In search of former workers of the Montreal Cotton Company and Dominion Textile


Photo courtesy Musée de société des Deux-Rives

In relation to its permanent exhibition MoCo: The Fabric of a Town, the Musée de Société des Deux-Rives (MUSO), located in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, is searching for former employees having worked for the Montreal Cotton Company and Dominion Textile, in order to invite them to join its “Alumni MoCo Club".

As a museum of history, art, and culture, the Musée de société des Deux-Rives has a mandate to create, through its activities, a sense of local, regional, and national pride and ownership, especially regarding industrial heritage. The MUSO aims to organize presentations, promote, educate, and popularize subject matter with cultural, historic, and artistic content. It undertakes the conservation and management of collections pertaining to local history, and plays an active role in the social development of our milieu, especially in museum-oriented projects of a social nature.

The Alumni MoCo Club

Last year, the museum has inaugurated its very first permanent exhibition, MoCo: The Fabric of a Town, which relates the implantation of this gigantic textile factory, the Montreal Cotton Company (later Dominion Textile), in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield at the end of the 1800s, describing the impacts that the latter has had upon its territory and on the people inhabiting the town in the course of time.

Thanks to the contribution of the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the MUSO has since then worked on the elaboration of a community of former MoCo workers. This project of museological social intervention aims to offer a cultural programing to its members, based on the sharing of memories and immaterial heritage, in order to restore a sense of pride towards a chapter of our local history that has scarcely received the attention it deserves.

Benefits for its members

While allowing them to increase their daily social contacts by providing them with a free access to the museum at all time, this project also allows its members, through various activities, to engage into intergenerational exchanges with younger individuals in relation to the immaterial and living heritage of this significant period, that has so profoundly marked the people of Valleyfield.

Not only are the members invited to participate in a variety of cultural activities in relation to their former job at the coton factory, they also benefit from a member card which provides them with a free access to the museum, its exhibitions and activities at all times. They are also invited to take part in the museum’s permanent exhibition as ambassadors of the Montreal Cotton Company, in order to meet the visitors and to discuss with them about their true lived experience as textile workers in one of the biggest coton industries Canada has known to this day. A very interesting way to bring to life to this major exhibition, and to allow younger generations to discover the working and living conditions that their ancestor have gone through.

Since its creation in summer 2014, the Alumni MoCo Club now counts more than 100 active members and keeps on growing on a daily basis. Now that it is well established within its own territory, the MUSO would like to expand the club and attempt to reach former coton workers that now live outside the area of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, either because they have moved, or because they have later worked for other Dominion Textile industries present at the time in the province, such as Montreal, Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Magog, Trois-Rivières, Shawinigan and Montmorency. Therefore, the museums team would like to solicit the public's collaboration by sharing this information with their entourage, either friends, family, colleagues, or members of an association they may be part of, in order to reach as many people as possible.

About the exhibition MoCo: The Fabric of a Town

MoCo: The Fabric of a Town is an exhibition woven by various stories that mix and link together. Through approximately fifty testimonials, hundreds of photographs and significant artefacts, this exhibition allows you to discover the history of Canadian industrialisation at the beginning of the 20th century.

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield was born from the industry, and industries are, again today, strongly present within the region. The reasons that have led to the creation of the MoCo, slightly more than 130 years ago, still remain the same today for industries that wish to establish themselves on its territory. While the Montreal Cotton Company has certainly not been the first industry on the banks of the Baie Saint-Francois, it surely has been one of the most prominent and has profoundly marked its urban and social landscape. This story is the story of the people of Valleyfield, but also that of various other regions that have seen their history changed in the shadow of a big factory. A major exhibition that must not be missed!

For more information about the Alumni MoCo Club, please contact Sabrina Tardif, project manager, at 450-370-4855 (224), write to us at communication@lemuso.com or visit our web site at www.lemuso.com.

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