“I have always thought that ECONOMUSEUM® were hybrid institutions: a curious mixture of heritage preservation, cultural industries, art, design and the avant‑garde.”
What Is an ECONOMUSEUM®?
An ECONOMUSEUM® is a craft or agri-foods business whose products are the fruit of an authentic technique or know-how. The business showcases artisans and craft trades by offering an area for interpreting its production and by opening its doors to the public.
ECONOMUSEUM®, which are self-financed through the sale of their products, make an innovative contribution to the cultural tourism sector.
Respect for the 6 fundamental components of the concept:
- Presentation of membership in the ECONOMUSEUM® network.
- Space devoted to cultural heritage through the commemoration of a figure, craft, or savoir-faire, event, historical period or site.
- Permanent plaque indicating the partners associated in the development of the business.
- Visitor gathering area.
- Production workshops:
- Heart of the ECONOMUSEUM® where the craftsperson and/or his team produce contemporary objects drawing inspiration from traditional methods.
- Visitors must see the craftspeople at work to understand the production process.
- This area is equipped with educational tools suited to explaining the production process, techniques, and materials, and to providing other relevant information.
- Interpretation of objects from the past:
- Exhibition space showing visitors of all ages the creativity of the craftspeople from the past using documented traditional objects and texts explaining the various facets of the craft from a historical perspective.
- Interpretation of the contemporary production:
- Exhibition area for products, works or pilot-projects referring to the adaptation of traditional products from the past to contemporary needs.
- Reading, documentation and archives:
- Public area enabling visitors who want to learn more about the craft practised by the craftsperson to read and consult documentation.
- Boutique or salesroom:
- Space set aside for the sale of products made by the craftsperson as well as for associated merchandise.
All artisans interested in becoming a member of the ECONOMUSEUM® network must first meet the following eligibility criteria. Once this requirement has been met, the next step consists in submitting a business portfolio for further evaluation by the Société's selection committee.
The criteria are:
- be a private business in operation for more than three years;
- use a traditional technique or know-how to craft one’s products;
- make products of recognized quality;
- have the ability and the desire to innovate in one’s production;
- operate throughout the entire year and be open to the public for at least (4)four months a year, or accept to be open to the public for at least (4) four months a year;
- generate a turnover of more than seventy-five thousand dollars ($ 75 000) a year;
- show keen interest in welcoming visitors;
- be located on or near a previously identified tourist route or a tourist route under development;
- operate in buildings having the required space for setting up an ECONOMUSEUM® and welcome visitors, or intend to acquire the required space;
- operate on a site and in buildings of high quality.