The Lac-Brome Museum has found a new executive director in Sutton resident Denis Piquette.
Piquette has an extensive career in marketing, advertising, and working alongside non-profit organizations to build their brand.
He moved to the Eastern Townships ten years ago and he was on the board of directors for Theatre Lac-Brome. With his new role, he hopes to bring the museum, established in 1897, to the next level.
“It actually came quite serendipitously. I was on the board of directors of Theatre Lac-Brome and through people I knew at the theatre, someone informed me that the museum was looking for an executive director. (…) It’s something that I really embrace with a challenge. So, as soon as I saw it I said I hope I get it,” said Piquette.
When asked what drew him to the museum, Piquette put it down to his love of history.
His great-grandmother and grandmother developed a book on the pioneers of Alberta and he grew up watching family members try to trace back their roots.
“I think that, when I looked at my career, I said I’ve done a lot of things I’ve really enjoyed, but to me it would be kind of like a final sort of cap on my career to really get involved in history and to do this out of enjoyment,” mentioned Piquette.
Piquette highlighted that museums, as theatres, as many other organizations, outside of large cities are finding it more difficult to exist.
For this reason, he’s made it his mission to bring the Lac-Brome Museum even further.
“We either have to grow and expand, be relevant, and compelling to people from even a broader region. If we don’t do that, then I think longer term we’re going to see a lot of organizations shrink to the point where they do not exist anymore. We don’t want that to happen,” he emphasized.
One of the first projects on the books for the museum as Piquette steps into his new role is an exhibition on the British Home Children, a migration scheme set in place between the United Kingdom and Canada to bring children living in vulnerable situations to live and work on Canadian farms.
While not originally his idea, Piquette explained that it’s an important topic to cover with several sources documenting that up to 1:10 Quebecois have a connection to a Home Child.
“We will be working on this both within the museum, and I’ve already marshalled some large grant applications in the hopes that we can expand the Home Children theme into other avenues,” he noted. “(…) I think that’s one very key exhibit and topic that we want to develop further.”
I encourage anybody and everybody to visit the museum, said Piquette.
“Even when I do my walkabouts and talk to friends, relatives, or acquittances in the area, I’m still very surprised by the number of people that have never been there. That is really, I think an untapped opportunity,” he mentioned.
Listen to the full interview below: