The historical development of the Outaouais has often found its origin in the Pontiac. It is within the Pontiac where the oldest traces of human artefacts were discovered, shortly after the retreat of the Champlain Sea. Archaeological discoveries found on Morrison Island revealed that the river in the Pontiac had become “the copper route”, starting from the Great Lakes and leading up to Eastern Quebec.
Afterwards, the “fur trade routes” took over the commercial exchange before being replaced centuries later by the log drive. These industries allowed the Europeans to slowly transform the shorelines as we see it today, along the river and all the MRC in order to meet their business and industrial needs. Today we can trace the historical development of the Pontiac by visiting these historical sites that can be found throughout the territory: trading posts, train stations, houses, covered bridges… Many take advantage of and promote the history and heritage of the MRC, such as Bryson House, the Shawville Train Station, and the Pontiac Archives where you can find the “key to the past” at the genealogy centre.
Today the Pontiac is equipped with a network of infrastructures that allows its population to take advantage of diverse cultural activities: There are no less than 10 libraries (Bristol, Shawville, Bryson, Campbell’s Bay, Grand-Calumet Otter Lake, Alleyn-et-Cawood, Fort-Coulonge, Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Isle-aux-Allumettes) serving 11 of the 18 municipalities of the Pontiac. Nine of which are affiliated with the Réseau Biblio de l’Outaouais, where you will find all the necessary information (office hours, address...).
The “Cinema Lyn”, situated in Fort-Coulonge, encourages you to come out between June and September and watch an array of on-screen action, fiction and animated movies. For visual arts amateurs, The Pontiac Artists’ Association invites you to take art courses and to visit the exhibits in the old stone school in Portage-du-Fort. During the month of June and for the last twenty years, the Artists’ Tour takes you throughout the Pontiac to discover the diverse workshops of participating artists.
Finally, live entertainment shows are presented to the public in various locations in the Pontiac, such as churches, the dance scene “The Barn” or in school auditoriums of Pontiac High School in Shawville and École secondaire Sieur de Coulonge in Mansfield-et-Pontefract. The live entertainment shows are presented by the students as well as local organizations such as the “Corriveau School of Dance”, the “Cabaret Pontiac”, as well as the Pontiac Community Players.
Since 2009, the Pontiac CLD has used the Sieur de Coulonge auditorium and invites professional artists such as Sir Pathétik, Maxim Martin and BAM Percussion… Show schedules, as well as other events given in the Pontiac are now available at www.mrcpontiac.qc.ca