Montreal, a metropolis of culture

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For many French, Montreal is a gateway to the national gloom providing new professionnal opportunities.

This north american metropolis has the specificity to made up with 53% of french speakers, 13% of english speakers and the third left gathers together plenty of different nationalities. This social interaction has given to Montreal an unique and international cultural dimension.

This cultural dynamism is not new. For a hundred year, the community has made a lot of efforts to develop creative arts and entertainment. They are now reaping the benefit of their work and take advantage of their skills to promote internationally Montreal’s attractiveness.

Some of the most renowned festival take place in Montreal as the World film festival, the international jazz festival, the just for laughs festival, les FrancoFolies or the festival Montréal en lumières.

The city is also the headquarter of global entertainment companies as le Cirque du Soleil and Spectra group.

In order to develop their cultural identity, local authorities decided, through the city-planning program « Montreal 2025 » and « le quartier des spectacles » project, to improve their knowledge and infrastructures.

That 1 km2 district, located at the of heart of Montreal, is between Sainte-Catherine street, Saint-Laurent boulevard and Sherbrooke street.

More than a symbol, it is the basis of an important local economy. There are 80 broadcasting spots, 450 cultural firms, 80% of the Montreal theaters, 45 000 jobs of which 7 000 linked to the culture industry, 6 000 inhabitants and 47 000 students (source : montreal2025 website)

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Festival square, Montreal (photo by Stephan Poulin)

The project « quartier des spectacles », working as a cultural cluster, focuses on making easier exchanges, initiatives and projects coming from artists and companies.

As it’s essential to make it fit with its urban environment, the district will be multifunctionnal providing housing, retailers and a student life. Those urban flows will prevent from isolating it within the metropolis.

Mayor’s priority, the « quartier des spectacles » planning-project has been in process since 2008. A first step was reached with the Festival square, delivered in 2009.

The planning works are now focusing on the surroundings of « la place des Arts » and other sites in the district.

For the all the work already achieved in the « quartier des Spectacles », the metropolis received the phoenix award, based on planning and preservation efforts done by the community in order to provide international-level cultural infrastructures for its inhabitants and tourists.

That’s not Montreal first try. In 2006, the metropolis was named UNESCO city of design given all the design projects implemented by the the local authorities.

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