Located in southern Manitoba near the border with North Dakota, the Rural Municipality of Montcalm is worth the visit. It is nestled in a beautiful valley crossed by three rivers (the Red, Roseau and Plum), just 60 km from Winnipeg.
Three Francophone towns: St. Joseph, Letellier and St. Jean Baptiste, all founded in the latter half of the 19th century, are located in Montcalm.
Agriculture and ecology
Agriculture is one of the leading industries in the area. Grain production (wheat, barley, flax, oats, corn, canola and sunflowers), hog and cattle farms, and seeds are all part of the region’s everyday farming activities. Most of this production is exported, and there is a growing demand for alfalfa on American dairy farms. It is no wonder that St. Joseph is called “Bean Town” or that St. Jean-Baptiste has been dubbed the “Soup Pea Capital of Canada”!
St. Jean-Baptiste is also home to major grain processing and hauling companies NuVision Commodities and Roy Legumex.
Manitoba’s largest wind farm is located in St. Joseph, generating more clean energy for the province. Another benefit is the regional reduction of more than 350,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Unique cultural attractions
The St. Joseph Museum, consisting of 19 acres and more than 30,000 artifacts showing how the Red River Valley pioneers lived, is a must-see for visitors. The 18 buildings on the museum site are grouped into two areas: the historical village and the agricultural village.
St. Jean-Baptiste is home to the oldest rural convent in Manitoba: the former convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, founded in 1897-1898.
Montcalm abounds with evidence of its rich historic and cultural heritage, which is celebrated every June at the Montcalm Heritage Festival. The two-day event gives residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy many activities at the St. Joseph Museum and share in the region’s tradition and pride in its history.
Living the good life every day…in French
Montcalm provides all the services its residents need to thrive, regardless of their age. Younger children can go to the French language day care, Les Étoiles d’la Rouge, housed in École régionale de Saint-Jean-Baptiste, where they can later study up to grade 12. There is also a library, sports centres, a fitness centre, a cultural committee, and other activities for all ages.
The Montcalm Health Centre opened in 2005 to meet the community’s primary health care needs.
Montcalm by the numbers
1,260 residents in 2016, of which 610 are bilingual (French-English)
Lowest average temperature: -19.9°C in January
Highest average temperature: +26.3°C in July
83.7% of residents are homeowners
The main industry is agriculture (47.4%), followed by real estate (21.6%) and construction (9.5%)Website