It has been 20 years since the Dionne Quintuplets last visited North Bay.
On August 5th, the Sunday of the Civic Holiday Weekend, the last two surviving Quints, Cecile and Annette will be back in North Bay to attend a special ceremony in their honour at the current location of the Dionne Home near the Discovery Museum.
Ed Valenti made the announcement to North Bay City Council on behalf of the Dionne Quints Heritage Board.
“The event is just a half hour ceremony, but we’ll have things going on all day. At that event, there will be an unveiling of a plaque recognizing the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets as a historical event in Canadian history.”
Two Federal Ministers have been invited to share in the celebration.
“We have invited the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly. She’s a big component of heritage. And we’ve also invited Catherine McKenna, the Minister responsible for Parks Canada that is the one that made the designation. They started the designation process in mid-2016,” said Valenti.
The Dionne Quints Heritage Board will use money from fundraising events to bring the sisters to North Bay but is looking for additional sponsorship.
“The main support is federally, and they seem to be receptive to some kind of sponsorship, so we’re hoping to work with the federal government, provincial government as well. Now that there’s been a change of government we’ll be looking for support from them as well. The city has always been supporting us in all the endeavours that we have going on down by the waterfront.”
There are discussions with the city to move some artifacts into the museum as well as the Dionne home for that day.
The public will be given free access to both venues.
“We’ve had discussions with their board about leaving some items and a couple of displays until we are up and operating full time in 2019. And then we’ll move some of the artifacts that were in the home back into the home for that special event, and then everything will be pulled out.”
The event is being held during Summer in the Park. Organizers expect a large turnout. A tent will be set up to accommodate up to 300 people.
Valenti is hopeful the recognition of the Quint's birth from a historical perspective will give the board a leg up when it comes to future funding.