50 years of history
This year the Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary!
To celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary, our Collections team went through the archives with a fine-tooth comb and decided to shine the light on 12 exhibitions that have marked the institution over the years.
Since the Museum’s opening in 1971, more than 80 exhibitions have been admired in the public spaces and temporary and permanent exhibition rooms. As you can imagine, the team was faced with some difficult choices. Our writers selected materials based on their personal interests as well as the exhibitions they had helped to design or set up.
Each month, you’ll be able to revisit past exhibitions through a written account provided by one of our experts and posted here . Because 50 years of history is worth talking about. Enjoy discovering our past!
J. Armand Bombardier, an inventor
- September 11, 1971, to July 15, 1988
In 1968, Bombardier Inc. decided that it would no longer use the small building located near their first plant on St. Joseph Street, in Valcourt. The building in question was the Bombardier Garage.
The International Snowmobile Exhibition
- March 24, 1990 to February 23, 2015
In 1988, renovations got underway to refresh and revitalize the Museum and the exhibition paying tribute to the life and work of inventor Joseph‑Armand Bombardier. The building’s surface area increased to twice its former size, and included a second, permanent exhibition room for the International Snowmobile Exhibition dedicated to the history of the much-loved snowmobile.
Les animaux des pays de l’hiver
- September 21 to November 15, 1992
In the early 1990s, visitors began to flock to the J. Armand Bombardier Museum. This rush of enthusiasm was due in part to the Museum’s 1990 relaunch with the new, permanent exhibit, The International Snowmobile Exhibition, followed by the Bombardier mini-series, which aired in February 1992. This was the backdrop for the Museum team as they designed the temporary exhibition Les animaux des pays de l’hiver.
Visite en Russie
- October 12 to December 12, 1993
The year 1993 stands out in the history of the J. Armand Bombardier Museum for the sheer number of temporary exhibitions presented. That year, the Museum staged no fewer than seven exhibits in the exhibition hall, setting a record!
Among those exhibitions was the Visite en Russie. It was designed by the Musée de Charlevoix in collaboration with the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum in Moscow, and ran from October 12 to December 12, 1993.
Fallait y penser : le génie créatif
- June 27 to November 2, 1997
First there is a need, and then, a solution. Those who find solutions help to move the world forward. These inventors build societies. Joseph-Armand Bombardier was one of them.
At the time, the villagers needed to travel over snow during the winter months, and Joseph-Armand Bombardier found a solution: the snowmobile. In 1935, he invented the sprocket wheel and track drive system—his first major invention for which he was granted a patent (June 29, 1937). The track system was used on the B7 snowmobile. And so it was only natural that the exhibition honouring the inventor’s creative genius and the 60th anniversary of his first patent was created under the theme “inventions.”
The Museum’s collection
- March 1 to September 17, 2000, and again from January 12 to March 2, 2001
Curious Museum-goers are always keen to catch a glimpse behind the scenes. This temporary exhibition showcased a variety of archived documents, objects and vehicles from the J. Armand Bombardier Museum Collection. It’s one of the only exhibitions to have gone on display twice in the history of the Museum.
Le Québec technologique
- June 21, 2002 to February 2, 2003
Presented in Quebec City and Montreal in 2001, LE QUÉBEC TECHNOLOGIQUE Tout simplement génial! was launched the Ministère de la Recherche de la Science et de la Technologie du Québec (MFER), in collaboration with a number of public and private enterprises, and featured 80 technologically innovative products.
A passion for invention and entrepreneurship, 1907-1964
- February 7, 2007 to February 23, 2015
To celebrate Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s 100th anniversary in 2007, the Museum inaugurated a new permanent exhibition honouring the life and work of the famous inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier. A passion for invention and entrepreneurship, 1907-1964. A complete makeover and a dynamic museum approach highlighted his principal innovations, including the famous sprocket wheel/track system. The visit was chock-full of history, inventions and tracked vehicles that traced the progress of industrial design through the decades.
Laurent Beaudoin en/in action
- June 6 to December 21, 2008
“There is no business without risk.” [free translation]
Laurent Beaudoin, 2004
In 2008, Laurent Beaudoin, CEO of Bombardier Inc., retired. In his honour, the J. Armand Bombardier Museum mounted a temporary exhibition: Laurent Beaudoin en/in Action, shining the light on the businessman and his career.
50 years of Ski-Doo®
- February 21, 2009 to February 14, 2010
Half a century conquering winter!
In 1959, Joseph-Armand Bombardier unveiled the small vehicle of his dreams that could travel on snow: the Ski-Doo® snowmobile. The snowmobile changed significantly over time, progressing from utility vehicle to recreational vehicle. In 2009, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the J. Armand Bombardier Museum in collaboration with BRP presented this temporary exhibition comprised of five zones.
The ingenuity of J. Armand Bombardier…
- March 26, 2010 to January 30, 2011
The ingenuity of J. Armand Bombardier…
The sprocket wheel/track system
The sprocket wheel/track drive system, invented in 1935 by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, revolutionized the world of transport. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of this important invention, the J. Armand Bombardier Museum presented this exhibition comprised of 3 zones: the advent, the birth and the development of the ingenious mechanism that completely changed the future of transportation over snow and difficult terrain. The exhibition featured 5 vehicles from the Museum.
Expedition: The Arctic
- February 1 to April 7, 2013
The Arctic is a hostile territory home to mysteries unveiled over time. From 1913 to 1918, a brave group set off to explore the waters of the Polar Circle, with funding from the Canadian government. The year 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of this epic adventure. A host of activities was organized to celebrate the expedition, including this temporary exhibition that tracked the movements of the expedition party.