the mission of les Forges de Montreal
Spread the craft heritage of the Traditional blacksmithing
No substance has been as important as metal in the story of man’s control over his environment. Advances in agriculture, transport, warfare and even cookery would have been impossible without metal. So would the entire industrial revolution, from the invention of steam power to electricity. The blacksmith, at the heart of communities around the world for three thousand years, is now struggling to survive in the face of industrialization, mass production and globalization.
Les Forges de Montréal
In 2000 a non-profit organization was born in Montreal(Canada). Les Forges de Montréal’s mission is to preserve and nurture the intangible cultural heritage (also called ‘living heritage’) of the blacksmith. Housed in a historical building, the organization is mostly run by a group of artisan blacksmiths with a high level of expertise acquired at local, provincial, national, and international levels. Les Forges oversees events, workshops, demonstrations, volunteer programs, artisanal production, educational video productions, and research and archiving projects. Les Forges de Montreal works at preserving the globally dynamic traditional knowledge, skills and value systems of blacksmiths. It also fosters experimenting, researching, social change, and a culturally rich, ecologically sustainable society.
Observing the decline of traditional forging practices in Quebec and the lack of places for the preservation and transmission of the techniques and know-how associated with them, the Forges de Montréal was founded in 2000 with the mission of perpetuating the existence of the intangible heritage of traditional forging from here and elsewhere. To achieve this goal, the organization coordinates activities to preserve, disseminate, transmit and update this heritage for the general public and artisans of all ages.
Les Forges de Montreal promotes research and development, the conception and sale of products that are the result of heritage know-how in the domain of blacksmithing and artisanal iron and steel metal-working. We want to encourage the emergence of competent and independent artisan/entrepreneur blacksmiths and we also try to bring together artisans working in the different branches of the trades of heritage blacksmithing and metallurgy and other work related to metal and make their work known.