The museums in quebec more popular than ever

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It is not only the Louvre Museum in Paris and the MET in New York, which have smashed attendance records in 2018. The museums in quebec following the global trend, they have never been as popular as in the past year. Some even describe their traffic of” mind-blowing ” and ” history “.

In Montreal, the Museum of contemporary art, who presented the exhibition Leonard Cohen : A breach in any thing,/A Crack in Everything evokes a record “mind-blowing” with 114 000 visitors more than last year.

The Musée Pointe-à-Callière has broke a record as “historical” with its 527 216 visitors, an increase of 14 %.

The phenomenon is also observed in the region : the Museum POP of Trois-Rivières received 20% more visitors in 2017. The Ottawa side, six of the seven national museums have increased attendance.

The major retrospective
Alberto Giacometti drew more than
100 000 visitors alone are the
last spring at the national Museum
des beaux-arts.

Same thing in Quebec city. More than 420 000 people passed through the turnstiles of the national Museum of fine arts (MNBAQ), an increase of 14 %. At the Museum of civilization, this is the last year they have crossed a historical threshold thanks to the phenomenal success of the exhibition Hergé in Quebec city.

But if we compare 2018 with a “normal” year as 2016, they see it as a significant increase of 12 %.

Several factors explain this important interest in the museums which is amplified year by year. In this digital era, the report to the object is more and more important to people.

“I believe that the more we are going to go to digital, the more people feel the need to touch the authentic, writes the director of the musée Pointe-à-Callière, Francine Lelièvre. It smells a lot in our customer base. “

“We see that in an era marked by the false news and the distrust of the multiplicity of sources of information instantaneous, people are turning to museums, which are always recognized for their credibility,” explains Jean-Luc Murray, director general of the MNBAQ.

As to the contemporary art, it is ” in full swing “, says John Zeppetelli, director of the MAC of Montréal. “We broke all our records. This is contemporary art, I remind you. This is not the painting of the 19th, which has been commented on a million times and everyone loves it. “

John Zeppetelli goes even further by saying that the museums are replacing what people have forsaken : religious experience and the church. “We’re going to the museum to feed the spiritually “, compare-t-il.

Exhibits innovative

Over the years, museums have developed all sorts of ways to maximize the experience of the visit, incorporating, among other things, the technology in the exhibition.

“Museums are less conventional, less traditional. They create diversified experiences. We will not only see objects in the window, ” says Francine Lelièvre. For example, the museum Pointe-à-Callière has collaborated with Ubisoft in the past year, and prepares a project related to artificial intelligence.

“This is no longer true that the museum, it is an experience boring, said for his part Jean-Luc Murray, the MNBAQ. There are ways to present works that are less usual, approaches that are less intellectual and more sensitive, more emotional. “

Young adults and tourists

The technology inevitably attracts young adults, “not easy to bring it to the museum,” says the director of the MNBAQ.

“The number of customers that has increased the most this year are the young people of 18-30 years,” he says, it to Pointe-à-Callière. They are not yet a regular client base. “

The growth in tourism is another factor that increases the ridership, supports Francine Lelièvre.

According to stakeholders, it is “too early” to say whether the measure introduced by the government of a Sunday free per month had a significant influence on ridership.


Going to museums

Museum of contemporary art of Montreal

  • 2017 : 462 900 visitors
  • 2018 : 576 292 visitors (until 24 December)


  • 2017 : 461 744 visitors
  • 2018 : 527 216 visitors

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

  • 2017 : 374 000 visitors
  • 2018 : 420 000 visitors

Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

  • 2017 : 396 045 visitors
  • 2018 : 419 436 visitors

Museum of folk culture in Trois-Rivières

  • 2017 : 52 400 visitors
  • 2018 : 62 700 visitors


Elsewhere in the world…

Musée du Louvre, Paris

  • 2016 : $ 7.4 million
  • 2017 : 8.1 million
  • 2018 : $ 10.2 million

Metro politan Museum of Art, New York

  • 2017 : $ 7 million
  • 2018 : 7.36 million