The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has partnered with Médecins francophones du Canada to offer patients and their caregivers free admission to the museum in a yearlong pilot program beginning at the start of next month.
For the first time anywhere in the world doctors in Canada will be allowed to prescribe trips to art galleries to their patients. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has partnered with Médecins francophones du Canada to offer patients and their caregivers free admission to the museum in a yearlong pilot program beginning at the start of next month.
Nathalie Bondil, director general and chief curator of the MMFA said she’s been envisioning the scheme since 2016. In a statement released by the museum, Bondil said the pilot is set to pave the way for a new approach to medicine and asked for skeptics to be mindful of previous attitudes towards non-medicinal healthcare. “I am convinced that in the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century,” said Bondil. “Cultural experiences will benefit health and wellness, just as engaging in sports contributes to fitness. Skeptics would do well to recall that just a hundred years ago, sports were believed to distort the body and threaten women’s fertility. Just as doctors now prescribe exercise, they will be able to prescribe a visit to the MMFA.”
It comes off the back of a similar scheme last year, recommend group art therapy sessions at the Museum to patients according to a questionnaire and availability. In partnership with Dr. Asmae Boutaleb the program was tailored to visitor’s health.
According to The Montreal Gazette, the new service will allow doctors to assign up to 50 museum prescriptions; with each one allowing entry for up to two adults and two children age 17 or under. Next year, 130 outfits created by Thierry Mugler will go on show at the museum in at the first exhibition dedicated to the French fashion designer, alongside a whole host of sketches and documents from the Haute Couture creator, meaning fashion is soon to be available on prescription to help the health of Canadians.