BECANCOUR. The general manager of Moulin Michel de Gentilly, Philippe Dumas, almost tricked himself when the provincial government in June 2021 announced the creation of Blue Spaces, that is, a network of cultural and cultural heritage sites with the aim of promoting the history and heroes of each region of Quebec. He saw it as a golden opportunity to ensure the sustainability of his business.
The description of the network hung surprisingly well on reality and on Møllen’s development plan. “The Espaces Bleus project used the same vocabulary as ours!” exclaims Philippe Dumas. We did in addition in. »
On its website, the government of Quebec describes Espaces bleus as a network that “will make it possible to preserve our built heritage” and ensure “the promotion and dissemination of our cultural heritage”. In its vision, “each of the blue spaces will include a permanent exhibition about the region, its inspiring personalities, its milestones and its distinctive elements that make it unique; a temporary exhibition; a multifunctional space dedicated to cultural and artistic communication; and a maddisk with local gastronomy products. »
However, Moulin Michel is approved as a museum institution and is working to create a permanent exhibition. It has a distribution point, and with its creperie, café and shop, it highlights local products. “We are like an embryo of Blue Space!”, Points out Mr Dumas, who also broadly emphasizes the fact that Moulin is “a piece of heritage in itself” and that “it needs funding to survive” .
Since there will only be one Blue Space per. region, the general manager of Moulin hopes to succeed in mobilizing the whole of Center-du-Québec to be established in Gentilly, on the site of Moulin Michel. “We have thought a lot and we find it logical. For example, we are the only listed mill in Center-du-Québec. We have a regional mission and we also excel at a national level, thanks in part to our events such as . Miller, you’re celebrating and Blues & Ginsof which a third of the participants come from outside, ”he argues.
Support has already been given to the Moulin Michel candidacy, in particular from the town of Bécancour, the owner of Moulin, and the MRC in Bécancour. Other support is on the way, Mr Dumas indicates: “I would not be surprised if other MRCs follow suit,” he says.
It is clear that nothing has been won yet. The project could very well be realized elsewhere in the region. Nevertheless, Philippe Dumas remains convinced that Moulin Michel is the ideal place to host a Blue Space: “An ecosystem is already in place here. We would not come to create a new player [dans l’industrie touristique et culturelle]but to consolidate one already in place ”.
Since the announcement of the creation of the network, the government has formalized three projects, in Quebec, Amos and Gaspé. The network is taking shape, though it is causing the official opposition to creep in and some museum directors, including Christian Marcotte from the Museum of World Cultures in Nicolet. We remember that in the days after the announcement he spoke in public. He said he understood the government’s desire to save cultural heritage buildings, but doubted the relevance of creating new museums there: “Why not consolidate those that already exist and need funding?”, He had specifically stated Duty.
By choosing Moulin Michel, Quebec would respond to this request, says Philippe Dumas, who is working on all fronts to convince organizations and officials of the relevance of this choice. He asks them to consider that the MRC in Bécancour is the only MRC in Center-du-Québec that does not have a professional dispatch center. He also makes them understand that with the arrival of the battery sector to Bécancour’s industrial and port park and the expansion of the future innovation zone, “we really need to develop an interesting living environment” on Bécancour’s territory. The establishment of a Blue Space in Gentilly is, according to him, entirely in line with this vision. “We are ready [à l’accueillir] “, Concludes Mr. Dumas.