The Museum Foundation is launching a major fundraising campaign with the ambitious objective of raising $100 million over five years.

MMFA Director Stéphane Aquin

MMFA Director Stéphane Aquin has renewed his contract for three years and is excited about the upcoming transformation of the MMFA
Photo MMFA, Jean-François Brière

With its sights set on the future and its first strategic plan in hand, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is undertaking several key projects that will allow it to fulfill its cultural and social role and make it possible for everyone to experience the benefits of art.

Bolstered by the mandate renewal of Director Stéphane Aquin for three years, the support of the Board of Trustees, as well as a strong management team, the Museum Foundation is launching a major fundraising campaign with the ambitious objective of raising $100 million over five years.

“It’s a great privilege to be able to continue leading the Museum toward the achievement of its first strategic plan. It’s a far-reaching plan and the major fundraising campaign we’re launching will be crucial,” said Stéphane Aquin, Director of the MMFA at the recent campaign launch “I’m honoured to be able to pursue my mandate in this institution whose prosperity and future mean so much to me, and I’d like to thank the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me.”

“Today we’re launching the 2023-2028 major fundraising campaign, The Museum Transforms Lives, a philanthropic initiative that will become the driving force for many of the MMFA’s key projects,” added Jo-Anne Duchesne, Director General of the MMFA Foundation. “Enhancing the collection, education, adapting to today’s challenges and transforming public spaces are some of the major themes of this ambitious fundraising effort aimed at ensuring the institution’s sustainability. The Museum is one of Montreal’s top attractions and a major hub of cultural and community engagement that truly transforms lives.”

Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace

The Michal and Renata Hornstein
Pavilion for Peace.
Photo: Marc Cramer

The first strategic plan in the institution’s history

With this strategic plan, the MMFA plans to take on current and future challenges by focusing its efforts on three fundamental and complementary pillars – programming and outreach, audiences, and organizational capacity. These commitments are reflected in the three main areas of focus of this major fundraising campaign that will give it the necessary means to bring this first strategic plan to life.

The Museum Transforms Lives

The MMFA Foundation’s 2023-2028 major fundraising campaign will be fuelled by the slogan The Museum Transforms Lives. With its special status as a not-for-profit organization, the Museum must rely on self-financing for over 50% of its operating budget. The Museum’s impact can be felt far and wide, from Montreal, to Quebec, Canada and the rest of the world. When donors give to the Museum, the whole community benefits.

The Sun by Dale Chihuly

The Sun by Dale Chihuly is being lovingly repaired and restored 
Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

The Museum aspires to make a positive difference in people’s lives, whether it be art lovers coming to the Museum seeking inspiration; artists whose works are exhibited or acquired; families initiating children to the joys of discovering art; students and teachers having fun learning as they experience the wonders of the collection; older adults gathering to socialize and create in good company; or people in difficult circumstances enjoying a moment of respite at the Museum and sometimes even finding the support they need to rebuild their lives.

A solid beginning to the campaign

Bourgie HallAs it is being launched, this major campaign is well on the way to success, with 80% of its funding objective already confirmed. “The members of the campaign cabinet and the Museum and Foundation’s teams are determined to do what it takes to reach, and even surpass, the campaign’s objective,” said André Dufour and Sylvie Demers, respectively president of the MMFA and president of the Museum Foundation. “But they need you: art and culture enthusiasts, the MMFA’s Members and public, business people, private foundations, etc. The Museum is a not-for-profit organization with special status, which means it must rely on self-financing for a large part of its operating budget. Now more than ever, the support of its community will be vital to the success of the next chapter in its history and to its positive impact in the community.”

The projects funded and implemented through the 2023-2028 major fundraising campaign will focus on three main areas.

First, the Museum will concentrate its efforts on developing its innovative and relevant artistic programming and promoting its collection of nearly 47,000 works from five continents.The programming will more closely reflect the diversity of artistic expression in Quebec, Canada and around the world, with the objective of enriching the visitor experience. For instance, the Museum will create a new exhibition space on Level 4 of the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion devoted to the history of art in Quebec and Canada through temporary exhibits.

