Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more

Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures

This activity reveals how encounters between Jean Paul Riopelle and Canada’s North and its Indigenous communities shaped this famous artist’s imagination. This is a unique opportunity to start a dialogue about Indigenous practices, particularly through a selection of masks made by Inuit and First Nations from the Northwest Coast.


60-min. tour + 60-min. creative workshop activity


Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace at 2075 Bishop Street



Topics explored

  • Exploring the territory
    Students will discover how Riopelle’s work was inspired by the northern landscape and wildlife.
  • Creative act
    Students will learn about Riopelle’s creative process and artistic influences.
  • Encounters
    Students will discover how Riopelle was inspired by his encounters, particularly with Indigenous communities.
The tour

Students will explore topics during an interactive journey about the exhibition’s themes.

Throughout the tour, students will participate in various theme-based activities:

  • Interactive discussions
  • Observation games
The workshop

Students can spontaneously experiment with the stencil technique to create an individual work.

Materials used:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Gouache paints
  • Pastels
The learning progression

Thanks to its encyclopedic collection, the Museum is a fertile ground for stimulating reflection on ethical issues, learning about history, discovering the diversity of the world’s cultures and developing critical-thinking skills. Beyond artistic discovery, students will build their understanding of the world at the Museum. In this activity, students will specifically learn to:

All cycles

  • Name (1st cycle), identify (2nd cycle) or differentiate between (3rd cycle) transforming gestures and tools
  • Name (1st cycle), identify (2nd cycle) and differentiate between (3rd cycle) elements of the visual arts language
  • Appreciate works of art and cultural objects of artistic heritage
  • Produce personal works of visual art

Social sciences
1st cycle

  • Construct a representation of space, time, and society: identify elements of the natural landscape

2nd cycle

  • Assets and constraints of an occupied territory: description of the territory of northern Quebec

3rd cycle

  • Describe the cultural realities of northern Indigenous communities
  • Mi’kmaq society and Inuit society circa 1980: distribution, language, and characteristics of the territory

Religious culture and ethics:
1st cycle

  • Associate stories with their religious traditions

2nd cycle

  • Associate symbols and images with different representations of creation stories

3rd cycle

  • Name the values and norms of different religious traditions
Go more in-depth

EDUCART is an interdisciplinary pedagogical tool for Quebec teachers that was designed by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Among the many works featured on this platform, we suggest you consult The Ice Canoe by Jean Paul Riopelle on the theme of territories.

Planning your visit

We recommend you review the Museum’s code of conduct with your students by referring to our MuseuManners.

illustration of people at the Museum

General information


Reservations are required for all groups of 15 people or more.

Phone: 514-285-2000
Toll free: 1-800-899-6873, extension 440


Unless otherwise specified, the group entrance is located at 2075 Bishop Street.

Special measures

In accordance with public health recommendations, the Museum has implemented measures to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors and staff.

Activities led by museum staff

To book an activity with an MMFA guide or mediator, you must contact us at least three weeks in advance. The earlier you book, the greater your choice of activities.

Partner teacher
Free access for elementary and secondary school teachers!

For many years, we have offered free access for elementary and secondary students, as part of our Partner Teacher program. Interested? Please contact our department to be added to this special list!

Group rates

The prices listed apply to classes of 30 students or less (primary or secondary level), as well as to groups of 22 children or less (kindergarten, preschool or day care). Please note that the price is a group rate and does not reflect the exact number of children.

Confirmation and invoicing by email

You will receive a confirmation letter and invoice by email. Please verify the information in these documents carefully. Payment in full can be made ahead of time or on the day of the activity.

Reservation modifications

We will do our best to accommodate change requests, depending on their nature. Please note that no changes to the number of students are accepted less than 12 business days before the activity.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations are accepted by phone only and can be made free of charge up to 12 business days before the scheduled event. You will then be issued a confirmation number. Cancellations or changes are not accepted within 12 business of the event, and the activity will be billed in full.

Directions and entrance

School buses
A reserved drop-off and parking area is located on Bishop Street.

Public transit
Guy-Concordia metro station (green line), 5 minutes from the Museum by foot; Bus 24, on Sherbrooke Street West – Bishop Street stop (eastbound) and Redpath Street (westbound)

Unless otherwise specified, the group entrance is located at 2075 Bishop Street.

Eating area

The Museum has a designated room where students can eat snacks or cold meals.
Please note that, for health reasons, students may eat in the workshop room reserved for the activity.

Prohibited items

Backpacks, bulky objects, umbrellas and food or drink (including bottled water) are not permitted in the exhibition galleries. Such items must be checked at the cloakroom. Please note that the Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation