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28.10.2009 ALLOCUTION – Culture: A City’s Best Bet

Notes pour l’allocution de Simon Brault, président de Culture Montréal, lors de la conférence Creative Places + Spaces – Toronto

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Nous sommes désolés, cette allocution n’est que disponible en anglais.  
 

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Creative Places + Spaces is an event with a growing reputation and great relevance to the issues of today, and I am pleased to have a part in it. I considered at some length what I could contribute to today’s discussions, and decided that I should talk about the role culture is playing in the place I know best: the City of Montreal.

And if pressed to give these remarks a title, I would suggest “Culture: A City’s Best Bet”.

In the early nineties, the city of Montreal was faltering: a weak economy, huge public debt, rising taxes, growing unemployment (at a rate estimated as high as 23%) all weighed on its citizens.

Many studies of the city had been undertaken, and the patterns of decline they revealed dated back to the late sixties.  Over this period, Toronto had been replacing Montreal as the leading Canadian city. Economic initiatives in Montreal had produced a series of white elephants.  (Mirabel airport and the Olympic Stadium are concrete examples).  In the face of political uncertainties, the population (especially the prosperous anglo population) was decreasing and slums were expanding.

Seven hospitals had closed.  Retail sales were declining and bankruptcies rising.  The city was increasingly isolated from the rest of Canada.

Looking back, however, one can see that by accidents of geography, history, language and trade, Montreal had the five key qualities noted by Max Wyman in his book, The Defiant Imagination, as essential preconditions for the development of a cultural metropolis: It had large reserves of private wealth.  There was a high degree of civic pride, stimulated in 1967, notably, by the success of Expo, the world fair that put Montreal on the international stage.

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Documents à télécharger:
Allocution CM – Simon Brault Creative Places + Spaces (28-10-2009) (125 ko)

Un peu plus

Culture Montréal est une organisation indépendante de réflexion et d’action qui contribue à édifier l’avenir de Montréal comme métropole culturelle, par des activités de recherche, d’analyse et de communication. Son mandat est d’affirmer le rôle central des arts et de la culture dans toutes les sphères du développement de Montréal : l’économie, les affaires, la politique, l’aménagement du territoire, l’éducation, la vie sociale et communautaire tout en favorisant la diversité culturelle, la relève, les pratiques émergentes et l’art public.

Merci à nos membres et à :

Je deviens membre.
Le français en scène. Projet de valorisation de la langue française.
Micro Culture, pour parler culture quartier par quartier
Agenda 21. Culture aujourd'hui demain.

Culture Montréal est membre de :

  • Les Arts et la Ville
  • Bureau du Cinéma et de la Télévision du Québec
  • Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain
  • Coalition canadienne des arts
  • Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal
  • Diversité Artistique Montréal
  • Héritage Montréal
  • Le Réseau des conseils régionaux de la culture