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Our History

Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation

Since April 1, 1996, the Acadian Museum has been one of the seven sites of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation, the province’s museum network. The Museum and Heritage Foundation of Prince Edward Island operates seven provincial museums and heritage sites, providing Islanders and visitors with the opportunity to discover our Island’s heritage and culture.


Its purpose is to “study, collect, preserve, interpret and protect the human and natural heritage of Prince Edward Island for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the people of the province.”

Association of the Acadian Museum inc.

From 1964 to March 31, 1996, the Association du Musée acadien inc. administered the Musée acadien and the Centre de recherche acadien de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard.


On April 1, 1996, the Musée acadien de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard became one of the seven sites of the provincial Museum and Heritage Foundation network. Since then, the Association du Musée acadien inc. plays an advisory and supporting role with the Musée acadien. However, the Association still administers the Centre de recherche acadien de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard.


The Association du Musée acadien inc. is a non-profit organization with members from the six Acadian regions of Prince Edward Island:  West Prince, Evangeline, Summerside-Miscouche, Rustico, Charlottetown and Souris. Anybody or any organization wishing to participate in the work of the Association can become a member. At the annual meetings, the members elect the ten members of the Board of Directors who then elect the Executive.

Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee

The Comité historique Soeur-Antoinette-DesRoches is a subcommittee of the Association du Musée acadien inc. Founded in 2000, the Committee established as its objective “the promotion, research and dissemination of Acadian history, as well as the protection of Acadian heritage.”

Acadian Museum's History

January 26, 1964

Foundation of the Association du Musée acadien inc. 


Dr. J.-Aubin Doiron, founding president


Sister Antoinette DesRoches, c.n.d., secretary

Spring 1964

Construction of a log building.

August 25, 1964

Official opening of the Musée acadien.

1964-1978

Sister Antoinette DesRoches, c.n.d., first director and person responsible for the acquisition of most of the collection; volunteer for 14 years.

1978-1985

Sister Marguerite Richard, c.n.d., second director and person responsible for the genealogical project of 30,000 index cards and for coming up with the funds for a planning study; volunteer for seven years.

1984

The Lord Report: a planning study by consultant Barry Lord
126 recommendations
One of the recommendations:  the construction of a new museum.

1985-1986

Murielle Arsenault, first paid director, is hired under an Employment and Immigration Canada project.

25 août 1964

Ouverture officielle du Musée acadien.

1985

First permanent exhibit on the Acadians of Prince Edward Island.

1985

Founding of the Centre de recherche acadien de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard  and hiring of Georges Arsenault, first paid part-time director under a Department of the Secretary of State of Canada six month project.

1987

Fundraiser to establish a trust fund of which only the interest will be used for museum operations.

1988

First government operating grant under the Canada-Prince Edward Island General Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages allowing to hire, for the first time, two full time employees and to operate the Museum year round.
Cécile Gallant is hired as executive director and Angèle Barriault, as administrative assistant.

1988

Measures are taken under the chairmanship of J.-Edmond Arsenault to obtain the necessary funding for the construction of a new museum.

1990

Federal-provincial funding is obtained to accommodate the Museum in a new building.

October 3, 1990

Construction of the new museum gets under way.

July 22, 1991

The new Musée acadien welcomes its first visitors.

April 24, 1992

Official opening of the new Musée acadien de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard and inauguration of the new permanent exhibit.

April 1, 1996

The Musée acadien becomes part of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation.

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