As a popular spot for French settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries, the province of Quebec has a unique culture combining European traditions and Canadian identities. The province’s big cities, such as Montreal and Quebec City, as well as its small towns, such as Mont Tremblant and Sainte-Adèle, carry a remarkable cultural strength. With over 400 artistic events and festivals taking place throughout the province every year, Quebec has become a hotspot of creative artistic expression within Canada.
With so many interesting aspects of the province, there is clearly a charm drawing in tourists and keeping locals there. But with so many incredible exhibits around the province, its difficult to pick which ones to visit! Here are some unique exhibits showcasing what makes Montreal and Quebec City culturally dynamic.
Galerie Brousseau et Brousseau, Quebec City
Located in the heart of Old Quebec, the Galerie Brousseau et Brousseau focuses on promoting Inuit Art in Quebec and abroad. With a passion for showcasing Inuit culture, and wanting to help to improve the standard of living in the Canadian Arctic, the gallery has also organized many exhibits throughout Europe. The exhibits display only carefully selected pieces that are true to their ancestral traditions. With one of the largest collections of Inuit sculptures in North America, the gallery provides a great opportunity to explore Canadian history and culture.
Musée d’art Contemporain, Montreal
Located in the Place des Arts complex, a major performing arts centre, the Musée d’art Contemporain is Canada’s first museum dedicated to contemporary arts. The museum is divided into eight galleries and each showing a different important development within contemporary art. The galleries include all different forms of art, from painting and sculpture to prints, installation art, and video. It has an extensive collection of 7,600 works but the rotating temporary exhibits are what keeps things new and exciting.
Musee Des Beaux-Arts, Montreal
As Montreal’s largest museum, and one of the most prominent in Canada, the Musee Des Beaux-Artsis a must-see. As a member of the International Group of Organizers of Large-scale Exhibitions and an RBC partner, this museum gets to exchange and showcase exhibits from some of the world’s most-renowned museums and galleries. The museum is currently housing the Thierry Mugler Couturissime exhibit which combine fashion and art to create fantastical pieces.
View of the exhibition Thierry Mugler: Couturissime. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo © Nicolas Ruel
L’Espace Contemporain, Quebec City and Montreal
With two independent locations in both Montreal and Quebec City, L’Espace Contemporain is newer to the art scene. While only conceptualized in 2005, this gallery is making its mark. Created because of a passion and respect for artistic creativity, the gallery offers virtual and traditional exhibit spaces to both established and emerging artists. The gallery also promotes experimentation within the arts and plays a big role in researching audience engagement. If you’re looking for less traditional exhibits, L’Espace Contemprain is the place to go.
A commitment to the arts is important for continuing and growing Canada’s unique identity, and the province of Quebec, with its mix of history and culture, has cultivated a dynamic environment for artists to grow and artistic expression to flourish. Charming and lively, Quebec provides visitors and locals world-class opportunities to discover truly artistic experiences.
Find out more about how RBC supports the Arts.
Banner photo credit: View of the exhibition Thierry Mugler: Couturissime. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo MMFA, Denis Farley
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