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Canada 2004

Canada France 1604-2004
Canada France 1604-2004
Canada a space for imagination


Because of the town’s close ties to Samuel Champlain and the region’s ties to New France, the Conseil Général de Charente-Maritime and the Canada-France 2004 Program have chosen Brouage as the site of a new Interpretation Centre.

The venerable 450-year-old town of Brouage - the birthplace of Samuel Champlain, is one of the most visited places in the Charente-Maritime region, welcoming half a million visitors each year. A seaport town made famous and influential by the production of salt in the 16th and 17th centuries, Brouage, with its 150 permanent residents, is a protected historic site.

After the grand opening of the Maison, on June, 26th , the Maison Champlain is intended to complement well-known sites in Brouage, such as the Halle aux vivres and the Poudrière Saint-Luc.

The fishery off the coast of Newfoundland, the production of salt to preserve fish, emigration from the Charente region to Canada, the provision of military supplies to the colony through the Port of Rochefort, all aspects of the heritage shared by Poitou-Charente and North America will be presented at the Maison Champlain.


Built on “Place du Canada”, the architecture of the Maison will be in harmony with the protected historic site of Brouage. Behind a traditional designed street facade, a very modern space with natural light environment will house the Interpretation Centre.

700 m² - two floors - will accommodate the various spaces. On the ground floor, with light coming directly from the roof, will feature a permanent exhibition gallery and an educational activities room. Designed around the central source of light, the main floor will include a computer gallery with various interactive activities for the general public and a multi-purpose room for conferences, films festivals, video screenings...


The permanent exhibition will focus on 5 themes:

  • [“The Beginnings of New France”]
    "Les prémices de la Nouvelle-France"

  • [“Brouage, Exploring the Seas and Champlain’s Origins”]
    "Brouage et l’ouverture sur les mers et les origines de Champlain"

  • [“Business: a motivation for discovery and immigration”]
    "Le commerce : moteur de découverte du territoire et prétexte de peuplement"

  • [France in North America, how Champlain is perceived through our history”]
    Apports floristiques et faunistiques de la Nouvelle-France

  • [“Plants and Wildlife of New France”]
    La France en Amérique du Nord, la perception populaire de Champlain au cours des siècles

The rooms dedicated to interpreting this shared heritage will provide access to a vast documentary collection from the Département de la Charente-Maritime, a wealth of information from the Inventaire des lieux de mémoire sur la Nouvelle-France [Inventory of the Sites of Memory of New France] and documentary collections from Canada and various départements of the Poitou-Charente region, without forgetting the 2 million documentary images available on the Website of Historical digitized Archives of New France.