The cultural side of Petite Nation

Published on November 4 2021

A trip to Petite Nation can take many forms. What if you were looking for a cultural experience? The cultural tour will impress you! Discover the attractions that will capture your imagination and pique your intellectual curiosity. Here’s an itinerary that’s focused on culture!

Make way for the arts!

In Petite Nation, artists have a great showcase! A cultural tour would therefore be incomplete without a visit to its galleries or art studios. At Solart Studio Gallery, you’ll find one-of-a-kind works of ceramics, jewellery and cast metal. There are some spectacular pieces to discover! Advanced workshops are also available to help you develop your own artistic skills. 

For pottery lovers, La Shed Qui Tourne will remind you of the movie Ghost, starring American actor Patrick Swayze. This studio and boutique on Notre-Dame Street in Montebello is home to the works of ceramist Suzanne Ryan. Several other shops along the street also allow you to admire superb creations. 

At Atelier Jean-Yves Guindon in Saint-André-Avellin, it’s all about watercolour! Visit the gallery to view this artist’s paintings, and take the opportunity to visit the museum dedicated to his 35-year career. Expect to see poetic places and rural landscapes captured on paper! Please note that visits are by appointment only. 

Christmas lovers can enjoy the magic of the holiday season year round at La Destination de Noël in Ripon. In addition to being a 100% Christmas shop, it hosts workshops and presentations to help you master the art of ornament making, so you can get back onto Santa’s “nice” list!

More than just a wildlife park

Parc Omega has hit on a brilliant formula: in your vehicle, follow a winding 12-kilometre trail and observe various animals in their natural habitat. 

What you may not know is that the park also allows you to go back to the days of New France! Get out of your car and visit the Land of the Pioneers, an area that includes nature attractions, a restaurant, picnic areas, entertainment and … white-tailed deer—all in an atmosphere and architecture worthy of the 16th century. You can visit a replica of a trading post, where artifacts and illustrations will allow you to learn more about the fur trade and the exchange of European goods with Indigenous peoples. 

For more cultural discoveries, the First Nations Trail will take you, summer and winter alike, on a historical journey dedicated to the 11 First Nations of Quebec. Along the trail you’ll see totems representing each of the Nations. 

A majestic castle

The world’s largest log castle, Fairmont Le Château Montebello is the ultimate place to relax and enjoy a holiday! Much more than just a hotel, it’s a veritable little village worthy of the Swiss Alps, and an important heritage landmark in the Outaouais. 

How much wood do you think was needed for its construction, which took only three months (a record for the time)? The answer: no fewer than 14,000 red cedar logs! It was opened in 1930, when it was owned by a railway company. A stay at the Château Montebello is a great way to spend time with family and friends, but also to immerse yourself in over 90 years of history!

Museums to explore

Parks Canada
Parks Canada

A foray into the life of the Francophone patriot leader is a must! That’s exactly what you’ll experience at the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site. In this former seigneurial estate of Louis-Joseph Papineau (now a historic monument), follow in the footsteps of the patriot in his daily life thanks to an instructive guided tour. Check the schedule before you visit; tours are available from June to October. 

As the gateway to the Saint-André-Avellin historical circuit, the Musée des pionniers will allow you to discover nearly 1,000 objects used in the 19th century. Come and admire the well-preserved artifacts of that era inside the museum, then take a walk along the nearby wooded trail. Visits are by appointment only, except during the summer months. 

As part of the Economuseum network, the ChocoMotive chocolate company in Montebello has an open workshop where the public can learn about the chocolate-making profession. Find out everything there is to know about the artisanal production of chocolate, while stocking up on sweets. This is a visit that is both educational and delicious!

Telling time by the sun

Sundials are among the first objects that allowed humans to mark the passage of time. In Papineauville, come and see for yourself by visiting the 75thmeridian sundial! Thanks to this tool built precisely on the 75thmeridian line, you’ll get the right time every time. This is the perfect time to reset your watch (for those who still wear one!). Take advantage of this moment to take a break and admire an extraordinary attraction.

For a valuable reference in terms of cultural activities, check the calendar of the Centre d’action culturelle de la MRC de Papineau (available in French only) to make sure you don’t miss out on any cultural programming when you visit the Petite Nation. Stay on top of the exhibitions, shows and workshops taking place throughout the territory!

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