Founded in 1985, EXPRESSION has the mandate of conserving and exhibiting contemporary artworks for the communities in Les Maskoutains (the region around Saint-Hyacinthe), Québec, and Canada, with the objective of establishing a dialogue with visitors and the general public. The artworks presented at EXPRESSION result from their creators’ research and theoretical exploration and reflect current aesthetic issues in Québec, Canada, and other countries. Building on the observation that artists often refer to the society from which they come, EXPRESSION’s artistic director has decided to present works that challenge visitors through psychosocial and philosophical concerns: genders, interpersonal relations, eating habits, the environment, occupation of the land, the notion of identity, and spirituality.

In addition to exhibitions, EXPRESSION offers educational services, publications, conferences, guided tours, and other mediation projects. The goal of all of these activities is to highlight the work of Canadian artists and make contemporary art more accessible to audiences of all generations, cultures, and beliefs.

EXPRESSION’s mission is to develop people’s sense of belonging to the society in which they live while encouraging a process of decolonization of their approach to life. Who are we, the citizens of the twenty-first century? is the question underlying all of EXPRESSION’s activities. To better understand and cope with life today, our mission consists of enlisting contemporary artworks as raw materials to connect here and elsewhere, past and present, different cultures and belief systems. In short, EXPRESSION is a place of delight, reflection, and education. In this spirit, EXPRESSION affirms that it promotes social dialogue and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Maintaining high quality standards, EXPRESSION presents works that reflect the current concerns of artists who are recognized by their peers. At EXPRESSION, we see artists as partners and respect the established CARFAC-RAAV fee schedules for our public exhibitions.

The highlighting of artists and their main concerns in the early twenty-first century is a focal point for the Centre’s programs. Starting in 2020, EXPRESSION accelerated the transition to addressing realities such as gender, cultural, and belief diversity, as well as awareness of the present and past realities of First Nations, notably by promoting the work of Indigenous artists and, more specifically, by making connections with the Abenaki community, which occupied the territory of Les Maskoutains before French settlers arrived and is still present and active.


EXPRESSION (since 1985)
EXPRESSION was initially a visual arts gallery, founded at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe in 1985. EXPRESSION, since 1989, has been a museum occupying the second floor of the Saint-Hyacinthe public market, with an expansive gallery that many have called one of the most beautiful exhibition spaces in Québec. EXPRESSION has made its presence felt within the Québec and Canadian contemporary art network. EXPRESSION is a daily host to children being introduced to contemporary art. EXPRESSION creates remarkable publications. EXPRESSION highlights the work of artists who are recognized by their peers. EXPRESSION counts on the expertise of a team that knows how to handle both challenges and opportunities. EXPRESSION encompasses an administration team and a community that have provided uninterrupted support to the contemporary art centre. EXPRESSION has been growing for almost forty years. With these solid foundations, EXPRESSION is an art centre that is a museum in the making.
To date, more than 200 exhibitions have been presented at EXPRESSION. Each year, more than 4,000 young people attend its animation and education activities. Since 1985, more than 80 members have sat on the board of directors and united their efforts to bring EXPRESSION to new heights, making it the respected contemporary art centre that it is today.

EXPRESSION: A museum in the making

EXPRESSION intends to become the Musée d’Art et Société. The museum will be integrated into the Pôle culturel maskoutain (Les Maskoutains cultural hub) that is gradually being built in Saint-Hyacinthe. Therefore, EXPRESSION is preparing for the future with the objective of transforming itself into a museum that will collect and exhibit both contemporary art and regional realities. In this context, EXPRESSION’s mission is to foster dialogue among the region’s different social actors even as it bears witness to diversity of cultures and beliefs through the artists and contemporary artworks that have formed the foundation of this museum of art and society in the making.

ORANGE (since 2003)

Created by EXPRESSION in 2003, ORANGE, L’événement d’art actuel de Saint-Hyacinthe is a recurring art event – a triennial – structured as a laboratory for thought that addresses various issues related to the agri-food industry through exhibitions, interventions, performances, lectures, and screenings. By presenting brand-new works by professional artists from Québec, Canada, and abroad, ORANGE promotes both contemporary art and the event’s host region, known as “Québec’s breadbasket.” Following on the success of the first seven editions, ORANGE and its main partner, EXPRESSION, are preparing the eighth edition of the event, which will take place in summer 2025, in collaboration with the Jardin Daniel A. Séguin.

