LEWISTON – The Franco-American Collection at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College will hold an open house Saturday, Aug. 5, in recognition of the Festival FrancoFUN. The collection will feature a new window exhibit on Franco-American commerce through the years and will present an award-winning comedy film provided by the Québec Government Office in Boston.

The commerce exhibit highlights businesses from the 1860s to the 1960s. Many of the companies will be familiar to local residents.

They include Dupont Bakery, F.X. Marcotte, Le Messager, Laurendeau’s Market, Mailhot Sausage, Bolduc Moving Co. and others. There is also a permanent display of historical photos, which can be viewed in the college’s café.

The feature film, which will be shown for free from 2 to 4 p.m., is titled “La grande séduction.” It is a story about a poor Québec fishing village community that needs a doctor on the island in order to improve its economic situation.

The villagers conspire to impress a young a Montreal English-Canadian doctor, who is briefly on the island to perform community service, to make the island his home.

The movie is in French with English subtitles and is suitable for people of all ages.

The open house will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the collection located at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster St. Light refreshments will be served.

In addition, the annual exhibition of art work by students of local art teacher Mercedes Gastonguay is being featured in the Atrium Art Gallery at USM/L-A. The exhibition of oils, ink and pencil drawings, pastels, scratchboard and watercolors will be open Saturday and continues through Aug. 19.

The Franco-American Collection is the largest repository of Franco-American archival material in the state, with material on history, politics, religion, education, industry, business, theater and music.

Located in a modern climate-controlled facility, the collection includes a state-of-the-art archival storage unit designed to preserve the large collection of documents, news clippings, photographs and artifacts about Franco-American history and culture.

In addition, the collection houses the Madeleine Giguere Reading Room, which includes a large selection of books concerning the French presence in North America.

The collection is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. Call 753-6545 for more information or visit the Web at usm.maine.edu/lac/franco.

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