Montréal, Wednesday, September 28, 2016.- Come into contact with Deaf culture and identity in the exhibition People of the Eye, 160 years in the history of the Deaf community! The expression “peuple de l’œil”, or “people of the eye”, underlines the importance of sight for speakers of sign languages in their relationship to the world. Discover the places, people and events linked to the history of Deaf persons in Canada. The exhibition also offers avenues for reflection about the contemporary Deaf community and presents works of art. People of the Eye is on display from October 13, 2016 until February 5, 2017, at the Écomusée du fier monde. The exhibition is quadrilingual: Quebec Sign Language (LSQ), American Sign Language (ASL), French and English. Various cultural mediation activities are also offered!

Visuel Peuple de l'oeilDeafhood: celebrate Deaf culture

Being Deaf is a cultural identity. It means living as a linguistic minority that often goes completely unrecognized by the majority. Experience what it means to be immersed in Deaf culture: exhibition texts are essentially replaced by videos in LSQ and ASL. Hearing persons will be given a textual guide. Visiting offers a chance to learn about sign languages, a form of communication that dates back to Antiquity. It’s also an opportunity to discover Deaf art – a strong movement affirming Deaf culture – through the presentation of works in various artistic media.

160 years of history

Institut Raymond-Dewar archives, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Institut Raymond-Dewar archives, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Explore Deaf history through places and events that have made a lasting impression in both Canada and elsewhere in the world. Major institutions like Deaf schools and organizations serve as key landmarks of this 160 year old heritage. Montréal is the only Canadian city where three grand teaching institutions for the Deaf coexisted. See the lives of students in classrooms and workshops as depicted in numerous photographs. In addition, pamphlets and posters illustrate the energy of various organizations created by the Deaf, allowing them to bring their culture to life.

Inspiring figures of the grassroots Deaf movement are also featured: Thomas Widd and Margaret Fitzakerly Widd, founders of the first Montréal school for Deaf Protestants; and Raymond Dewar, one of the authors of the first LSQ dictionary whose advocacy efforts helped advance the Deaf cause. Today, that same cause is being taken up by activists like Patrick Lazure and artists like Hodan Youssouf.

Free activities

The activities are aimed at Deaf and hearing persons.
Click on the activity for more details


Videos in LSQ and ASL: click here


This project was made possible in part thanks to a grant from the Museums Assistance Program through the Department of Canadian Heritage. It is also financed by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the city of Montréal through the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal. It benefits from the contribution of the Foundation of Greater Montréal and the Fondation des Sourds du Québec.

Écomusée du fier monde
2050 Amherst Street
Corner Ontario
Berri-UQAM Metro Station

Opening Hours
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm
Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 am to 5 pm

Admission Fees
Adult: $8
Student/senior/child over 6: $6
Family (2 adults, 3 children): $16

Informations: 514 528-8444 |

– 30 –

For more information, photographs and interviews:

Marie-Josée Lemaire-Caplette | 514 528-8444 |
Source: Écomusée du fier monde and Société Culturelle Québécoise des Sourds