The Musée de la civilisation, a public corporation, was inaugurated in 1988. It is located in the region's capital, Québec City, in the heart of an historic district and close to Place Royale, the site of the foundation of French America. Although resolutely contemporary, its architecture is a perfect example of integration into an historic environment.
This museum is characterized by its innovative and daring outlook. It defines itself as a seat of knowledge and ideas, a museum endowed with valuable collections, an education centre and a living memory.
The Musée de la civilisation links the past, the present and the future. While remaining strongly rooted in the reality of Québec, it projects a new, attentive and dynamic outlook on all of human experience in its whole, and on civilizations from the world over.
Its thematic programming opens up the way for a great variety of topics, from the fundamental issues and major social problems of our times, to various aspects of daily life. All exhibition themes are developed in a way that is both active and spectacular, with scenography holding an important part, and special care being given to ambient sounds. New interactive technologies and multi-media projections also contribute to the dynamism and accessibility of subjects. At the Musée de la civilisation, visitors enters into a world of discovery and exploration. All their senses are called upon; this museum speaks to both the heart and the mind. One of the busiest museums in Canada, the Musée de la civilisation has rapidly become a meeting place where visitors come to exchange and to learn, as well as to relax and to marvel.
Ten exhibitions are held simultaneously on a 6,000 square meter surface. The regular programming is based on three permanent exhibitions, leaving a large space for temporary exhibitions, whose diversity are a testimony to the turmoil of today's world. The Museum also presents its public with an interesting variety of educational and cultural activities.
In the course of the past ten years, the Museum's responsibilities have been considerably increased. From a museum of society, it has become a cultural complex, as it is now responsible for the management of many new components.