Many artistic endeavours have depicted the evolution of Québec society through its daily life, its family and religious traditions and its migration to urban centres. Present-day social realities (for example, modernization, immigration, consumption and the role of women) in Québec continue to influence our artistic creators. Hence, culture not only serves to highlight Québec’s uniqueness, but also to enrich its collective memory. The Québec government also catalogues its assets (movables, property, public places, commemorative plaques and more) that are to be preserved as heritage assets.
Catholicism was present in all spheres of Québec society (public administration, education, health, etc.) until the emergence of the secularization movement in the 60s. The Judeo-Christian tradition has left its mark on Québec culture. Indeed, various places of pilgrimage, churches, organs, and religious statues and museums are carefully preserved and afforded special protection under the Cultural Property Act.
The Fonds du patrimoine culturel québécois (Québec Cultural Heritage Fund), dedicated to preserving and disseminating historical materials, consists of five distinct parts:
- assets protected by the Québec government
- buildings and sites with significant heritage value
- works of art integrated into architecture and the environment
- permanent museum exhibits
- the carrying out of studies of, and of activities to disseminate, raise awareness of, record and showcase the cultural heritage.
Lastly, the Centre de conservation du Québec was founded to restore and upgrade Québec’s movable heritage. Its goal is to make the remnants of Québec’s cultural history available to present and future generations.