L'Empreinte Coopérative, From Then Until Now

It all began in 1972

Back then, three passionate friends and craft artist, Chantal Auger, Paule Lamarche and Hubert Beaudry, used to go and visit people at homes to sell their products. That same year, they participated in the Salon des métiers d'art du Québec. Through these enriching encounters, the idea of having a permanent place was already taking shape. Barely two years later, in April 1974, the Quebec artisan cooperative l'Empreinte was born.

Since then, hundreds of artists have succeeded each another, and the cooperative has grown and thrived. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we invite you to come and discover (or rediscover!) what l'Empreinte is about and what has been driving it for the past five decades.

Members of l'Empreinte in front of their boutique at 272 rue Saint-Paul Est in Old Montreal, in the 1980s.

An overview...

Acknowledged for being a pioneer in the field of artistic crafts in Quebec, the cooperative is one of the few organizations of its kind to be self-managed by its members, currently numbering around twenty. The different craft trades within the coop are diverse: jewelry, glass art, textile design, fashion design, felting, cabinetmaking and woodworking, ceramics, leather goods, illustration, stationery and more!

What makes the cooperative unique?

Our longevity is certainly what sets us apart because we are one of the oldest gallery boutiques in the province of Quebec specializing in local creators products. Throughout our history, our activities have been guided by our desire to provide the Quebec arts and crafts community by showcasing high-quality objects.

How the cooperative works

Artisans who wish to become members of the cooperative are recruited through a call for application and are invited to send us a comprehensive portfolio, including their resume, achievements and any other relevant information related to their background. The selection of new members is conducted at a general assembly, and a criterion of great importance to us is not only the quality and uniqueness of the work and product presented, but also the candidates' interpersonal skills. We aim to ensure that the individuals selected not only exhibit exceptional craftsmanship but also share our vision and adhere to our values of collaboration, solidarity, dedication and self-transcendence.

Why become a member?

Portraits des artisans membres de l'Empreinte coopérative à MontréalDiscover all our member artisans

Our boutique, located in the heart of Old Montreal, enjoys high foot traffic from both tourists and locals, providing unparalleled visibility for our artist's work. In addition to having access to a unique showcase, the cooperative represents an exceptional community where members can freely share their opinions and actively participate in the administrative decisions of the business.

Find out what some of our members have to say about their experience and the reasons motivated them to join us : 

"I love the mutual support and working collectively. As artists, we often find ourselves alone in our creative worlds, each of us in our studios. Coming together like this, united in a common goal, is incredibly stimulating!" - Pascale Viau, fashion designer and member since 2022

"The cooperative provides the structure, material and human resources to support the work of each of its members. Through its longevity, l'Empreinte demonstrates that it is a force to bring together humans and artistic talents to distribute the works of each individual." - Sylvie Laframboise, cabinetmaker and member since 2016.

"When I discovered the cooperative, the feeling of family, friendship and fantastic collaboration came to mind. Contributing to such an organization seemed like a privilege!" - Andrei Khabad, woodturner and member since 2023.

50 times thank you!

Launch of the 50th anniversary celebrations in the presence of members, the media and our spokesperson Eve Landry, in our Old Montreal boutique.

At the eve of our 50th anniversary, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our precious members, guest artists and especially to those who support fine crafts in Quebec. Without you, l'Empreinte cooperative would not be what it is today. Thank you for being part of our beautiful story!

If you are an artisan and wish to join our team, we invite you to check the "Become a Member" section on our website for more information.

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