The historic building of the church of Saint-Michel-de-Percé could become the host of international congresses.
May 23, 2020 17h23
New vocation for the church of Saint-Michel-de-Percé
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
The church of Saint-Michel-de-Percé could accommodate international conferences over the next few years. The municipality multiplies efforts to give a new vocation to the historic building to make it a popular place for conferences and events.
In the pipeline since 2005, the project of transformation of the church derives from the will of the community, according to the mayor of Percé, Cathy Poirier. “It’s been a long time that there has been a lot of requests, both for congress, regional, national and international levels”, she explains. In the end, the church could contain between 200 and 300 delegates. The municipality also intends to include other facilities in the project, including Pratto, a heritage building today closed at a stone’s throw of the church, and the building of tourism of the rue du Quai.
In addition to registering in the strategic plan of the city, which will be soon unveiled, the conversion of the church responds to the call of religious authorities who wish to offer a new life to churches that are less frequented and reduce their real estate holdings. Only on the territory of Percé, we find five churches. “This project will allow us to reconcile the preservation of a heritage site and the economic development of Drilled “, says Ms. Poirier.
Lengthen the tourist season
With the project referred to economic and heritage, the city wishes to diversify its sources of revenue and extend the tourist season by appropriating the seasons of the congress in the spring and fall. “What we want to sell, it is the concept of the congress-escape”, explains urban planner and development officer of the heritage of Percé and the charge of the project, Lisa-Marie Gagnon. Already recognized as a popular tourist destination, Percé is keen to offer “join the pleasant with the useful”, in particular praising its space.
As a small municipality, it was usual to accommodate a large number of tourists, over half a million visitors per year, many of the necessary infrastructures for the establishment of a space of the congress are already installed. “We did not need to build a hotel complex as we already have several hosting companies that are already in place,” says the mayor.
If the results of the health check of the structure commissioned by the city are not surprising ; important work to be Drilled is expected to need to conduct repairs much more important to the building. The city is also still waiting for a health check as it relates to engineering.
As when it had been renovated in 1996, the main challenge comes from the stone with which it is built. If it can boast of to be ultra-local, the stone that comes from the Cannes-de-Roches, a community of large pierced, is extremely friable, which makes it more fragile over the years. As it is exposed to the elements, the main facade is particularly deteriorated. “There is work to be done, but we hope to take over the building at just the right time,” Ms. Gagnon added.
In recent years, the church of Saint-Michel-de-Gaspé has hosted several events, including the congress of the Association of Regional Tourism, the Crossing of the Gaspé peninsula as well as the projection of the premiere of the film the house of The fisherman.