Louis Cyr movie drives tourism to Quebec town
Legend of 19th century French-Canadian and his feats of strength hits the big screen
The town of St-Jean-de-Matha, Que. is enjoying a boom in tourism thanks to success of Louis Cyr, the film based on the French-Canadian’s life and legendary strength.
The film pulled in more than $400,000 over its opening weekend and inspired many tourists to head to the Quebec town that Cyr called home.
"For the last 10 days, [the museum] welcomed more than 500 people, which is half of the usual number of visitors we have in the whole year," said Jacques Gagnon, a member of the Louis Cyr museum council.
The museum shows off souvenirs from Cyr’s life as the strongest man in the world during the 19th century.
"It’s a very small museum, but there’s lots of things to see," Gagnon says.
"People are discovering this man, this remarkable man."
Born in Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville, Cyr moved to St-Jean-de-Matha when he married a local woman, Mélina Comtois, in 1882.
The last home of Cyr was recently purchased by the museum, which has plans to eventually move there once the building is restored.
Lisan Hubert, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, says the town is enjoying its new fame.
"There is a very good feeling. People are very excited," she said.