Chronology of EXPRESSION’s key moments

1985 - EXPRESSION is founded at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe by Pierre Rodrigue, Francine Girard, Jacques Lefebvre, et Yves Louis-Seize. Pierre Rodrigue is its executive and artistic director.

1987 - Lorraine Fontaine is appointed executive and artistic director.

1988 - EXPRESSION moves to the second floor of the Saint-Hyacinthe public market.
November 13: official opening of the new premises.
Michel Groleau is appointed executive and artistic director.

1989 - Accreditation as a museum is granted by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.

1996 - EXPRESSION presents the first edition of Sympo-Fibres international de Saint-Hyacinthe.

1998 - The Canada Council for the Arts awards a recurring core operating grant to EXPRESSION.

1999 - Presentation of the second edition of Sympo-Fibres international de Saint-Hyacinthe.

2001 - Marcel Blouin is appointed executive and artistic director.
A publishing policy is implemented.

2003 - EXPRESSION presents the first edition of ORANGE, L’événement d’art actuel de Saint-Hyacinthe.

2005 - EXPRESSION celebrates its 20th anniversary.
While remaining a close partner of EXPRESSION, ORANGE incorporates as a non-profit organization. Texts were written for the occasion by Myriam Tétrault, Francine Girard, Claude Millette, Myriam Tétrault et Marcel Blouin.

2006 - Participation in the second edition of ORANGE.

2007 - First steps toward becoming a museum of contemporary art and regional realities.

2009 - Participation in the third edition of ORANGE.

2010 - EXPRESSION celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2012 - Participation in the fourth edition of ORANGE.

2013 - Studies are conducted to define the role of the museum in the making.

2015 - Participation in the fifth edition of ORANGE.

2016 - EXPRESSION celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2018 - Participation in the sixth edition of ORANGE.

2019 - Accreditation is obtained: EXPRESSION becomes a museum certified by the Gouvernement du Québec.

2021 - A policy is adopted for collection of contemporary artworks and regional objects.

2021–22 - Production of a Functional and Technical Program in anticipation of installing EXPRESSION – Musée d’Art et Société in the Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire church.

2022 - Participation in the 7th edition of ORANGE.


Marcel Blouin
General and Artistic Director
Véronique Grenier
Programming, Exhibitions and Publishing Coordinator, Communications Manager
Frédérique Pelletier
Art Educator
Roxane Chamberland
Administrative Assistant
Sophie Cardinal
Collections Manager
Émilie Breton
Communications and Social media Coordinator, Membership Administrator
Étienne Rocheleau
Technical Manager
Roger Despatie and Pascal Audet
Exhibition technicians
Patrick Foisy
Gallery clerk (weekend) and Art Mediator
Édith Brodeur
Accounting and bookkeeping technician


Daniel LeBlond
President, painter, president of Gesù, creativity center, vice-president of Maison du Gesù and co-founder of MAI (Montréal art interculturel)
Réal Plante
Vice-president, retired archivist of the Commission scolaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Suzanne Saint-Amour
Treasurer, retired museologist and founder of the Collection Saint-Amour
Jacqueline Rainville
Secretary, General Manager, Association de la construction Richelieu-Yamaska
Guy Choquette
Administrator, retired from the health laboratory field
Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard
Administrator, architectural consultant
Jacquelin Rochette
Administrator, retired, former artistic director of Casavant Frères
Jessica Marchand
Administrator, notary at Therrien Couture Joli-Cœur
Claire Gagné (observatrice)
City Councillor, City of Saint-Hyacinthe
Valérie Arsenault (observatrice)
Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisor, City of Saint-Hyacinthe

Call for applications

EXPRESSION is committed to working closely with artists and curators from here and abroad.
However, for the time being, we do not issue calls for projects, and we no longer guarantee to follow up unsolicited applications. The programming of exhibitions and publications, planned well in advance, takes many criteria into account and is by invitation only.

We remain interested in receiving publications and other news from artists, curators and colleagues, but please note that we make no commitment to acknowledge receipt, and no physical documents received will be returned.