The Art Hive at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 

The Art Hive at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 
Photo © Mikaël Theimer (MKL)

For its part, the collection’s unique character will be highlighted thanks to greater integration in the exhibition programming, which will also inspire new ways of looking at art, history and our times. The redeployment of the Inuit art collection, among other things, will double the exhibition area, develop a new narrative approach and make this artistic and cultural heritage accessible to all audiences.

The major campaign’s second area of focus will be firmly rooted in the Museum’s values of education and community engagement. It hopes to enhance its contribution to the community through various initiatives, such as the creation of a chair in art therapy and the expansion of the popular Sharing the Museum program. To this end, the Museum plans to increase the number of free community art workshops for all audiences, including timeslots reserved for people 65 and over.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Annual Museum Ball

The Annual Museum Ball raised a record $2 million. From left to right: Jo-Anne Duchesne, Director General of the MMFA Foundation; Stéphane Aquin, MMFA’s Director; Sylvie Demers, President of the MMFA Foundation; Charles Emond, Museum Ball’s Honorary Co-Chair and President and CEO of the CDPQ, and France Margaret Bélanger, Museum Ball’s Honorary Co-Chair and President, Sports and Entertainment of Club de hockey Canadiens; André Dufour, President of the MMFA; and Mary-Dailey Desmarais, MMFA’s Chief Curator.
Photo Frédéric Faddoul

Finally, the third area will focus on the Museum’s special projects, with an emphasis on the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI), including projects dedicated to transforming its public spaces into living spaces that reflect the needs of its visitors and the community. The MMFA hopes to reach out to its diverse audiences by offering a welcoming environment for exchange. For example, an alliance with Espace pour la vie and the Jardin botanique could revitalize the green spaces around the Museum and turn them into rest areas for passers-by while increasing the biodiversity of the sector and inspiring the neighbourhood’s horticultural and greening initiatives.

The values of DEAI will also be manifested in the desire to ensure a fairer representation of certain artists, trends or cultures within the MMFA’s collection; to develop digital mediation initiatives and upgrade its digital resources; to focus more on its large-scale direct and indirect green initiatives; and to broaden its accessibility options, in addition to many more projects.

There are three ways to make a contribution to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Online: By phone: 514-285-2000 or by mail: MMFA, 2189 Bishop St. Montreal, QC, H3G 2E8. Donors make also make a gift in their will and are invited to contact the Museum Foundation team.

About the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Pavillon Hornstein

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a positive international reputation and the Capital Campaign and Strategic Plan will ensure its continued success for decades to come

Founded in 1860, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has been built on the generosity of multiple generations of  Montrealers. Its mission is to acquire, conserve, study, interpret and present significant works of art from around the world and from every era, in the hope that members of its community and all Museum visitors may benefit from the transformative  powers of art.

The MMFA’s collection showcases Quebec and Canadian heritage, Indigenous art and international art from a progressive  and innovative perspective. It comprises close to 47,000 paintings, sculptures, graphic artworks, photographs, multimedia installations and decorative art objects dating from antiquity to the present. The MMFA’s exhibitions and cultural  programing aim to inspire new ways of looking at art and the history of art.

As a hub of art, community and exchange and a pioneer in the provision of art therapy, the Museum collaborates with partners in the fields of community organization, education, health and technology to offer all audiences an enriching and transformative experience of art. Thus, through each of its projects, the MMFA continues to strive towards a more inclusive, accessible and just world.

About the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation

The MMFA Foundation provides vital support to the Museum in maintaining and growing its operations. The MMFA’s legal status as a non-profit organization requires that it self-finance a significant proportion of its annual operating budget. Backed  by a large roster of loyal donors and partners, the Foundation carries out a variety of philanthropic initiatives in service of  the institution’s main priority areas: arts and culture programming; showcasing and enriching the collection; educational  activities and community involvement; and special projects. All of the Museum’s and Foundation’s activities are founded in the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI).