Martin C. Barry
Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly was at the Laval Cosmodome on Jan. 22 where she announced to an audience including Laval’s mayor and local MPs and MNAs that Ottawa is allocating $2.7 million to support the relocation of the Armand Frappier Museum of biosciences to a new site near the Cosmodome where a new museum building will be built.
A winning combination
“The completion of this promising project will create a unique synergy between the Armand-Frappier Museum and the Cosmodome,” said Joly. “By combining their respective strengths, these two institutions will help the public learn and engage with the vast world of science. I hope that this collaboration will inspire other organizations to adopt similar innovative approaches to help facilitate increased access to culture.”
“The relocation of the Armand-Frappier Museum will result in room for more visitors and will help promote the Laval region at the provincial level,” said Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif. “This is an initiative that will bring benefits for citizens and visitors alike.”
Laval takes the lead, says Demers
“Laval is taking on a leadership role in cultural development for its strategic vision for 2035, which aims to transform the city into an urban centre,” said Mayor Marc Demers. “By promoting the development of a science centre right downtown, we are helping to enrich the provision of museums as well as science knowledge to residents of Laval and the entire region. This will add to the other large and active institutions already established on our territory.”
“Stakeholders in the Armand-Frappier Museum are delighted with this funding, which will allow the municipality to complete the required financial package to equip the Museum with new facilities,” said Armand Frappier Museum executive-director Guylaine Archambault.
From Museum to BioCentre
“We have been working enthusiastically for some time now to define this great project, which will see the museum converted into the Armand Frappier BioCentre,” she added. “We are convinced that these new facilities will provide an enhanced experience for our visitors, with the opportunity to explore the infinitely large at the Cosmodome, and the infinitely small at the BioCentre, all the while maintaining the human-scale educational approach that characterizes our institution.”
The mission of the Armand-Frappier Museum, which has until now been located in a house on des Prairies Blvd. on the site of the original Institut Armand-Frappier, is to facilitate the understanding of scientific issues related to life sciences and human health by offering educational activities to the general public. The Centre offers exhibitions, laboratory activities, guided tours, workshops, and science camps, as well as many other activities to its clients.
Projected 2020 completion
The project, slated to be completed in 2020, will involve the construction of a 1,224-square metre building next to the Cosmodome, as well the acquisition and installation of advanced and specialized museum equipment. The new building will house laboratories, exhibition halls, and a multi-purpose room. The lobby, ticket office, gift shop, and cloakroom spaces will be shared with the Cosmodome. The work will take place from January 2017 to May 2020.
The museum is named after Armand Frappier, who was a physician, microbiologist and expert on tuberculosis from Quebec. In 1938, Frappier founded the Institut de microbiologie et d’hygiène de Montréal, following the model of the Pasteur Institute in Paris and Connaught Laboratories of Toronto. Frappier, who died in 1991, served as the institute’s director for 38 years. It was renamed Institut Armand-Frappier in 1975.
He was instrumental in the fight against tuberculosis in Canada.