Small Museums, Great Discoveries in the Townships

Updated on Apr 28, 2023

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

©Mathieu Dupuis

Musée de l’ardoise

Let’s head out to Richmond, where the Musée de l’Ardoise welcomes you 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!

Take the opportunity while in Richmond, to explore the streets of the old town sector on foot. A podcast, available free of charge (psst! Voluntary contributions are, of course, accepted), will accompany you on your tour and will chronicle the early days of the city through stories of the families, business people and prominent personalities who shaped the region.

The museum is open from mid-June to mid-September.

©Agence NABI

Lac-Brome Museum

If you’re a history buff and love visiting old buildings, you must head out to the Lac-Brome Museum! 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 Lac-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 this 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!

The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday.

©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!

Coming Soon

  • From June 23 to October 9, the MCHS presents Au fil des saisons, une expo à cueillir.


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.

Coming Soon

  • Until June 4 : Discover « La joie est toujours possible » exhibition from Atmo Zakes, which presents works inspired by the artist's childhood memories.

©Daphné Caron

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.

Shows to come 

  • Discover the entire program for 2023-2024 right here.
  • From May 27 to June 4, don't miss the Masqu'alors! Festival. Using the art of mask making in all its shapes as a theme, it’s the only event dedicated to this art form in all of North America.

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

  • Until May 28, the Maison des Arts et de la Culture will present « Écrans et enveloppements » by Johanne Bilodeau, « Tant que je pourrai norcir » by arie-Claude Robillard and « La genèse d'un cercle » de Louise Marois.
  • From June 18 to September 3, you’ll be able to admire the work produced by Oli Sorenson, Amélie Lemay-Choquette and Jeanne Caron.

©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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