Stewart Hall Directors
History of Stewart Hall
and Reference Room
and Activities - Cultural Centre and Ref. Room
and Activities - Art Gallery
Stewart Hall Directors
of the Cultural Centre, Micheline Bélanger first
became acquainted with Stewart Hall as a musicology student
and later became the Cultural workshops Coordinator. Since the
year 2000, she has served as the Cultural Centre as Director.
She believes that culture contributes to the development and
wellbeing of individuals. All it takes is the proud glance of
a child after his recital or the smile of spectators after a
concert to realize the benefits and moments of joy that cultural
activities can bring. With her team and the help of the Friends,
she hopes to continue to enhance the cultural life of the community.
of the Art Gallery, Joyce Millar is a well-established
art historian and art consultant. As a writer, lecturer and
curator, she now challenges our senses by organizing intelligent
and diverse art exhibitions. She is a strong believer that art
nourishes the soul and has the power of transforming lives,
for art is a great communicator and transcends cultures and
generations. In her eyes, the Gallery is of prime importance
as an exhibition space on the West Island and Joyce is looking
forward to working with the Friends of Stewart Hall on special
SHORT HISTORY OF THE CULTURAL CENTRE
the end of the 17th century, the Fathers of Saint-Sulpice, then
owners of the Island of Montreal, divided the west end of the
island into parcels of land. The site's initial concessions
were first granted to Jean Boileau dit Larivière, for
lot 161, and François Guimot dit Lalonde, for lot 162.
KNOLL (1891 - 1915)
land was subsequently divided and parcels of lot 160 were
acquired primarily by the members of the Legault family and
redistributed between 1885 and 1891 as a single property, bought
in 1891 by Thomas Crane of Crane & Baird Grain Exporters.
Thomas Crane built an imposing wooden country house which he
called "The Knoll", on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis,
later starting a farming operation north of Lakeshore Road. In
1901, the Crane's grain exporting business more and more
required the family’s presence in Toronto and western Canada.
As a result, the property and the farm were sold to Hugh Andrew
Allan while part of the farm was reserved for a tree farm, the
Pointe-Claire Nursery. The Knoll thus became the summer
residence of the Allan family. Occasionally, the Allans were
"in residence" for splendid summer weekends during
which they entertained the social elite of Montreal. By 1910,
the Allan enterprises were in difficulty, and the family had to
let go of their summer residence. Allan went on to reorganize
the family business under the name Allan Line Steamship Co.
HALL (1915 - 1958)
the sale in 1911, the property's new owner, Charles Wesley
MacLean, reassembled the original parcels of land. A model farm
was set up at extravagant costs. In 1915, General MacLean
demolished the house and built a new one, more suited to his
social standing. Through his first marriage to the daughter of
Senator Fulford, he became the heir to Fulford Place, the family
home in Brockville. MacLean ordered a larger but less ornamented
copy of the house from the architect Robert
Findlay who has resided in Canada since. Between 1890 and
1930, he designed some thirty houses for the Montreal elite
along the Golden Mile and in Westmount. Mull Hall was completed
in 1916. Its name commemorated the ancestral home of the MacLean
clan on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
of thirty-five rooms, the mansion has a symmetrical design,
differing only with the entrance portico adorned with columns.
An extensive veranda girths the other sides and overlooks the
lake, maintaining the same formal tone. The exterior walls are
made of rustic limestone blocks purchased from local quarries.
The hip roof was originally covered with cedar shingles, long
since replaced with sheets of ridged copper leaves. The building,
with its decorative hand-curved interior woodwork, stood high
above the river, reminiscent of seigniorial manors.
1940, the Fathers of Sainte-Croix acquired the property for
a nominal sum and used the Hall for a novitiate, also continuing
the farm. For eighteen years, the Fathers supported themselves
by cultivating the farm while training several generations of
lay brothers, missionaries and priests. However as they experienced
financial burdens, their ability to support themselves continued
to decrease and in 1958, "Les Pères de Sainte-Croix"
was forced to sell the property to a real estate developer.
The mansion stood empty throughout the winter, while plans were
being drawn up for a high-rise apartment building. At the very
last moment, the mansion and the four acre plot of land on which
it stood were spared and purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Walter
and Beatrice Stewart who donated the building to the City of
Pointe-Claire for $1.
HALL (since 1958)
Numerous interested groups presented proposals to the City,
outlining possible uses for the newly acquired mansion. A
planning committee was then formed and the proposal by Mrs.
"Vi" Duncanson that the mansion become a cultural
centre was accepted by all. Restoration of the building was
entrusted to the architect Guy Gérin-Lajoie. Thanks to his
talents, the mansion has retained the character and ambiance of
its original style while becoming functional. The official
opening of the Pointe-Claire Cultural Centre Stewart Hall was
held on February 16, 1963.
Stewart Hall Art Gallery is located on the third floor of the
Cultural Centre and the second floor houses the Art Rental Sales
and Service and the Reading and Reference Room.
opening its doors to the public, Stewart Hall has gained an
excellent reputation for its high standards, its exceptional
cultural programs and its innovative art exhibitions. For Pointe-Claire
residents, Stewart Hall Cultural Centre is synonymous with serenity,
beauty and culture.
