Small Museums, Great Discoveries in the Townships

Updated on Jul 15, 2021

As the saying goes, just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t be great! In the Townships, some really fine, human scale museums offer you some amazing cultural adventures. Let’s head out to visit 7 of them that will absolutely thrill you!

By Marie-Claude Masse

Musée de l’ardoise

Let’s head out to Richmond, where the Musée de l’Ardoise welcomes you for free this year, given the difficult context we’ve all been experiencing (psst! Voluntary contributions are, of course, accepted). Inside this magnificent neo-gothic church, recognized as a heritage building, your thirst for discoveries will be well satisfied with the permanent exhibit, Feuillets d’ardoise et tranches de vie (Sheets of Slate and Slices of Life). You’ll uncover plenty of information about this stone and how it has evolved through time. To add to your pleasure, you should absolutely take the guided tour!

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As for the museum’s temporary exhibits, you won’t be disappointed with Lori Hazine Poisson’s artistic propositions. Through her paintings, you’ll discover how she defines the emotions we feel when confronted by the unthinkable, the intangible the uncertain and the unknown. Then there’s also Anne Paradis, who, offers us her breathtaking batiks celebrating the great beauty of nature.

©Mathieu Dupuis

The Brome Museum

If you’re a history buff and love visiting old buildings, you must head out to the Brome Museum! Managed by the Brome County Historical Society. The museum offers great learning experiences by educating present and future generations about our culture and the ways of life which make up our past. Did you know that the Brome Museum is spread out through a complex of eight heritage buildings? You’ll discover true architectural jewels that marked the history of the region: The Paul Holland Knowlton House, the Tibitts Hill Schoolhouse, the Old County Courthouse, the Old fire hall and tower, the Martin Annex, the Old Academy, the Centennial Building and the Marion L. Phelps Building, which was converted into a delightful children’s museum.

When you visit the Brome County Museum, you’re taking a leap back in time as you collect novelties for your eyes and your memory! And, as a bonus, it all unfolds in the magnificent town of Knowlton!

©Sonya Messier

Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton

Established in an old inn built in the 19th century, the Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton (MCHS), also known as the Sutton Museum, is dedicated to the transmission of the Brome-Missisquoi region’s socioeconomic, cultural and industrial history. Here you’ll discover a spectacular collection of technical and ethnological objects, mostly dating back to the first half of the 19th century, a delight for the eyes! The institution also conducts research to identify and highlight the intangible heritage of the citizens of Sutton and the surrounding area. Precious!

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This summer, the MCHS will finally present the exhibition titled C’est ici que je veux vivre! Focusing on the life of Quebec performer Monique Leyrac, the event had first been planned to open last year. From June 19 until October 11, you’ll be able to admire artefacts, news articles and photographs gathered from her Sutton home. You’ll enjoy discovering book excerpts and pictures of the singer taken by the master of photography Antoine Desilets. In short, this exhibit will truly please admirers of this great lady of the art of singing who was also a well-known and very talented actress!


Musée international d’art naïf de Magog

Did you know that the Musée International d’Art Naïf de Magog (MIANM) is the only institution in Canada exclusively dedicated to this artistic niche? The MIANM collection includes more than 850 works of art created by 300 artists from 34 countries! Whether we call this art naive, crude, primitive or even spontaneous, it’s each piece’s rich quality and refreshing colours that offer a true balm for the eyes.

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  • A beautiful curiosity from June 16 to September 12: Les broderies d’Akhmîm (Akhmîm’s embroideries). You’ll be able to admire the embroidery work of this group of self-taught women from different underprivileged regions who strive to perpetuate this millennial art form.

Le P’tit Bonheur de Saint-Camille

A true incubator for solidarity projects, located in the heart of the lovely town of Saint-Camille, Le P’tit Bonheur is an intimate performance hall, a pretty restaurant and a centre for the promotion of the arts, all in one place. For more than 30 years, it has hosted such events that brought together all generations. Here, inside this friendly venue, up-and-coming artists are propelled into the spotlight, while more established artists are also highlighted. Throughout it all, the public can enjoy a multitude of artistic approaches.

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  • Marie-Pier Arthur, Ingrid St-Pierre and François Lavallée will be performing this fall at Le P'tit Bonheur.

Maison des arts et de la culture de Bromptonville

Maison des Arts et de la Culture de Bromptonville, is truly a precious jewel where contemporary visual art reigns. With the cultural centre’s varied and original program, its ideal location by the Saint-François river and its free access, we’d be crazy not to drop in! Throughout the entire year, the region’s artists can exhibit their work here. The centre also holds such very popular events as Les Jardins réinventés de la Saint-François, an artistic happening which unfolds outdoors through temporary installations which are integrated inside the surrounding nature.

Coming Soon

  • During the summer, you’ll be able to admire the work produced by Caroline Létourneau and Ma Ani, two painters who’ll exhibit the fruits of their creative pictorial process (dates to be confirmed).

©Daphné Caron

Moulin à laine d’Ulverton

Relive the era when the first textile factories were established in the Val Saint-François region, during the early 19th century. Skip and jump sheep your way to the Moulin à Laine d’Ulverton as the town’s wool mill presents its permanent exhibit En avant les machines! Right in front of your eyes, the mill, which dates back to 1840 and is classified Heritage Building, comes to life by recreating a typical « factory » atmosphere. Carding, spinning, shredding … seeing all these machines, the fruit of humans’ inventive genius will impress you, for sure!

During your visit, you’ll be able to admire the mill, the river with its covered bridge, and you’ll learn the amazing story of how the mill was restored. As you’re guided through the machine rooms, you’ll learn everything there is to know about all the steps for transforming wool! And, we can’t say it enough, the outdoor surroundings are simply grandiose and offer everything you need so you can enjoy a delicious picnic!

You should read

Ten museums to visit
Culture: The Best Kept Secrets of the Townships
The Round Barns of the Southern Townships


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