Preserving and promoting awareness in the history and heritage of the Gatineau Valley since 1962

Next Event

54th Annual Auction


Saturday, August 19, 2017
at Hendrick Farm, Old Chelsea, Quebec

More information coming soon...

Other Events

The "Lost Villages" of Chelsea

Visit the Society's exhibit called The "Lost Villages" of Chelsea at the municipality's offices on chemin Old Chelsea. Pictured below, members Charles Lacombe and Anne Morrison check out the panels highlighting Chelsea Island, Kirk's Ferry and Cascades, before the flooding of the Gatineau River in 1926-1927. Developed by President Marc Cockburn as part of 2016's River Pride celebrations. See also online exhibit.

Notable Women of the Gatineau Valley

Opens to the general public on June 3rd, 2017. On display at Fairbairn House till October, 2018. Touring schedule Fall/Winter 2017/18. The exhibition highlights the contribution of 10 notable women in shaping the history of the Gatineau valley and beyond. View online exhibition.

Gatineau RiverFest

June 17, 2017 1-9PM
Municipal Park in Farm Point, 309 Chemin de la Riviere, Chelsea

Come and celebrate of one of the Gatineau Hill’s greatest gems – the Gatineau River! Enjoy a leisurely float or paddle in a flotilla down the Gatineau River from Wakefield to Farm Point. We have a shuttle available for your convenience. Once in Farm Point settle into festivities with your friends and neighbors! Waiting for you at the Farm Point municipal park will be a host of summer activities for the whole family. For more info go to www.fog-arg.org/events.

A Summer... A Fair

The special Premiere performance
Saturday July 22nd, about Cantley
St. Elizabeth Parish, 47 ch. Ste-Elisabeth, Cantley, Quebec.

With help from Cantley 1889, Theatre Wakefield brings Cantley’s heritage to life with Ian Tamblyn’s latest musical play and family fun!

Ste-Élisabeth Parish grounds (inside the Parish hall if it rains), 47 Ste-Élisabeth, Cantley

- Bring your own picnic anytime before the 1 pm performance.
- Enjoy old-fashioned refreshments provided by the Cantley Lions Club.
- Square-dancing with a live band and caller will follow this performance!
- Bring your lawn chairs and sunscreen.
- Free admission (donations welcome).
See poster.

A Summer... A Fair

Sunday July 30 at 16:00–17:30
Maison Fairbairn House
45 Chemin de Wakefield Heights, QC, Wakefield, Quebec J0X 3G0

Theatre Wakefield's presents its newest original play “A Summer… A Fair ”! A professional cast performs amusing stories and rousing song as they recreate colourful characters and history against the backdrop of the renowned Cantley Picnic - the type of traditional country fair common in regional farming communities from the late-1800s onward. This is the third in Chelsea playwright/musician Ian Tamblyn’s Gatineau River Valley trilogy.. Bring your lawn chairs and your sunscreen, it’s the perfect setting for an entertaining family picnic!

Become a member
or renew membership
See our current Newsletter.

New to the GVHS

Up the Gatineau! Volume 43
has been published containing 10 new articles of local historical interest.

Arthur Davison Prize winner
for 2017 is Michael Lait.

Awards Presented
to recipients at the Annual Awards ceremony

150 Years of History
Low Down photo essays celebrating our Gatineau Valley history.

A Lake with Two Names: The Harrington Lake (Lac Mousseau) Toponymy Controversy
Up the Gatineau! Volume 42 article available online.

Past Events

May 30, 2017
Annual Dinner & Awards Evening

Annual Dinner & Awards Evening

Outside, the thunder rumbled and the rain pelted down, but the storm didn’t keep anyone away from the GVHS’s Annual Dinner May 30th at Camp Fortune. Eighty-four people dined on a tasty buffet in the spacious lodge, transformed into an elegant banquet hall for the occasion (with nary a ski boot in sight!)

Besides being a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends in a relaxed atmosphere, the evening marked the launch of the latest edition of Up The Gatineau!, a compendium of articles published annually that research and recount stories of local history. Louise Schwartz, the editor for the past six years, has produced yet another fascinating edition.

The GVHS also presented a number of awards to outstanding community leaders who have contributed their time and energy in various capacities to the GVHS:

Special Awards

  • The annual Arthur Davison Prize (named for an important earlier President) recognizes the best article from the previous year and went to Michael Lait for his outstanding article in Volume 42: A Lake with Two Names: The Harrington Lake (Lac Mousseau) Toponomy Controversy.
  • Anyone who’s been part of the GVHS for any length of time knows of the late Carol Martin’s inspiring and unsurpassed commitment to the GVHS (including 21 years as editor of Up the Gatineau!). Her absence was keenly felt at the dinner by those who knew her. A new award in her name and honour, the Carol Martin Award, has been created to recognize a significant, cumulative contribution to Up the Gatineau! over a sustained period and was awarded to Frances Curry, an author, editor, indexer and genealogist with whom Carol worked on earlier issues.

GVHS Awards

  • Linda Bardell received an honorary lifetime GVHS membership for her many contributions to the Society;
  • Paul Gessell, a retired journalist with the Ottawa Citizen, was given an Award of Honour for his editorial work for several years on Up the Gatineau!
  • Awards of Honour also went to Shirley McGlashan and Dave Dunphy who have distributed the Society publications for the past five years;
  • Ian Tamblyn was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for spreading the history of the region through his recent series of plays;
  • Claude Gervais also received a Certificate of Commendation for his role in sharing the history of Farm Point with the public last year.

A highlight of the evening was the performance given by guest artist Ian Tamblyn. He performed songs from the trilogy of highly entertaining plays he’s written over the last three years; through a series of vignettes, they reflect historical events of the region that have often relied on past editions of Up The Gatineau! for stories and details. His latest work, A Summer...A Fair, is focussed on the Cantley Picnic that took place annually for over 100 years and attracted up to 3,000 people each time. Says Tamblyn, “Nobody knows where it is [referring to how spread out Cantley is], but everyone seemed to know how to get there!” The play tours the region this summer.

In short: a wonderful time was had by all! See images from the event.


Additional past events.