Skip to main content

Bytown Museum Curator Grant Vogl on Sister Bruyère’s compassion

Interior shot. Man with short dark hair and trimmed beard viewed from the neck up speaking to camera. In the background a display board featuring a black and white portrait of a seated woman in a nun’s habit wearing a large cross and interpretive text titled “Les Soeurs de la Charité” can be seen. A large brown chest with “(Orphan’s Home) (Ontario)” written on it in yellow can also be seen to the man’s right.

My name is Grant Vogl, and I am the Collections and Exhibitions Manager here at the Bytown Museum in Ottawa, Canada.

I am sitting in front of a display that we have about Sister Élisabeth Bruyère, who was an integral part of the Irish coming to Ottawa during the Famine, specifically in 1847.

Mother Bruyère arrived in Bytown to set up the first convalescent hospital in 1845. It catered to those of all religions and creeds.

In 1847 when a mass influx of Irish came due to the Famine, she was integral in setting up hospitals and barracks that would cater and care for these patients.

In the summer of 1847 to 1848 alone there were some six hundred cases of typhoid that were treated, and another thousand people that were sick.

Camera pans in for close up of Grant Vogl’s face.

Unfortunately, in that era, when people were dying from disease and famine, there were children left orphaned.

Grant Vogl turns and gestures with his left hand to large brown chest with “(Orphan’s Home) (Ontario)” written on it in yellow to his left.

And so we have, in fact, in this case a donation box from the Sisters of Charity to collect funds to support some of the orphans that were created because of the Famine.

Final image of water with onscreen Ireland Park Foundation logo. Celtic style music playing.