Facilitating access to culture

We love a bit of culture here in the Orne and the council is the main player on the department’s cultural scene. It provides funding for theatres and concert halls (such as the Scène nationale 61 or La Luciole), events, equipment, associations, theatre companies, professional dance troops, music schools, community facilities, monuments and other heritage sites, along with libraries and archaeological digs.

Office Départemental de la Culture (ODC)

The council’s ODC – the departmental culture office – is responsible for cultural programming and promotion. It organises first-rate cultural events for all ages the whole year round, across the whole department. It works together with local communities and associations to put together high-quality, varied programmes of events including music, theatre, dance, circus and contemporary art.

Festivals

The council also supports a number of festivals such as Art Sonic in Briouze, Les Musicales in Mortagne-au-Perche, Music Azimut in Flers, Autour d'un piano in Carrouges, and Le Septembre musical to name but a few.

Médiathèque Départementale de l’Orne (MDO)

Orne Council encourages reading and access to books, particularly in the department’s rural areas. The MDO - the Orne departmental multimedia library - is a council service supporting and coordinating a network of 46 libraries in the department (in towns, villages and the intra-communal structures of less than 10,000 inhabitants). It provides training while organising programmes of events and the Racont’arts Festival. Orne Council supports the network with funding for investments in property and in furniture and equipment for libraries.

History, treasures and heritage

The Orne is especially well endowed with churches, chapels, châteaux and manor houses. It also boasts a rich local heritage and a number of works of art. Orne Council strives to protect and promote architectural and other treasures, in both the public and the private domain. It keeps an up-to-date inventory of the objects of art and monuments in the Orne and works to increase recognition of this heritage.  Since 2009, in partnership with the Fondation du Patrimoine (national heritage foundation) and the Prefecture, it organises the key heritage event in the Orne - “Pierre en lumières" - every May.

The Orne departmental archives

The departmental archive service is run by the council and collects, classifies, conserves and promotes the Orne’s written legacy. Its records run from the 11th century up to the present day. Over 2 million images can be consulted on its website.

Museums

Finally, Orne Council is directly responsible for three museums, another aspect of the department's lively cultural scene:

  • The departmental museum of religious arts in Sées, whose collections illustrate religious practices and the diversity of artistic expression
  • The écomusée du Perche at Saint-Cyr-la-Rosière, a working museum where Percheron rural traditions and practices are preserved and passed on
  • the Montormel memorial, a centre commemorating the end of the Battle of Normandy.