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Welcome to Rural Route Communications

Meet the Partners

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Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen are partners in life and in Rural Route Communications, a multimedia production company based in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. They specialize in documenting rural life and rural heritage as well as the natural environment in Canada and abroad. They produce feature stories for magazines and newspapers as well as books and video documentaries.

Recent books: Memphrémagog: An Illustrated History / Une histoire illustrée (Georgeville Press, second edition volume 1 and first edition volume 2, 2017)

Recent video documentaries: Nunaaluk: A Forgotten Story (COTA, 2014), Saving the Founder’s Home (2015), and The Islands of Lake Memphremagog: A Natural and Human History (2015).

Since the summer of 2007, Louise and Niels have worked with the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association (COTA), documenting life in the James Bay region of Quebec at different times of the year in photographs and in video. They published Eeyou Istchee: Land of the Cree / Terre des Cris with COTA in 2010. They have also produced several videos for other Cree clients, including the Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Wemindji, and the Cree Nation of Mistissini.

In January of 2011, they produced a collection of forty photographs for permanent display in the Justice Building in Mistissini.

Books by Louise Abbott:

The Coast Way (McGill-Queens University Press, 1988)

The French Shore (Waterous, 1996)

A Country So Wild and Grand (CoastersAssocation, 1999)

The Heart of the Farm: A History of Barns and Fences in the Eastern Townships of Quebec (Text by Louise Abbott, Photos by Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen)

Films Directed by Louise Abbott:

The History of Nunavik (Kativik Educational Television, 1993)

The Pinnacle and the Poet (National Film Board of Canada, 1995) To purchase this film, visit the National Film Board boutique.

Alexander Walbridge: The Visionary of Mystic (Missisquoi Historical Society, 2002) 

Quebec Roots (Blue Metropolis Foundation, 2008)

Giving Shelter: Historic Barns of the Eastern Townships (Rural Route Communications, 2009).

Crisscrossing Space and Time: A History of Farm Fencing (Rural Route Communications, 2009).

Historic Georgeville: Walks and Talks with John Boynton (Rural Route Communications, 2011)

A New Life for an Old Bridge (Hamlet Heavy Timberwork, 2011)

Once Upon a Time (Blue Metropolis Foundation, 2012)

Louise also wrote the script and served as assistant director on The Empty Net/Le filet vide (Imageries, 1996).

front cover pinnacle and poet


Photographs by Louise Abbott:

Louises photographs have appeared in more than thirty photo anthologies, including Une Histoire des Québécoises en Photos; Hivers; Regards du Québec; Montréal au XXe siècle; Treasures of the National Archives of Canada; and Children in Photography: 150 Years.

Her photographs have also appeared in various non-fiction books, including Haiti: The Duvaliers and their Legacy (McGraw-Hill, 1988), written by her sister, internationally acclaimed author Elizabeth Abbott.

Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

Her photographs are represented in the collections of Library and Archives Canada,  the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (National Gallery of Canada), the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and other public institutions.

Louise has received arts awards from the Canada Council, the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs (now CALQ), the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Bannerman Foundation, and other private foundations. In 2002 she won the Norman Kucharsky Award for Cultural and Artistic Journalism given by PWAC (the Professional Writers Association of Canada) and the Greg Clark Internship Award given by the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Niels Jensen is both an award-winning furniture designer-cabinetmaker and an award-winning photographer. In 2003 he began to collaborate with Louise Abbott on photographic projects. He and Louiselive in the hamlet of Tomifobia in the municipality of Ogden but travel frequently on assignment. As a husband-and-wife team, they have produced photo-essays for newspapers like the (Montreal) Gazette and magazines like Heritage, along with a book on the agricultural history of the Eastern Townships titled The Heart of the Farm andEeyou Istchee: Land of the Cree / Terre des Cris. They have also co-produced many video documentaries. 


The Heart of the Farm

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The Heart of the Farm: A History of Barns and Fences in the Eastern Townships is available at bookstores in Montreal and in the Eastern Townships. It is also available at several historical societies in the Eastern Townships.

It can be ordered directly from Rural Route Communications (Please see Contact Us in the menu at the top of this Home Page.) or from Studio Georgeville.

This hardcover book retails for $49.95 plus GST. Shipping costs will be added to mail orders.

 heart dustjacket

Giving Shelter: Historic Barns of the Eastern Townships and Crisscrossing Space and Time: A History of Farm Fencing are feature documentaries in DVD format that serve as companions to The Heart of the Farm. The two videos are available at selected bookstores in the Eastern Townships, such as Black Cat Books in Lennoxville and Brome Lake Books in Knowlton, and at two historical societies in the Eastern Townships (Brome County Historical Society in Knowlton and Missisquoi  Historical Society in Stanbridge East).

They can also be ordered directly from Rural Route Communications (Please see Contact Us in the menu at the top of this Home Page.) or from Studio Georgeville.

The DVDs retail for $20 (taxes included). Shipping costs will be added to mail orders.



A bestseller!

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We are pleased to report that   Eeyou Istchee made the Montreal Gazette bestseller list!  (December 24, 2010)


1. Mordecai: The Life & Times Charles Foran (1) (8)

2. Life Keith Richards (2) (7)

3. Changing My Mind Margaret Trudeau (3) (10)

4. The Grand Design S. Hawking, L. Mlodinow (9) (14)

5. Atlantic Simon Winchester (-) (1)

6. Decision Points George W. Bush (7) (6)

7. Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 edit. by Harriet Elinor Smith (4) (2)

8. Conversations with Myself Nelson Mandela (5) (8)

9. The Minds Eye Oliver Sacks (6) (3)

10. Eeyou Istchee: Land of the Cree/Terre des Cris L. Abbott, N. Jensen (-) (1)


Review of New Photo Books

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Louise Abbott has written on the subject of photography for more than thirty years. Below is a review that appeared in The (Montreal) Gazette on December 11, 2010. It was reprinted in The Edmonton Journal and in the Ottawa Citizen.

Photographers Explore the World


After the photographic process was invented in the nineteenth century, two kinds of photographers emerged: those who set up their equipment in a studio, and those who took to the road or the high seas with their cameras. Photographers today continue to pursue studio or field work. This seasons photo books embrace both genres of photography, but the most compelling showcase visual explorations of the real world.

In the mid-1850s, Italian-born Felice Beato was hired by an older photographer to record battlefields of the Crimean War, and then religious architecture and biblical sites in the Middle East. When he branched out on his own, Beato kept up a peripatetic existence, driven by a combination of wanderlust and entrepreneurialism. As Western interests expanded across the globe in the second half of the nineteenth century, European publics sought images of newly accessible countries and culture, Anne Lacoste writes in a handsome new coffee-table book, Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road (Getty Publications, 204 pages, $47.95).


Beato, a flamboyant, forceful personality, journeyed extensively in the Sudan, Burma, India, and the Far East. He created detailed images of buildings, monuments, landscapes, and people, and sold them as illustrations for popular anthropological and travel accounts; over the years, he gained fame, made many fortunes and lost them.

Today Beatos photographs are represented in private and public collections internationally, and he is recognized as a seminal nineteenth-century photographer. But Lacoste is the first to provide an overview of his life and work. Her book was published in tandem with an exhibition of the same name at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It boasts 162 reproductions of sepia-toned and sometimes hand-coloured images, and it bears the high-quality printing, design, and binding that have become the hallmark of Getty Publications.

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