Alain Roy

He has nurtured his passion for history and heritage over decades, and has shared it with many people. His interest in culture has led him to explore new horizons through his travels, and through the world’s cuisines and music.

Photograph: Alain Roy

Photo: Luc Girouard.

Known at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) as a policy advisor through the various way in which he provides support to policy development and helps foster a better understanding of its importance, Alain Roy is also a historian and a regular researcher at the Laboratoire d’histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal [Montreal history and heritage laboratory](UQAM). In addition, he is actively involved in the community, as a citizen member of the City of Gatineau’s Commission for the Arts, Culture, Letters and Heritage (2011 -2018).

Alain completed a Master’s degree in History on the process of preserving Quebec City’s historic core (Laval University, 1995), and worked for many years as a consultant on history, heritage and museology. He became interested, in particular, in issues related to memory, commemoration, preservation of heritage, road heritage, and urban history. His research has led to the writing of numerous articles and research reports: he coauthored two works on the history of Quebec, in addition to co-authoring the historical atlas Les traces de la Nouvelle-France au Québec et en Poitou-Charentes, Québec, PUL (2008), which was published in both Quebec and France.

Currently, Alain Roy’s research is centred on two main themes. The first focuses on the period during which Montreal was the capital of the province of Canada in the 1840s. These studies are part of a collaborative research program aimed at better understanding that key decade in Canada’s passage into modern statehood, as there is a plan to highlight the imposing vestiges of Parliament. The second is focused specifically on road heritage. Ancient paths, portages and roads are, like built heritage, concrete relics of the appropriation of territory and its transformation into a man-made landscape. Symbolically charged and often elements of identity, these markers of occupation nonetheless remain largely unknown.

For Alain, history, and culture as a whole, remains a passion and commitment. In it, he sees an extraordinary tool that enables us to open ourselves up to the world, and define our future in order to live together in harmony, both as individuals and as a country.

This passion is also fed by a curiosity and willingness to explore new lands that enrich his knowledge of heritage. Alain has made many trips to France, as well as Spain, and more recently to Greece. This curiosity also extends to flavours, as these trips also provide valuable opportunities to sample the local cuisine, and to revisit the experience while visiting restaurants back home. Among his favourite area restaurants are Mystiko (Greek) in Ottawa and Chez Fatima (Moroccan) in Gatineau.

Not far removed from culinary delights, there is the pleasure of discovering new sounds. Music lover Alain Roy always keeps up to date with the latest musical releases in Eastern Jazz (including Anouar Brahem), blues (Dawg.fm), worldbeat (see, in particular, Music and Beyond), and French music (such as Grand corps malade).

All in all, for Alain, the pleasure of discovery is a continuous enrichment that combines with a better understanding of the past, enabling us to envision a better, more open future

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