As part of the Quebec Friend of the Elderly program (QADA) sponsored by the Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying, Francine Charbonneau, Heritage Sutton will receive a substantial grant, up to $106,200 over two years, to preserve and enhance the oral histories of local seniors.
In order to trace the history of Sutton, its region, and the people and families who wrote it, the Sutton-based historical society has collected and preserved the oral testimonies of many local seniors. Interviews conducted between 1960 and 2010 resulted in a bank of nearly one hundred life-stories. Most of these interviews were recorded in formats that make them hard to consult and so access to this historical gold-mine has become difficult and very limited.
This significative initiative first aims to transfer the existing interviews to digital media, to index them and to transcribe them if necessary, the aim being both to preserve these precious testimonies and to make them easily accessible.
The project also aims to organize meetings to continue to enrich this bank of oral history: new, individual interviews, workshops gathering seniors to discuss old photos, workshops bringing seniors and non-seniors together; all recorded on audio or video.
Finally, activities to highlight and bring to life this rich source of living history are planned. Several avenues will be explored including short live events based on testimonials and presented to various audiences, exhibitions, educational projects, publication of thematic portfolios on the web and articles in the History Sketchbooks of Heritage Sutton, etc.
To carry out this project, the Heritage Sutton Historical Society has teamed with two partners. The Management Committee of the Sutton Junction Community Hall, will participate in the coordination of the project: identifying new oral histories and finding people to conduct the interviews and lead group activities; they will also loan their premises and facilities. The cultural organization, Cœur du village, and the Salle Alec et Gérard Pelletier, will present to various audiences live staging of oral-histories, provide technical services and loan their venue and its equipment. With deep roots in culture and the community, each partner brings valuable expertise towards the success of this most stimulating project for the entire population of the region.