process that imposes fewer restrictions while still offering protection for the building and guiding the restoration and repair work. We at HLSL stand for preserving our history, and protecting common spaces, such as the Leggatt’s Point Church, which have meaning for our community.

HLSL and the Municipalité de Grand-Métis are organising a volunteer day in June to clear dead trees and branches from the forest next to the Manse, reducing the risk of forest fires. Interested volunteers can contact info@heritagelsl.ca to participate. Several community members are already on standby.

The timing of the above events are wonderful as the community prepares for the 140th anniversary of the Leggatt’s Point Presbyterian Church. HLSL is planning activities, including a talk by Alexander Reford on the building’s architect, Reverend Thomas Fenwick and a presentation by archeologists Manon Savard and Nicholas Beaudry on their archeological dig of the original manse. HLSL has extended an invitation to Reverend Dr. Nigel Parker of the St, Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Sherbrooke to preside over an anniversary celebration.

I’m glad to be leading HLSL during these times of change and growth! There are big steps ahead, but there are also lots of occasions for celebration and community involvement. I hope to see you over the course of the summer at the Café sur Mer or elsewhere in our beautiful region.

In community spirit,

Susan Woodfine