International ECONOMUSEUM Network Society
Cyril Simard

«This network of businesses is composed of multitalented artisans who open their doors to the public so as to share their passion for their art trade and heritage. The businesses are chosen mainly for the quality of their welcome and for their products.

Give them the pleasure of your visit!»

Cyril Simard, Ph.D.
Founder of the ECONOMUSEE® Society Network


This word designates a small, artisanal business, whose operations are not subsidized, and which is recognized for the quality and authenticity of its know-how. Open to the public, the business has special areas for animating and interpreting its art trade by means of pedagogical tools similar to those used in museum interpretation. All of the businesses are self-financed through the sale on site of traditional-style products.


The mission of the ECONOMUSEUM® Network Society is to conserve, develop and present traditional trades and know-how by promoting the setting up of a network of ECONOMUSEUM® across the country and abroad so as to offer a high quality cultural and tourism product to the public.


Set up in May 1992 by Cyril Simard, Ph. D., architect, designer and ethnologist and called the Fondation des Économusées du Québec, today this organization goes by the name of the ECONOMUSEUM® Network Society. Cyril Simard is the first holder of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Heritage at Laval University.

A private non-profit organization, the Society is composed of a group of actors who share a common vision regarding the development, setting up and operation of ECONOMUSEUM®. Its administrators come from the university, cultural and business sectors as well as from each of the regional societies.


  • Promote sustainable development by setting up projects aimed at the heritage preservation and presentation of a trade or know-how;
  • Support the search for partners who favour the development of an ECONOMUSEUM® network across the country and abroad;
  • Provide technical and professional services to all members of the network and share common experiences;
  • Promote “ÉCONOMUSÉE®” and “ECONOMUSEUM®”. Defend the integrity of the concept.


  • Promote heritage that “earns its keep”. Help the artisan to become financially self-sufficient so that he can honourably pass on his knowledge from one generation to the next.
  • Conserve the best of tradition. Meet the needs of his contemporaries.
  • Develop cultural tourism and learning travel. This knowledge economy turns tourists into wise consumers.


  • Sociocultural

    • Establishes poles of excellence in a trade
    • Develops the identity and sense of pride of local communities
    • Creates new ties and working relationships among artisans
    • Brings notoriety and national and international recognition
    • Encourages universities to do research and development
  • Socioeconomic

    • Creates new jobs and making existing jobs sustainable
    • Stabilizes the business’ financial situation
    • Introduces conditions favouring fair work practises
    • Stimulates consumer demand for more authentic products
    • Safeguardes traditional manpower
  • Tourism

    • Increases the tourism offer in the area, complementarity rather than competition
    • Lets tourists discover in vivo design and production processes
    • Adds value for clientele interested in learning travel
    • Brings the artisan and the consumer into closer contact
    • Increases sales of products that have a personal touch or are closely identified with a region


A welcoming area

Welcoming in a network in which the artisan is pleased to receive the visitor and to share information about his trade. The wel­com­ing area testifies to the cultural nature of the business, to the artisan’s pride in belong­ing to a network, and pays tribute to the trade’s creators, their traditions and know-how.

A workshop

The heart of the business and an area for passing on intangible heritage where the artisan, through traditional activities, produces contemporary works and uses pedagogical tools to explain the various techniques, procedures and materials he uses.

Interpretation of traditional activities

Area for exhibiting well-documented traditional objects and presenting texts underscoring the creativity of the artisans of the past and associating today’s artisans with a trade and a community. This heritage focus testifies to the various aspects of the trade from a historical perspective.

Interpretation of the contemporary works

Area for exhibiting products and presenting research that shows how the artisan has adapted his product over the years and has used his creative genius to meet current needs. These works express the modernity of artisans both at home and abroad.

A reading and documentation area

Area devoted to sharing knowledge and know-how. Area devoted to reading and consulting recent works on the trade open to visitors and researchers.

A gallery-boutique

Sale on-site of products made in the business as well as of derivative products. The boutique diffuses and promotes the artisan’s work and provides an opportunity for visitors to take it home with them… an experience and a product, the fruit of fair work practises.


In response to the interest created by the ECONOMUSEE® concept, the ECONOMUSEE® Society Network has set up regional societies to promote the concept in every region of Canada and has introduced the concept in seven countries of Northern Europe.



Maison Louis-S.-Saint-Laurent
203, Grande-Allée Est
Québec (Québec) G1R 2H8

Téléphone : (418) 694-4466
Télécopieur : (418) 694-4410
Courriel :

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