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Wrestling: Québec in the Ring

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See wrestling in a new light with this exhibition co-designed and co-produced by the Musée and the creative company Ex Machina along with its artistic director, Robert Lepage.

Sport, theatre, circus or entertainment? Wrestling can be all of these at once!

Dive into this mesmerizing world and discover the defining eras of wrestling, its many characters and its evolution in Québec.

From barns to Madison Square Garden, to community halls and arenas, wrestling brings fans from every horizon together. As a universal theme, it embodies a deep-seated human instinct that has been around for thousands of years. The history of Québec’s society is tied to the history of wrestling.

You do not have to be a wrestling enthusiast to appreciate this extensive and fascinating exhibition.

Wrestling: Québec in the ring is an exhibition conceived and designed in collaboration with the creation company Ex Machina and its artistic director Robert Lepage.

From barns to Madison Square Garden, the exhibition travels through the defining eras of wrestling, its industry, its locations and its symbols.

From Louis Cyr and the other strong men and women who have captivated the audience with their superhuman demonstrations, we move from the countryside to the city and we revisit the advent of television, creating a phenomenon and raising the wrestlers to the rank of superstars.

The various wrestling moves, the main fighting styles practised around the world and across civilizations as well as other anthropological and cultural dimensions are showcased in this compelling exhibition.

The distinctive creative approach of Ex Machina and Robert can be felt throughout the exhibition.

Many devices play with perspectives and create impressive visual effects. The exhibition includes reconstructions of emblematic locations such as La Tour, the Colisée de Québec, the Montréal Forum and even Madison Square Garden. Other optical devices show archival images and present wrestling matches, giving us the impression of being there.

The perfect combination of old visual technology and innovative digital technology. Amazement guaranteed!

Many objects in this exhibition are true historical treasures of Québec’s wrestling scene.

Many significant objects from wrestling history and important artefacts from well-known local wrestlers have sadly disappeared overtime or are still collecting dust in attics.

In collaboration with Ex Machina, Pat Laprade, Bertrand Hébert, valuable collaborators and former wrestlers, the Musée’s team carried out a small investigation during which 493 treasures were found:

  • 57 objects come from the Musée de la civilisation’s collections;
  • 363 objects come from Jean-François Leduc’s collection, a Montréal collector;
  • 70 objects have been loaned by different individuals, wrestlers, museums and organizations.

They mostly come from former professional wrestlers, including Raymond Rougeau, Jacques Rougeau, Richard Vigneault aka Rick Martel, Gino Brito, Lionel Provost, members of Yvon Robert’s family and famous Québec WWE wrestler, Kevin Owens.

© Musée de la civilisation, Marie-Josée Marcotte – Icône
© Musée de la civilisation, François Ozan – Icône
© Musée de la civilisation, François Ozan – Icône
© Musée de la civilisation, François Ozan – Icône