Montreal is known for its diverse cultural and artistic heritage, and for the city’s celebration of the arts in its myriad forms. Here are some of the best art memberships that cultural travelers will find both enriching and useful in Montreal—many of which grant access to other museums, galleries, and cultural centers across the city.
There are a number of memberships offered through the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, granting a sliding scale of exclusive access to events, workshops, and exhibition previews. There are six memberships under the VIP category, from the $80/year VIP Solo (which, among other benefits, grants free, priority access to all exhibitions and collections under one personalized VIP card) to VIP Duo ($115/year) and Trio ($135/year). There are also the Avant-garde VIP ($35/year) and Vernissage VIP ($400/year) options; the latter offering privileges to those who are interested in meeting other donors and learning about philanthropy and giving you an invitation to two or three major exhibition opening nights where you’ll be in the company of the media, celebrities, and those leading the museum. The ultimate membership is the Unlimited Vernissage VIP at $600/year: in addition to the opening nights (“Vernissages”) of all major exhibitions, these members are invited to discovery exhibition premieres, including contemporary art exhibitions, along with fellow donors and members of the media.
The Friends of the Montreal Art Centre package gives donors access to a community of artists that create and exhibit their work from their open personal workspaces and private studios, and the Centre Gallery. There are art classes, workshops, open drawing sessions, lecture series, and more.
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Friends of the Canadian Centre for Architecture
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Founded in 1979, the CCA is an international research institution that operates on the idea that architecture is a public concern. Decorative and visual arts, design, and heritage come together here, and memberships range from $25 annually (or $40 for two years) for students (35 or under) and $45 annually (or $80 for two years) for adults. Privileges include unlimited free access to the CCA’s exhibitions, exclusive invitations for two CCA vernissages, and a 10% discount on most titles in the CCA Bookstore. As a Friend of the CCA, you’ll also get special rates at cultural centers, such as the McCord Museum, and on opera and theatre productions in the city.
Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain is one of the premier contemporary art museums in Canada, and the MACarte gives members unlimited free admission and priority access to all of the museum’s exhibitions and the “Nocturne” events. For adults, the card is $45 for one year or $70 for two, and for students, it’s $30/$50. You can also get 15% off items at the Musée Boutique, as well as 15% off several activities offered at the MAC (including SéminArts, children’s parties, and the Creative Moments art workshops). There’s also free admission to the Family Sundays art workshops, and being a MACarte holder gives you discounted access to several other museums, galleries, and theatres across the province.
If historical and contemporary fashion is your kind of artistic experience, then consider becoming a Friend of the Fashion Museum (Musée de la mode). The prices range from $15/year for students to $30/year for a family membership, or you can become a lifetime member for $500/year. Benefits include free admission to the Fashion Museum at all times, invitations to various openings and talks, 10% off purchases at the gift shop, and free admission to other associated museums, including the Maison amérindienne in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke.
La Guilde is a non-profit historical gallery and museum of Canadian art that has been preserving, promoting, and encouraging fine crafts for over a century. By becoming a member of La Guilde, which specializes in Inuit and First Nations art, you receive a 10% reduction on the artworks and decorative objects on sale at the Gallery and preferential rates for La Guilde’s services and the consultation of its archives. You’ll also get invitations to the gallery’s exhibition openings, lectures, workshops, etc. and free access to and a guided tour of the permanent exhibition. Annual membership fees are $15 for students, $50 for adults, $80 for families, and $20 for artists/artisans.