Trust Questionnaire: Kerri Strotmann
Made famous by writer Marcel Proust, the Proust Questionnaire is said to reveal one’s true nature. We asked a National Trust member to complete our own version of the Proust Questionnaire to get to know them a little better.
My home base is in: Montréal, Québec
I have been a National Trust member since: 2013, but I have had the great pleasure of being involved in the “Main Streets” movement for nearly 20 years.
My occupation is: Urban Planning and Community Development.
I got involved with the National Trust because: I have a passion for, and interest in, heritage preservation and the use of history and heritage as a tool for community renewal and economic development. The National Trust embodies this belief and uses its high profile to sensitize and educate people to the significance of heritage and the possibilities that come with its preservation and promotion.
I care about historic places because: They are physical legacies of our past that help guide our future. They ground us and give us cause for reflection on where we have been and where we are going. They are tangible witnesses to our collective history and the evolution of our culture and traditions.
A historic place that matters to me is: There are so many historic places that matter to me, but in particular, the quiet villages and modest neighbourhoods that have provided generations with a tight-knit sense of community and belonging. They are a testament to the history and resilience of our ancestors and the expansion and development of our country.
If I were a historic place, my architecture style would be: A modest, yet distinctive arts-and-crafts style home, crafted out of noble materials with a touch of quirkiness in its simplicity of style.
The place that every Canadian should see at least once in their life is: This question is akin asking a small child to enter a giant candy store and choose just one sweet. Selecting only one seems like an impossible feat; however, beyond a doubt, Montréal is a destination that every Canadian should have the privilege of discovering.
Sites such as Old Montreal, St-Laurent Boulevard and Mont-Royal are not to be missed; but to truly appreciate the evolution of Montreal, visitors should journey along the sinewy riparian roads, which offer picturesque waterfront views, diverse architecture ranging from stone farm houses and windmills constructed during the seigniorial regime in New France, to ornate villas, yacht clubs and golf courses, established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as summer playgrounds for affluent Montrealers. Visitors should not miss each of the charming historic villages they pass along the riverside route, many of which remain remarkably unchanged and stand as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the communities that built them.
My idea of “heritage” is: The places, spaces, monuments, buildings, objects, traditions and cultures that we have inherited from past generations and are curators of for future generations. Heritage is the tangible and intangible elements that make up a community and reinforce its identity.
Pictured: Kerri Strotmann in front of the iconic Ogilvy’s Christmas window display, which has been discontinued after decades of being a Montreal tradition.