Société des musées québécois, photo credit Robert Baronet
Knowledge is abundant in Quebec’s museums and interpretation centres and can be discovered in various ways. It is an inexpensive and very rewarding activity for having fun with that special someone, your family or friends. Three hundred museums represented by the Société des musées québécois surpass themselves each year to bring you a renewed experience full of surprises. Quebecgetaways.com met with its Director General, Michel Perron, to learn more about what Quebec’s museums have to offer.
Quebecgetaways.com (QG) – Michel Perron, could you explain the role played by the Société des musées?
Michel Perron (MP) – The Société des musées is a provincial association that has existed since 1958. Our mission is to represent all museum institutions including many of its professional workers such as curators and self-employed museologists. Even though our association plays a discrete part, we offer different, interesting campaigns for the general public.
QG- Why would someone visit a museum in 2012?
MP – That’s an excellent question! Museums are visited according to personal interest such as art, history, science, plants or insects. They are places where we can validate or acquire knowledge and summarize information about the location. This is why foreign visitors visit museums. They wish to better understand local society. I might also add that over time, museums have come up with new, surprising ways of unveiling their many collections.
QG – What is the profile of a typical visitor?
MP – According to a visitors survey conducted by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec, over 12.5 million people visited Quebec’s museums in 2011. This means that people go to museums at least 2 times a year or more. Our visitors are individuals or couples, and we have also observed an increasing number of young families.
Michel Perron, photo credit
QG – What trends are to be expected from museums in the future?
MP – We are seeing an increasing number of museums specialising their offer. The best example of this trend is the historical marine site in Pointe-au-Père that has acquired a submarine. In addition to touring its museum, visitors can also spend the night in the submarine. The use of new technology, despite never being able to replace objects in a museum, completes the experience by featuring different content.
QG –What makes Quebec’s museums successful?
MP – First off, I’d say their success stems from employee devotion. And there’s an amazing variety of treasures found in museums, which encourages an increasing number of people to visit. And even if institutions don’t always have great financial means, they still manage to provide a quality product, which is amazing.
Name: Société des musées québécois
Director General: Michel Perron
Number of institutions represented: 300
Number of individuals represented: 600
Number of museum visitors: an average of 12.4 million over the past 5 years.
In 2011, the Société des musées québécois won the Prix Coup d’Éclat in the Brochure ou dépliant promotionnel d’un budget de plus de 500 000 $ category, awarded by the Société des Attractions Touristiques du Québec.