1955: Founding of the Société historique, généalogique et littéraire acadienne de l’Île-Prince-Édouard (The Acadian Historical, Genealogical, and Literary Society of Prince Edward Island), which was renamed the Société historique acadienne de l’Î.-P.-É. (the Acadian Historical Society of PEI). Mr. Justice Sylvère DesRoches was elected President and Jérémie Pineau Secretary. From the very first meeting, the importance of having an Acadian Museum on Prince Edward Island was discussed. Father Jean-François Buote was appointed to chair a committee to address the issue.

The DesRoches Family. Three members of this Acadian family from Miscouche played an important role in the creation of the Acadian Museum. They are: Antoinette, Sylvère, and Ben. In this photo taken circa 1960, their mother Obéline DesRoches is posing with four of her six children. Sitting (l. to r.): Sister Antoinette DesRoches (1898-1994), Obéline DesRoches (1872-1979), Justice Sylvère DesRoches (1894-1975). Standing: Ben DesRoches (1904-1989) and Michel (Mick) DesRoches.(1902-1977). (Source: Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. - Sister Antoinette DesRoches Fonds)
The DesRoches family

1960: Sister Antoinette DesRoches became President of the Acadian Historical Society of Prince Edward Island­. During her term, the Society began to collect historical objects, photos, manuscripts, and print documents in anticipation of eventually opening an Acadian Museum.

1962: During a meeting of the Acadian Historical Society of Prince Edward Island, it was stated that an Acadian Museum should be located in Miscouche and that efforts should be made to obtain the Malpeque bell.

Memoires

1963: On October 17, Sister Antoinette DesRoches presented a brief to a study group on resource development, directed by provincial researcher Hartwell Daley, when it visited Miscouche. She emphasized the importance of building an Acadian Museum in Miscouche. She said that for several years the sisters in the convent and their friends had been collecting old objects in the hope that a suitable building would eventually become available to preserve these memories of the past. She asked for a government grant to help build the museum.

Dr. J. Aubin Doiron (1922-1995). A native of North Rustico, he opened a dental practice in Summerside in 1951. He was the president of the Association of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island from 1964 to 1980. That year he was named Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. (Source: Georges Arsenault)
Dr. J. Aubin Doiron

1964: On January 26, founding meeting of the Association of the Acadian Museum called by Sister Antoinette DesRoches, President of the Acadian Historical Society of Prince Edward Island. Dr. J. Aubin Doiron was elected President and Sister Antoinette DesRoches, Secretary-Treasurer.

Honourable Henry Wedge (1908-1972). This Acadian from Summerside, former mayor of the town, was a member of Premier Walter Shaw’s cabinet in 1964. He was present at the founding meeting of the Association of the Acadian Museum. As a member of the finance committee, he played an important role in obtaining funds for the building of the Museum.
Henry Wedge

1964: The Association of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island was incorporated on March 24, further to the adoption of a bill in the PEI Legislative Assembly proposed by the Honourable Henry Wedge.

Miscouche Carpenters Building the Acadian Museum, 1964. From left to right: Peter DesRoches, Agape DesRoches, Tilmon S. DesRoches (head carpenter), Gus DesRoches, Anthony Gaudet, and Lionel DesRoches. (Source: Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. Collection).
Museum carpenters

1964: In the spring, the Acadian Museum was built out of logs under the direction of a building committee made up of Tilmon S. DesRoches, Ben DesRoches and Alfred Gaudet.

Official Opening of the Acadian Museum. The Honourable Walter Shaw, Premier of Prince Edward Island, cutting the ribbon under the watchful eye of Dr. J. Aubin Doiron, President of the Association of the Acadian Museum, on August 25, 1964. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Official opening

1964: Premier Walter Shaw officially opened the Acadian Museum on August 25.

1972: The Acadian Museum was expanded, including construction of a fire-proof vault to store a large number of artifacts.

Sister Antoinette DesRoches, C.N.D. First director of the Acadian Museum, position she held on a volunteer basis from 1964 to 1978. She was photographed in 1966 sitting in front of the Acadian Museum’s fake fireplace built in 1964. (Source: Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. - Sister Antoinette DesRoches Fonds)
Sister DesRoches

1978: Sister Antoinette DesRoches, Director of the Acadian Museum for fourteen years, resigned. Sister Marguerite Richard replaced her and held the post for seven years. It is due to the generosity of their order, the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, that these two nuns were able to devote themselves to directing the Museum on a volunteer basis.

Sister Marguerite Richard (1925-1987). The Acadian Museum’s second director, she held the position on a volunteer basis from 1978 to 1985. On behalf of the Association of the Acadian Museum of P. E. I., the president J. Edmond Arsenault presented her with a going-away gift. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Sister Marguerite Richard

1979: Launch of a project, under the direction of Sister Marguerite Richard, to produce a catalogue of genealogical index cards from the registers of Prince Edward Island’s parishes with large Acadian populations.

. Edmond Arsenault (1915-1994). He was a committed volunteer from the Acadian community. It was under his presidency that the Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. was created and that the new Acadian Museum was built in 1990-1991.  (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
J. Edmond Arsenault

1982: J. Edmond Arsenault became President of the Association of the Acadian Museum of PEI. He played a leading role in the Museum’s development until his death in 1994.

(Source : La Voix acadienne,  March 2, 1983)
Article from La Voix acadienne

1983: Start of a project to catalog the Acadian Museum’s artifact collection following recognized museology standards.

:The Lord Report. Prepared by museum consultants Barry Lord and Gail Dexter Lord in 1984, the Lord Report contained 126 recommendations, including the building of a new museum.
The Lord Raport

1984: Publication of the Lord Report, a planning study for the Acadian Museum. Its 126 recommendations included the construction of a new building to house the Acadian Museum.

