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A bold, innovative and caring museum

Artwork with writings. Sharing the Museum.
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Through its activities and initiatives, a vibrant, engaged and multidisciplinary MMFA strives to forge ties with the public, its members and its partners.

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2018 Pride Parade. Photo Sébastien Roy

The Museum’s success is founded on its innovative nature and its ability to reinvent itself and think outside the box. The Museum evolves along with its city and reflects its society:

It has the capacity and the desire to change in order to stay relevant.

It is innovative, experimental, inventive, daring, resourceful and proactive.

It initiates dialogue in all disciplines: visual arts, history, music, science, ethnology, sociology, and more.

It initiates dialogue in all disciplines: visual arts, history, music, science, ethnology, sociology, and more.

It is receptive to input from its community, through partnerships with artists, craftspeople, designers and experts.

It combines disciplines and develops the educational dimension of its collections and exhibitions.

A humanist Museum

Educational and art therapy initiatives abound at the Museum’s Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy, the largest educational complex in a North American art museum.

With its innovative content and inclusivity, the MMFA provides an inspiring model of a humanist museum both here at home and abroad.

A true laboratory for innovation, the MMFA fosters new and holistic, rather than solely discipline-focused, approaches to art. It leads the way by working with experts in education, health, research and social services, as well as universities and local community groups, with support from business and philanthropy.

Research, notably in neuroscience, demonstrates the benefits of the arts for well-being and even their therapeutic value. Our understanding of the sensate and emotional dimensions of human nature is being enriched through scientific research and through the practices used in Museum visits and workshops.

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I am convinced that, in the twenty-first century, culture will be recognized as being as important for health as sport was in the twentieth century. I believe our innovative and multidisciplinary initiatives, supported by our numerous partnerships, anticipate humanity’s future needs.

Nathalie Bondil, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' director

Nathalie Bondil

Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA

Community involvement

Through the highly innovative Sharing the Museum program, we work with over 500 community organizations, whose clienteles include immigrants, refugees, the underprivileged, people with disabilities, seniors and people at risk. In 2015, the Museum ranked first among Canadian museums in terms of the number of participants in its educational, cultural and community programs—307,000, a 207% increase in three years!

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From left to right: Nadine St-Louis, founder and Executive Director, Ashukan Cultural Space; Cécile Rousseau, Pediatric Psychiatrist, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and Director of the RAPS team (research and action on social polarization); Moridja Kitenge Banza, artist and Educational Programs Officer – World Cultures and Togetherness, Director of the laboratoire de recherche en relations interculturelles (LABRRI) and head of the Montréal ville interculturelle partnership; Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA; Cathy Wong, President, Conseil des Montréalaises, Ville de Montréal; Thomas Bastien, Director of Education and Wellness, MBAM; Marie Houzeau, Executive Director, Groupe de recherche et d’inervention social (GRIS) de Montréal; Mohammed Makhfi, artist, calligrapher and art educator; and Moussa Sène, President, Conseil interculturel de Montréal. Photo : Christine Guest

A socially engaged Museum

Reflecting its core values, the Museum has made a mission of social engagement so that, working together, we can build strong and dynamic communities.

Through many programs and workshops, the Museum provides support for:

Disadvantaged children (through Les Petits Bonheurs, the Fondation du Dr Julien, the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec) and over 5,000 students annually as part of the Une école montréalaise pour tous program

Encouraging students to stay in school (Fusion Jeunesse, Atelier 850, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, DAREarts)

Youngsters being bullied at school (Fondation Jasmin Roy, LOVE)

Alleviating homelessness (Dans la rue, Saint-James Drop-in Centre, Old Brewery Mission, Chez Doris, L’Itinéraire)

Adult literacy (Le Tour de lire and the Comité d’éducation aux adultes de la Petite-Bourgogne et Saint-Henri)

The reintegration of people with intellectual impairments (Centre d’éducation des adultes de LaSalle) or severe physical disabilities (Action Autonomie Handicap, L’Amitient, Humanity & Inclusion Canada)

The Museum promotes the “togetherness” of our cultural diversity by supporting:

Education for girls (60 million girls Foundation)

The integration of Indigenous women (Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal)

The integration of Indigenous women (Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal)

Research into health, education and social issues by lending its expertise to six Quebec universities

Social and psychological peace, as well as the combatting of violence and exclusion through a fruitful partnership with Concordia University

Let’s come together against racism

The executive team and staff of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) would like to express our solidarity with the Black community. No one should fear for their safety, life, or dignity because of their skin colour. No one.

Let's come together against racism
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Claude Cormier, Stuffed Animals, 2012, 3,000 stuffed animals, wood, assembly: Georges Audet. On loan from Claude Cormier, Claude Cormier et Associés Inc. Coll. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo MMFA, Denis Farley

The Museum and health

Through innovative research and pilot projects, the MMFA works with various health-care partners to validate and monitor the impact of museum visits, taking part in art workshops and even reintegration into the workforce on the healing process in respect to:

Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer Society of Montreal, Alzheimer Groupe, Centre Évasion, Cummings Centre)

Post-traumatic stress (Saint Anne’s Hospital, Concordia University)

Cardiac arrhythmia (Montreal Heart Institute)

Autism (Miriam Foundation, Fondation Les Petits Rois, Giant Steps School and École Irénée-Lussier)

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Concordia University)

Psychological disorders and mental health issues (CHU Ste-Justine, Centre d’Apprentissage Parallèle, Les Impatients, Jewish General Hospital, Centre d’intégration à la vie active, The Yellow Door, Relax Action, McGill University)

A place that enhances well-being, the Museum offers health walks through its galleries. Particularly designed for seniors and convalescents, they help foster physical fitness and mental health.

The Museum exhibits works in a number of medical centres through a partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts.

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The Museum as a laboratory for the twenty-first century. Photo Caroline Hayeur (Collectifs stock photo)

The Museum as a laboratory for the twenty-first century

The Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy

Since its expansion in 2016, the International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy has welcomed community and school groups as well as families to its wonderful facilities, which include a digital lab, a cafeteria serving healthy meals, the Family Lounge, galleries, a safe drop-off area for buses and, most importantly, twelve studios. Moreover, two spaces are devoted to art therapy, a world first for a museum.

EducArt

The MMFA’s new digital platform, EducArt, designed with and for Quebec secondary school teachers, has been developed to make its vast encyclopedic collection accessible beyond its walls. Intended for inclusion in Quebec school curricula across all subjects, it aims at enabling students aged 12 to 17 to create multidisciplinary educational projects using works from the Museum’s collection.

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