Raise Awareness, Educate, Develop Knowledge

Over the years, to meet the museum education needs of its different publics, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has developed expertise that is offered mainly in three areas: Art Workshops, Interactive Tours and Cultural Activities. Depending on visitors’ particular interests, they may choose any one of these activities or combine them to make the most of their visit to the Musée.

Educational Activities

Interactive Tours

Tours focused on dialogue and discussion, for all visitor categories.

The overall objective of the interactive tours is to enable visitors to discover the Museum collection and temporary exhibitions. The tours aim to provide information on the works on display, of course, but they are also meant to offer a place for the public and the educator to meet and exchange ideas. They are intended for all visitor categories: preschool and school groups (elementary, secondary, college, university), community, professional and tourist groups, as well as solo visitors. Various educational programs that include tours are also planned in conjunction with the Museum’s art workshops in order to present an art experience in which observation of works is combined with hands-on experience with different techniques and materials.

Specific objectives

  • Lead visitors to develop the skills needed to appreciate works of art: observe, identify, describe, compare and analyse.
  • Lead visitors to formulate critical judgments about the works and discuss them with the other participants.
  • Lead visitors to use the works’ evocative potential to stimulate their imaginations.
  • Lead visitors to better know and understand the main issues involved in contemporary Québec, Canadian and international art.
  • Lead visitors to draw connections between contemporary art and society, and between contemporary art and their daily lives.


Our interactive tours are designed to develop visitors’ abilities to appreciate works rather than impose a particular body of knowledge. The educator promotes discussion and questioning, guides participants in their observations and elicits exchanges of ideas. With preschool and elementary school groups, a playful, imagination-centred approach is adopted.


Program providing an introduction to collecting contemporary art

SéminArts is a program providing an introduction to the art of collecting contemporary art that has been offered by the Musée since fall 2010, with the collaboration of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation. Conducted in an atmosphere conducive to discussion and exchanges of ideas, this educational program gives participants a chance to discover the art world and how it operates, as well as the art market, through five sessions with various players in the art world: artist, gallerist, private collector, corporate collector and exhibition or museum curator. In addition to its scheduled series, SéminArts regularly offers à la carte activities (tour of Art Toronto, visits to other types of art venues, meetings with diverse stakeholders).

Art Workshops

Focused on artistic expression for all visitor categories

The Musée’s art workshops offer visitors of all ages an opportunity to enhance their aesthetic experience by trying out various techniques, media and materials related to  a concept or theme found in a work or exhibition. By encouraging artistic expression, they help develop visitors’ desire and ability to create.

Specific objectives

  • Use a variety of approaches to offer different audiences another way to connect with contemporary art.
  • Enhance visitors’ aesthetic experience.
  • Demystify the creative process with a hands-on approach.
  • Give visitors a sense of accomplishment by engaging in a rewarding activity.
  • Act as a source of inspiration prior to the tour.
  • Continue the thought process begun during the tour.
  • Increase visitors’ awareness of museum practices and familiarize them with various aspects of contemporary Québec, Canadian and international art.
  • Recognize and respect participants’ individual characteristics and expand their repertoire of personal experiences.
  • Develop visitors’ creative abilities through personal artistic expression and give them hands-on experience with various gestures, techniques, processes, materials and tools as means of two-dimensional and three-dimensional representation.

An approach focused on creativity

The museum setting in which these workshops are offered encourages much more than a chance to encounter and personally observe works of art. The ready access they provide to the art objects and the way these are presented allow us to develop a particular pedagogical approach that fosters a productive relationship between seeing and doing. Contemporary art favours artistic choices that venture far from conventional means of representation. It conveys both a certain artistic heritage of the past and concerns of the present. One of its main features is its eclecticism. The diversity of works, subjects, styles, techniques and materials stimulates and fuels the imaginations of receptive visitors.

After personally observing original works, an exercise that helps sharpen the gaze, workshop participants experiment, discover, reinvent and create. The resulting works may be modest, but they are truly personal and tangible. Creating images means producing them, putting them into concrete form. The hand works with the eye, enabled by discipline-specific means including gestures, techniques, processes, materials and tools.

