Run by the wife and family of the late, great coppersmith, Albert Gilles, the Albert Gilles Copper Art Museum showcases artwork by both Gilles and his family. Part of the economusee network of Canada, this small museum allows visitors to make their own copper memento, and groups with reservations will get to see live copper work demos. In the museum store, you’ll also find artworks and jewelry for sale.
Albert Gilles was born in Paris in 1895, where an aunt taught him the craft of copper embossing. Crossing the Atlantic in the 1930s to make a new life in Quebec, Gilles quickly established a name for himself as a master coppersmith and created work for everyone from Walt Disney to Pope XII. Perhaps his most famous work is the copper doors he created for Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré basilica, 22 miles outside Quebec City. This famous cathedral receives up to half a million pilgrims a year, and in Quebec City itself you can spot Albert Gilles’ designs on the copper roof of the iconic Château Frontenac hotel.
A 20-minute drive from Quebec City in the Château-Richer on 7450 Boulevard Sainte-Anne, entrance to the Albert Gilles Copper Art Museum is free. The museum is open daily from 8:30am-5pm between May and October, and from 9am-4pm from November to April.