Art for Art’s Sake

The Lower Town of Old Québec, as compact as it is, has a surprising diversity of neighborhoods – neighborhoods that overlap and complement one another. It is the oldest part of town, containing architectural vestiges of the first European traders to settle here. It is a bustling port, with the deep St. Lawrence nearby, constantly busy with maritime traffic. It is a prime shopping destination, the charming boutiques of the Little Champlain Street beckoning to passersby all year long.

The Lower Town is also a district of art galleries. Not to be confused with the Quartier des Arts of the Upper Town, the galleries of the Lower Town are scattered along a crescent-shaped brushstroke at the base of Cape Diamond between la Place Royale and the Old Port. Rue Notre-Dame, rue du Sault-au-Matelot, rue St-Pierre, and rue St-Paul each leads into the next, taking aficionados on a journey through the Québec City art scene. Whether you are looking for the perfect painting for your living room wall or just looking, the Lower Town galleries will satisfy your appetite for art appreciation.

There is a spectacular annual event – la Nuit des Galéries – that gives these galleries a night of their own. By mutual accord, they keep their doors open until 11:00 p.m. as flocks of art enthusiasts stroll from one to the next on the lighted pedestrian streets of the Lower Town. It is always a magical event, enjoyed in the clement cool of a September evening. This year, la Nuit des Galéries has again been cancelled because of COVID restrictions, but for the second year running, it has been replaced with a contagion-free alternative: le Mois des Galéries! Every Saturday in the month of September, the galleries will offer a special welcome and enhanced programming to their guests: artists in residence, demonstrations of various art techniques, and more. As you make your agenda for this month, consider spending an afternoon visiting the art galleries of the Lower Town.

9 thoughts on “Art for Art’s Sake”

  1. Kathy from Michigan

    I have thought of you often during all of the COVID mess and wondered how you are faring. Our last cruise was 3 years ago, and we enjoyed another delightful stop in Quebec. Thank you for whetting our appetite for another return visit. Your tour remains in the top of “best tours ever!”

  2. Nice to hear from you again. The gallery events sound wonderful! Hopefully one day we will arrange another visit!
    Deborah and John Slater, North Vancouver

  3. Merci Neil pour ce texte ! Comme les précédents, toujours très intéressants ! Au plaisir de te recroiser dans le «vieux» !

  4. Merci pour le beau texte, nous sommes situés sur la rue St. Paul et attendons avec grande joie les visiteurs durant le mois de galeries. À bientôt.
    OFF Galerie, 113 rue St Paul

  5. Dominique Bourqui

    Bonjour Neil,
    Toujours fidèle de lire tes magnifiques proses
    et observations à la cité de québec !
    Tu entretiens l’avenir avec beaucoup de dynamisme,
    digne d’un texte sur le National Geografic
    Alors je te tire mon chapeau et souhaite à toi
    et famille des bonheurs au quotidien.
    Au plaisir de te lire.

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