International Museum Day

Every year around the world, International Museum Day takes place around May 18. In Montreal, the event will be held on Sunday, May 26, and for the occasion, 34 Montreal museums will open their doors to the public free of charge. Let's discover the treasures hidden in our museums!

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

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Created in 1977, International Museum Day is a unique moment for the museum community. This day is an opportunity to make the general public aware of their challenges in the development of society.
“From the Americas to Oceania via Europe, Asia and Africa, this international event enjoys real popularity. In recent years, the International Day has seen a record participation with nearly 30,000 museums organizing events in more than 120 countries. "
Source: International Council of Museums
In Montreal, the Society of Montreal Museum Directors (SDMM) has been organizing Montreal Museums Day since 1987. “This year's theme, Montreal Museums Day: culture connected!, calls for museums to be open to the world, for museums to meet cultures whose diversity is representative of belonging, wealth, identity and heritage. "
Source: Society of Montreal Museum Directors
The following activities will allow you to get to know certain places of culture better, especially in Quebec. The activities can however be regionalized.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Know the different types of museums;
- Name certain popular museums in Quebec;
- Design an advertisement for a museum in its region;
- Search the Internet for information on unusual museums;
- Understand that certain exhibitions are controversial and compose an opinion piece on the exhibitions Bodysuits and Gender: the exhibition that says it all.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Museums in Quebec

First, ask the students to define what a museum is. According to them, is the Montreal Biodome a museum? Tell them that the term "museum" applies not only to museums, but also to exhibition centers (for example cultural centers or libraries which have an exhibition hall) as well as to venues. interpretation.
Now ask them if they have ever visited a museum. What type of institution (museum, exhibition center or interpretation site) was it? What could they have done in this museum?
As a whole class, name popular museums in Quebec and identify in which city they are located. Then ask students to identify the 4 images below using the answer choices provided. For each image, they must also identify what type of institution it is and name the city where this museum is found.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in ActivInspire format (.flipchart)
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1. Pointe-à-Callière, museum, Montreal
2. Cité de l'énergie, place of interpretation, Shawinigan
3. Musée de la civilization, museum, Quebec
4. Fort Chambly, interpretation site, Chambly
Then, as a whole class, consult the museum directory in your region on the website of the Société des musées québécois. As a team, the pupils must choose an institution and create an advertisement in order to introduce this cultural place to the other pupils. Give young people the choice of making a poster, creating a brochure on the computer or even making a promotional video.
Finally, share the students' creations in the school. The best ads can even be shared in your community with the support of the institution in question.

ACTIVITY 2: All kinds of collections

The themes approached in museums are very varied, sometimes unusual, and even shocking!
First, have students complete the following diagram. By researching the Internet, they should determine where each of the museums is located. Also, they can add other unusual museums in the diagram.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

The Laundry Museum: Spa, Belgium
The Lawn Mower Museum: Southport Merseyside, UK
The Crutches Museum: Naftalan, Azerbaijan
The Opium Museum: Chiang Saen, Thailand
The Erotic Museum: Paris, France
The Museum of Torture: Carcassonne, France
The hearse museum: Cazes-Mondenard, France
The Toilet Museum: New Delhi, India
The Sewer Museum: Paris, France
Among the unusual museums identified, are there any that are controversial?
In Quebec, certain exhibitions sometimes cause debate in society. Have students read the following articles and then, as a large group, discuss the reactions to these exhibits.
An exhibition too daring for Minister Moore
Radio-Canada article, Thursday, May 17, 2012
Bodies, the exhibition - The anatomy of morals
Voir Québec article, June 11, 2009
Finally, ask the students what position they adopt in front of these two exhibits. In an opinion piece, they should indicate whether they would have liked to attend these exhibitions using various arguments.

For further

As a large group, find an interesting topic and set up your class as a museum. Invite students to expand the collection by adding items they own at home. For example, the theme of technologies could be exploited and the pupils could bring to class old audio players and music cassettes or even old computer mice (or floppy disks!).
Finally, invite other classes in the school to come and visit your museum.

More about the magazine

Montreal Museums Day 2013: culture connected!
Site of the Society of Montreal Museum Directors
International Museum Day
International Council of Museums website
Turnkey museums
Directory of educational activities on the website of the Société des musées québécois
Travel quiz - 10 unusual museums
Quiz in the Travel section of the Sympatico website

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About the Author

Véronique Lavergne
Véronique Lavergne
Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.

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