The Story Behind Le Vivoir

From vision to reality

Le Vivoir is the result of a community’s mutual need: a place to share, create and develop art sensibility. Artists and collaborators come together to celebrate local art and crafts. Discover what created the spark for such a collective movement.

For more than 30 years, Monika Gagnon dreamed of a place where artists would unite freely in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, a place where art would be accessible to all. She hoped to revive the atmosphere that once defined the village when artisan’s shops flourished along road 132, and when the École de Sculpture frequently displayed participative exhibitions in public places throughout the village.

In 2018, Monika acquired an charming place in front of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli’s church, featuring a beautiful ancestral house and a small commercial building. For many years the building was Given its location, Monika saw potential for a place dedicated to art which would be accessible to visitors. She saw the creation of an arts and craft boutique, behind which she could establish her own flameworked glass shop.

She quickly realized that Saint-Jean-Port-Joli’s artistic community was craving for a place to create and exhibit their work. She decided that her new place would benefit a greater number of people.

Monika’s dream is now carried by her daughter, Maighan Gagnon, who founded Le Vivoir. Maighan’s entrepreneurial and management skills allow her to realize this unparalleled project, arising from her mother’s dream.

Together, Maighan and Monika bring to life a concept that encapsulates their deepest values, bringing together many artist studios, a boutique and art gallery, and creative classes. They want to provide artists with a complete resource centre, allowing them to create and promote their work. Above all, they strive to develop public sensitivity towards arts and crafts and all the expertise that’s involved.


The house is constructed by Élie Chouinard. Its style is typical of Quebecers’ homes built during the nineteenth century.


Joseph Honoré Dupont and his wife, Pamela Chouinard, acquire the house. It is where they raise their family of 12 children.


A room in the house is converted to a post office. Mr. Dupont is postmaster from 1910 to 1920. After his death in 1920, his wife takes over until 1930.


The owner at the time, Mr. Morin, constructs a building behind the house, which becomes a very unique furniture store. Le Vivoir Moderne is managed by Mr. Morin and his wife, Ms. Toussaint for more than 40 years, and acquires a strong reputation. His plan was to build a second floor, but he passed away before it was started.


For 34 years, two different flower shops operate in Le Vivoir Moderne’s old building.

November 2018 – March 2019

After 5 years of inactivity, Le Vivoir Moderne is rebuilt into a three-floor boomtown-style edifice, reminiscent of the old building. Shortly thereafter, it is learned that the new construction strangely resembles the plans drawn up by Mr. Morin back in the day.

Juin 2019

Le Vivoir’s doors open to an art centre dedicated to showcasing arts and crafts. Every day it welcomes numerous artists, art enthusiasts and visitors.

Something to share?

We are collecting memories and anecdotes surrounding Le Vivoir’s rich history. If you have something to share, do not hesitate to let us know.