THE STEWART HALL CULTURAL CENTRE
cultural centre (concert hall, meeting place, classrooms,
Reading and Reference Room as well as the Kid’s Corner
Art Gallery and the Art Sales and Rental department
Annex: The Noël-Legault Community Centre where numerous
cultural workshops take place and many associations meet.
year, we present roughly 60 professional, high quality events
which you are cordially invited to attend in warm and welcoming
The Sunday Rendez-Vous: Sundays at 3:00 p.m., we offer various
types of concerts: classical, world music, jazz, songs, vocals,
or shows for younger audiences. Passes are required and are
available two weeks prior to the event at the Cultural Centre
(three weeks in advance for the members of The Friends of
The Grand Concert Series: We offer major classical concerts
at Saint-Joachim church. Single or season tickets are available
at the Cultural Centre.
Troubadour Theatre: Theatre for young audiences offered in
cooperation with Beaconsfield and Dorval. The shows played
in Pointe-Claire are presented at the John Rennie High School
Theatre. Tickets are available at the Cultural Centre or at
the Beaconsfield and Dorval offices.
Summer Evenings in the Park Festival: Magical evenings in
our magnificent park! We offer classical concerts, world music,
jazz, blues, and shows for the family. Free.
An interactive science exhibition for the whole family presented
for the past 20 years, in cooperation with Concordia University.
des Artisans (our Craft Fair):
The perfect place to find original gifts for your loved ones
just before Christmas.
An event held mostly outside, for the entire family. Different
ethnic cultures are presented each year: the dances, music, art
and customs of different countries. The last weekend in May.
de la culture (Culture Days):
We participate, each year since its inception, in this
provincial event aiming to promote activities encouraging closer
ties between the greater public and Quebec artists.
Cultural Centre offers a programme of more than 200 workshops
for all ages (from babies to golden-agers!) and in all
categories: music, visual arts, science, dance, arts and craft,
sculpture, photography, bridge, cooking, languages, life arts,
Ikebana, wine tasting, violin, flute, classical ballet, the
Artists Study Group… and many new workshops are offered each
Learning through Play: our Cultural Preschool
offer a bilingual preschool programme: Learning through Play,
for 3 1/2 to 5 year olds. Emphasis is placed on music, visual
arts, dance, drama. Our children are pampered: they benefit
from the Kid’s Corner, exhibitions for youth and the books in
the Reading and Reference Room, as well as guided tours of the
Art Gallery’s exhibitions offered by the expert educator on
duty at the Gallery.
Mornings and Cultural Day Camp – During the Summer!
also offer summer day camps especially designed for children
4 and 5 years old (Creative Mornings), and for young people
aged 6 to 11 (Cultural Day Camp) where children do theatre,
make music, explore the visual arts, and dance. Each week, the
children prepare a show with a multidisciplinary theme.
Stewart Hall Seniors
The Claycrafters, pottery studio
The Lakeshore Weavers Guild
The Lakeshore Camera Club
The Stewart Hall Singers
The Friends of Stewart Hall
The Pointe-Claire Golden Age Artists
The Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild
Les Amis du Vieux Moulin (friends of the old mill)
and many others…
History & Mandate
Stewart Hall Art Gallery was founded in 1963. Over the past 43 years, the Gallery has earned a reputation as a major exhibition space for regional, national and international exhibitions.
The mandate of the Gallery is to present exhibitions of art by professional artists from Quebec, Canada and international locations.
The Gallery is recognized as a museum/gallery by the Canadian Museums Association, the Société des musées québecoise and the Société des directeurs des musées montréalais.
The Gallery is open seven days a week, except for Saturdays in the summer, and is attended by a group of over 50, very dedicated volunteers during the week, and students on the weekends.
Gallery Attendance & Profile
The Gallery consistently receives over 10,000 visitors a year with attendance at each Vernissage averaging between 200 and 350 people.
The Gallery has increased its profile in the Montreal community with extensive reviews in the Gazette, Vie des Arts, ArtFocus, The Times, and The Chronicle, as well as on television and radio.
The Gallery presents eight art exhibitions per year, most of which are curated by the Director. Each year the Gallery also hosts travelling exhibitions sponsored by the Conseil des arts de Montreal for which there is no
fee for the exhibition. Other travelling exhibitions are limited as their costs have become prohibitive for the Gallery.
The Gallery offers a variety of exhibitions for our diverse public –everything from historical to contemporary art with a mix of paintings, sculpture and other media.
Each exhibition is accompanied by a small dépliant, printed and designed in-house, and we have produced
eight catalogues on specific exhibitions to date.
Video-tapes of Special Events held in the Gallery are available for viewing in the Reading Room and at the Gallery. These include:
Round Table on Art Brut – Images en liberté – Moderator, Maurice Forget; participants: Lise
Bissonnettee, Pierre Théberge, Dr. Rémi Quirion, Russell T.
