Acquiring works of art


Acquisition process

Ville de Montréal acquires works of visual art, public art or other art forms in various ways. Public subscriptions, private funding by benefactors, competitions of Quebec artists, gifts from a foreign city and bequests from private estates enable the City to expand its collection. 

Acquisition process for public art

The Bureau d’art public oversees the public art acquisition program, which focuses on enriching the City’s collective heritage through the acquisition of new works of art, with priority given to contemporary visual art practices. These new works are chosen by a jury in a competition.

In 1989, at the request of professional artists and out of concern for fairness, the City chose a competitive process for acquiring new works of art, with a few exceptions. Held by public notice or by invitation, these competitions are intended for professional artists. Seven new jury members are chosen for each competition.

Works acquired in this way by the City are usually created specifically for the place or building into which they will be integrated.

Exceptions to the competitions are acquisitions of works by foreign artists through cooperative agreements between Montréal and several foreign cities.

Acquisition Process for the Municipal Art Collection

Each year, works of art are chosen for the municipal art collection by acquisition committees made up of professionals from various fields, including conservators, art critics, professional artists and representatives of Ville de Montréal’s Service de la culture.

Works by winners of the awards of excellence bestowed by the City in the visual arts and arts and crafts categories (Louis-Comtois Award, Pierre-Ayot Award and François-Houdé Award) are acquired in this way.

Since 2011, the Service de la culture has implemented an art acquisition plan for works exhibited by artists in one of the venues of the Accès culture network. Acquisitions made through PADORAC (Plan d’acquisition d’œuvres d’art du réseau Accès culture) enhance the City’s collection. 



Michèle Picard
Section Chief, Équipements culturels et art public
Service de la culture, Division développement culturel
514 868-5856
Claude Brault
Museologist - Municipal Art Collection
Service de la culture, division de l'action culturelle et des partenariats
514 872-1157