1985: Creation of the Acadian Research Centre of Prince Edward Island, located at the Acadian Museum, with Georges Arsenault as its part-time Director.

Murielle Arsenault. She was the Acadian Museum’s director in 1986-1987. It was under her direction that the first thematic permanent exhibition was created. (Source: Georges Arsenault)
Murielle Arsenault

1986: Murielle Arsenault became the Acadian Museum’s first paid Director.

Permanent Exhibition, 1986. Designed by Reg Porter from the P.E.I. Heritage Foundation and historian Georges Arsenault, the exhibition was made up of several sections including this one on religious life. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Permanent exhibition

1986: The interior of the Acadian Museum was reorganized to set up a first permanent themed exhibition: “The Acadians of Prince Edward Island from 1720 to the present.”

1987: Start of a project to catalog the Acadian Research Centre’s archives following accepted archival standards.

(Source: La Voix acadienne, July 1987)
Article from La Voix acadienne

1987: Funding campaign launched and trust fund created by the Association of the Acadian Museum of PEI.

Cécile Gallant and Angèle Barriault, 1992. In 2014, these two permanent employees already had been at the service of the Acadian Museum for 26 years. (Source: Georges Arsenault)
Cécile Gallant and Angèle Barriault

1988: First operating grant obtained under the General Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages between the federal and provincial governments. This grant allowed the hiring of a Director (Cécile Gallant) and an Administrative Assistant (Angèle Barriault). The Acadian Museum began to be opened all year round.

Building the New Acadian Museum, 1991. The Charlottetown firm Gillis + Guimond Architects Inc. designed the new Museum, while the building contract was given to Star Construction Ltd. of Summerside. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Museum under construction

1990: On October 3, construction started on the new Acadian Museum after funding was obtained under a federal-provincial agreement.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Léonce Bernard, former Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, cutting the ribbon at the official opening of the new Acadian Museum, assisted by Dr. J. Aubin Doiron, founding President of the Acadian Museum Association (1964), and J. Edmond Arsenault, acting President. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Ribbon cutting

1992: On April 24,  Léonce Bernard, former Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, officially opened the new Acadian Museum.

Permanent Exhibition at the Acadian Museum of P.E.I. opened in 1992. (Source: Acadian Museum of P.E.I.)
Permanent exhibition

1992: On April 24, the official opening of the new Acadian Museum included the inauguration of the permanent exhibition entitled “The Island Acadians: The Story of a People”.

Signing of the Agreement. On February 20,1996 was held the signing ceremony  making the Acadian Museum one of the sites of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation. From left to right: Paul H. Schurman, Past President of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation; Gordon MacInnis, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for Culture and Heritage; and Wilfred Arsenault, President of the Association of the Acadian Museum of P.E.I. (Source: La Voix acadienne)
Signing the agreement

1996: On April 1, the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island became one of the seven sites of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation.

1996: Launch of the video The Island’s Acadie, produced by the Acadian Museum, to introduce visitors to the history of the Acadians of Prince Edward Island. That same year, the video was awarded the Heritage Canada Foundation’s Award of Excellence.

1998: Launch of the Acadian Museum’s first website, created by Edwige Nicolas. The site was redone in 2011 by Riel Gallant. Link: museeacadien.org/an/

Tribute to Sister Antoinette DesRoches. On February 18, 2001, the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee held a celebration at the Acadian Museum in memory of Sister Antoinette DesRoches. From l. to r.: Sister Patricia Arsenault, Sylvia Poirier, Paul DesRoches, Cyrus Gallant, and David Le Gallant. (Source: Georges Arsenault)
Hommage to Sister DesRoches

2000: On January 16, creation of the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee, a sub-committee of the Association of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island, with the following objectives: to promote, research, and disseminate Acadian history, as well as protect Acadian heritage”. David Le Gallant became its first President.

Jean Bernard. Director and archivist of the Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. from 2003 to 2007. He is seen here in the vault where a great number of documents pertaining to the Acadian community of P.E.I. are preserved. (Source: Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I.)
Jean Bernard

2003: Full-time Director-Archivist position created for the Acadian Research Centre of Prince Edward Island. Jean Bernard was the first to hold this position. He created a genealogical database of the Acadian families of Prince Edward Island.

Unveiling of Claude Picard’s Paintings, 2005. Artist Claude Picard and David Le Gallant, President of the Association of the Acadian Museum of P.E.I., standing in front of one of the six paintings. (Source: La Voix acadienne)
Claude Picard and David Le Gallant

2005: On September 10, six large historical paintings by artist Claude Picard were unveiled. These were commissioned by the Association of the Acadian Museum of PEI.They tell the story of the Acadian national symbols (1881-2001) Link: museeacadien.org/an/exhibitions/galerie-claude-picard

Unveiling of the Replica of the Original Acadian Flag, 2009. Holding the flag (l. to r.): Béatrice Caillié, Director of La Belle-Alliance, Cécile Gallant, Director of the Acadian Museum, and Cécile Arsenault, Cultural Affairs Officer for the provincial government’s Community Cultural Partnership Program which contributed funds for the project. The replica has been installed in the main entrance of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island. (Source: La Voix acadienne)
Unveiling of the replica

2009: On July 14, a replica of the original Acadian flag was unveiled to mark the 125th anniversary of the adoption of this national symbol at the National Acadian Convention held in Miscouche in 1884. The project was carried out in collaboration with the regional committee La Belle-Alliance.

2014: Inauguration of a major exhibition on the archeological digs at Pointe-aux-Vieux, an 18th century Acadian site on the shores of Malpeque Bay. It was the 70th temporary exhibition presented on the premises of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island since the new building opened to visitors in the summer of 1991.

2014: The Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island celebrated its 50th anniversary.

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