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7 of the Best Art Venues in Montréal

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

As the capital of Québec, Montréal is a major city with a lot going for itself: a rich job market and plenty of entertainment opportunities. Besides concert and event venues, Montréal has plenty of institutions that showcase local art either through a modern lens or a nod to the past.

To help you find the next art-inclined venue, we’ve put together a list of some of the most acclaimed institutions that celebrate art in Montréal:

1. Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

In existence since 1860, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is the first art museum in Canada and a prominent one in North America. Its exhibitions include archaeology, fine arts, contemporary practices and more. There are over 80 exhibition galleries, an in-house publishing department, a public sculpture garden spread out over five pavilions.

Created as a repository of Québec and Canadian heritage as well as international art, the MMFA comprises around 45K sculptures, paintings, photographs, multimedia installations and art objects reflecting the times from antiquity to the present day. Moreover, the MMFA is known for its work with community, health and technology sectors to enhance art awareness for all.

2. PHI Muse

An arts organization founded in 2016, PHI Muse features artworks that straddle technology and art. It focuses on artistic initiatives, immersive installations and educational pursuits. They take a bold approach to art, where hybrid art is not celebrated, but encouraged all the while maintaining the dialogue with the public as a core tenet.

PHI comprises the PHI Centre, PHI Studio, PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art and PHI Antenna, an editorial platform meant to reach the local community. Through its various initiatives, PHI seeks to create a future-looking and relevant space for art that promotes inclusiveness and dedication to quality.

3.Musée d’Art Contemporain

The Musée d’Art Contemporain (MAC) of Montréal has been a part of the city’s art life for over half a century. It has hosted local and international works of art to the delight of a growing public. The artistic performances, exhibitions and festive events, the MAC aims to offer an insight into futuristic forms of art that capture the city’s essence and move beyond it too.

As a visionary museum, the MAC is a leader in the Montréal artistic community as it engages with several local players. Additionally, it intends to extend its reach beyond Québec and into the international contemporary art scene. You can enter the Museum through the Galerie PVM via the Mansfield Street entrance.

4. McCord Museum

A public research and teaching museum, the McCord Museum’s purpose is to research, study and preserve Canadian history. Taking its name from its founder – David Ross McCord – the museum is located in downtown Montréal, close to McGill University.

The museum started out with its founder’s family collection of objects, but it has grown to boast an impressive number of items groups in various collections. It now hosts a collection of ethnology and archaeology, a costume and textiles one and the Notman photographic archives – the latter including 1.3M photographs and other early photography equipment.

5. Canadian Centre for Architecture

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is a cultural institution founded in 1979 acting as an international research institution and museum. Their core belief is wrapped around the idea that architecture is a thought-provoking issue of public concern. They focus on putting together exhibitions and publications, developing and sharing collections as a resource.

Moreover, the CCA is concerned with advancing research and offering public programs that further the idea that architecture impacts everyone’s life. The CCA is located in Montréal, where their main building, park and sculpture garden is located, helped by their website which acts as an extension of their work and collections.

6. Chateau Ramezay

Château Ramezay is a history museum supported by a non-profit organization. Its mission lies in preserving, making accessible and safeguarding its collection of historical artifacts

and providing educational and cultural activities in support of the history of Montréal.

The museum opened to the public in 1895 and is the first building the Québec government registered as a historic monument. Collections are present both as permanent and temporary exhibitions. Additionally, they organize educational activities aimed at presenting the culture, heritage and daily life of the people of Québec back in the day. Moreover, the Museum also features the Governor’s Garden, a typical urban New France garden.

7. Heffel Gallery

Heffel Gallery is shaping up to be of the finest art auction houses in Canada, bolstered by a strong team of specialists. International auctions are held twice a year in May and November, besides the monthly online auctions showcasing impressive works of art. What’s more, Art + Auction named Heffel Gallery one of the top 10 auction houses in the world.

Founded in 1978, Heffel Gallery has supported exhibitions and events at the Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and others. The Gallery pledges its support to collectors and the art community looking to highlight the Canadian art world.

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1 Comment
Jul 16, 2023

@Mirela Mohan Thanks for sharing this list of some of the most acclaimed institutions that celebrate art in Montréal! I'm planning to visit there in the fall and this will come in handy!

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