The benefits of creativity

It’s well known that a hefty dose of creativity clears the mind and refreshes our ideas, stimulates our imagination, develops personal expression, sparks many different emotions, promotes self-esteem, enables us to externalize our sensibility, prompts a desire to communicate and alters our perception of the world. Participating in the Musée workshops means enjoying a special opportunity to reinvent yourself!

Workshop/Tour Combo

A program combining the pleasure of observing and that of creating

The workshop/tour combo is the ideal way to make the most of a visit to the Musée. This two-hour educational activity combines an interactive tour of the current exhibition and an art workshop that ties in with one of the works on display. It is intended for all types of groups: preschool, school, community, tourist and professional groups, as well as solo visitors, under our Family Sundays and Creative Moments programs.

Family Sundays

For all, with family or friends, every Sunday afternoon

Our Family Sundays are intended for all audiences, whether they are already familiar with contemporary art or are new to it: children age four and up, teenagers and adults. In a relaxed atmosphere and under the guidance of our welcoming, energetic staff, participants observe original works of art and discover, through a hands-on approach, new ways of creating.

Creative Moments

Workshops for adults

This program of activities revolving around artistic expression offers adults an opportunity to become acquainted with original artistic practices and try out various aspects of the creative process. Each session presents a new visual or media arts activity, with a different subject, theme, technique and medium. Participants can thus discover, from a new angle, the many different creative possibilities offered by the works on view at the Musée. By way of introduction, each series of activities starts off with an interactive tour.

LabO TechnO

This program allows participants to explore and experiment with new technologies for producing computer-generated images while mastering an innovative approach to the creative process.

Digital images and their multiple variations are revolutionizing the forms of expression used in visual culture and rapidly transforming the way we represent things. The growth of new media has led us to inaugurate a brand-new digital arts lab in keeping with today’s techno world.

Specific objectives

  • Produce a variety of artistic creations making use of new technological possibilities, new programs and new tools.
  • Create digital artworks in 2D and 3D.
  • Display images produced in the workshops in a virtual gallery (website).

Day Camp

For children age 6 to 15

Inspired by a theme connected with the works on display, the Musée Day Camp makes the most of participants’ energy and creativity by offering them a wide range of activities, both artistic (drawing, painting, sculpture, silkscreen on T-shirts, digital arts) and recreational. The program aims to develop youngsters’ creative capabilities as they learn about contemporary art in a fun, original way.

Recognized for its high standards of quality and its continually updated program, the Musée Day Camp has won four awards of excellence from the Association des camps certifiés du Québec: for Innovation in 1997, and for Best Program in 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Cultural Activities

Every year, the Musée plans and organizes the Max and Iris Stern International Symposium in addition to co-organizing symposiums planned by researchers associated with Québec universities. The goal of this program is to make the research of today’s leading thinkers accessible to the public. These scholars work in a variety of fields, such as art history, philosophy, literature, communication theories or any other field that can shed new light on contemporary art. Through its cultural activities, the MAC contributes to the advancement of knowledge on recent developments on the art scene and plays a part in connecting art with various social and/or aesthetic issues, thereby demonstrating to what extent visual-arts creation holds a central place in society and affords a unique perspective on it.

Gallery Talks

The MAC offers various types of mediation related to its exhibitions: gallery talks by curators and artists, conversations between curator and artist, and lectures given by artists on their artistic practices. The aim of these talks is to offer visitors an opportunity to hear the viewpoints of the principal players involved in the current exhibitions and to create spaces for contact and exchanges of ideas.

Max and Iris Stern International Symposiums

Since 2006, the international symposiums held by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal have been known as the Max and Iris Stern International Symposium. From the time the MAC was founded in 1964, Max and Iris Stern contributed significantly to its growth by enriching its collection with many gifts, including works by Hans Arp, Paul-Émile Borduas, Emily Carr, John Lyman and Jean Paul Riopelle.

The goal of this annual event is to make the latest research of today’s leading thinkers accessible to the public. These scholars work in a variety of fields, such as art history, aesthetics, sociology and literature. Through this commitment, the Musée wishes to foster a greater understanding of contemporary art and pay tribute to Max and Iris Stern by carrying on their vision on the international scene.