© Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy
Marie Asselin
Updated January 20, 2017

Visitors to Quebec sometimes exclaim that the old city is a work of art in itself. In fact, its historic architecture has earned the old city a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1985. Unsurprisingly, creativity, culture, and art are greatly esteemed by the city’s leaders, who invest millions of dollars each year in supporting individuals and organizations to develop shows, create art, and stage exhibitions.

Art buffs will find several museums and galleries where they can admire both ancient and modern works of art, but some of our best creations can be enjoyed for free. Most of the parks and the main streets of the city are adorned with works of contemporary art: visitors can discover them by following one of the five self-guided tours put together by the city. For even more artistic immersion, check out the five places on my list to discover the talent of our people.

Musée des Beaux-Arts du Quebec

Located right on the historic Plaines d’Abraham, the stately Musée National des Beaux-Arts fascinates visitors with its setting as well as its exhibits. The three pavilions of the museum house a fascinating permanent collection—including more than 2,500 works of Inuit art—and popular temporary exhibits organized in collaboration with other major international museums. Set to open in late 2015, a brand-new modern pavilion will nearly double the museum’s gallery space.

Grand Théâtre de Quebec

Classical and popular music concerts, opera, dance, and theatrical productions are presented at this complex in the heart of Quebec City’s arts district. The theater has two performance spaces, and it is also home to the city’s music conservatory. Dance, theatre, and music companies, including Quebec City’s Symphonic Orchestra, perform here.

Rue du Trésor

Galérie d'art inuit Brousseau et Brousseau

Raymond Brousseau is an art collector who sold his 2,500+ piece Inuit art collection to Quebec City’s fine arts museum, where a fraction of the pieces are displayed. His family manages this beautiful art gallery that also showcases the works of contemporary Canadian aboriginal artists. Browsers are welcome.

Fresques des piliers

Gorgeous trompe l’oeil frescoes have completely transformed the area that was previously an eyesore separating the Saint-Roch neighborhood from the Old Port. The frescoes are painted on concrete pillars that support the highway coming into the Upper Town, and they portray imaginative scenes inspired by medieval times, the circus, and more. Standing proud alongside graffiti, it is the city’s most interesting collection of urban art.

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