Chinese watercolour demonstration – Baowen Fan, Nanjing, China.
Round Table on Reflections: Canada-Hungary – Moderator, Dr. Loren Lerner; participants:
artist from the exhibition.
Marc Mayer, What is Contemporary Art?
Round Table - In Conversation: Confessions of Three Gallery Dealers. Moderator, Dr. Lise
Lamarche; participants: Jocelyne Aumont, Simon Blais, Pierre-François Ouellette.
As part of its education mandate, the Gallery offers educational
tours and art activities to school groups of all ages - primary,
secondary and CEGEP students - and community organizations as
well as for the children in the Cultural Centre’s Learning Through
Play program. This is just one example of our efforts to create
liaisons between the Cultural Centre and Art Gallery activities.
Gallery also offers a diverse program of gallery talks, lectures
and round table discussions in conjunction with the exhibitions.
The Director of the Gallery also gives lectures on art at the
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, and various
organizations such as the Montreal University Woman’s Club and
local artists’ associations.
Six years ago, the Demystifying Art series was initiated. It
is a monthly informal get together over coffee and brioche in
the gallery for lectures on art appreciation. It is open to
the general public .
In 2006, the Gallery introduced an art film festival called
Ciné-Art. Once a month, on Wednesday evenings, an art video
is shown in the Reading and Reference Room, followed by an informal
discussion. Several of the films have been purchased and they
are available for viewing in the Reading Room.
Each year, The Gallery participates in la Journées des Musées
montréalais – Montreal Museums Day, the last Sunday in May.
This event coincides with the Cultural Centre`s weekend open-house,
The Gallery also participates in Les Journée de la culture and
Heritage Week, offering various activities, such as art workshops
to school groups, lectures, guided tours, etc. These events,
held each fall, are co-ordinated with the Cultural Centre.
The Gallery often hosts special receptions for groups, such
as the Montreal Print Collectors Society, with a guided tour
of the current Gallery exhibition and an historical tour of
The Stewart Hall Volunteers
Our Volunteers are an important asset to the Gallery and the
Reading Room. The volunteers welcome visitors, take attendance,
and help with preparation of the mailings, filing, sorting of
books, etc. In appreciation of their time and support, an annual
Spring Tea and Christmas event is held in their honour. We also
organize an annual Volunteer Trip each October to various venues
to see an art exhibition or explore a special area of interest.
Collection of City of Pointe-Claire
Pointe-Claire has a Permanent Art Collection that was started in 1967 – there are now over 250 works including paintings, prints, mixed media, photographs, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and textiles.
The Collection is on display in the offices and public spaces in the various municipal buildings.
The selection, purchase, placement, and maintenance of the art works in the Collection is under the direction of the Gallery. In 2003 we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Stewart Hall with an exhibition of the Permanent Collection. Occasionally a work from the Collection is loaned to other galleries or museums for exhibition.
The Gallery operates an Art Rental and Sales Service that offers a collection of approximately 100 works of art for sale or rent to corporations and private individuals. The Art Rental was begun in 1967 as a centennial project.
Stewart Hall Art Gallery is the only gallery or museum in Montreal, aside from the Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal, which offers this type of service to the community.
The Art Rental Collection is a juried collection of paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media on paper and is renewed yearly. The works are selected by a jury from over 450 submissions.
The Boutique offers a selection of hand-crafted items by Quebec artisans for sale.
Formerly located at the west end of the Gallery, in 2004, Art Rental was relocated to the 2nd floor of Stewart Hall, to the space formerly occupied by the Stewart Hall Branch of the Library. Part of the existing space was renovated to accommodate the Art Rental and a new Reading and Reference Centre and Kid’s Corner was opened. With this increased visibility, sales and attendance has increased substantially each year.
AND REFERENCE ROOM:
Reading and Reference Room on the 2nd floor was opened in May
2004 and provides a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere for students
and researchers, and the general public to come and look at
books on culture and the arts.
books are for reference only and there is internet access and
a photocopy service available to visitors. When the Reading
Room was inaugurated, we sent out an appeal to the community
for donations of books on art and culture to add to the reference
books that were already here. To date we have received well
over 500 books to add to the collection. Each of these books
has been marked with a donation label, with the donors name
as an acknowledgement of their support of the Reading Room.
is also a good selection of current magazines and periodicals
that are available as well as The Gazette, La Presse and Le
Stewart Hall Book Club and Pointe-Claire English Writing Group
continue to meet monthly in the Reading Room and the small conference
room, which was the original reference area for the library,
is also used by various groups.
on art, travel, music, and culture are held approximately once
program of Musical Discoveries with Stewart Grant,
a composer from Pointe-Claire, is presented in conjunction with
the Grand Concerts Series.
The Kid’s Corner
The Kid’s Corner is also an important part of the
Cultural Centre. Apart from the written documents for research
or just for relaxation, the Kid’s Corner now hosts various activities
for young people:
for youth, each one as interesting as the next
Guided activities related to literature: pyjama story time,
artistic activities inspired by current exhibitions, literary
workshops, and more.
information about the Reading and Reference Room