Montreal culture: a network in full swing!

A short overview of Culture Montréal

Spring 2001

  • A group of organizations from the cultural sector arranges a series of professional meetings involving diverse elements in Montreal’s cultural scene.
  • Eva Quintas coordinates the movement’s future

April 11th at June 5th, 2001

  • Twelve working meetings take place, bringing together 130 representatives of Montreal’s artistic and cultural communities in order to identify the challenges that confront the cultural sector, the guidelines for the creation of a permanent forum and the possible ways this future forum can help.

June 20th, 2001

  • A plenary session gathers 92 participants and invites them to twelve workshops at the Bonsecours Market, in Old Montreal.

October 10th, 2001

  • A larger event becomes urgent due to the Montreal elections of November 4th, 2001. The Sommet de la culture de Montréal (Montreal Culture Summit) takes place on October 10th, 2001, gathering nearly 400 people from the Montreal Cultural community.

November 7th, 2001

  • Following the Summit, Culture Montréal invites its hundred or so active members to a vital meeting in the Calixa-Lavallée arts centre, where the assessment of the Summit is presented and an orientation for future actions and mandates the training of the work committees.

February 28th, 2002

  • Culture Montréal is officially founded, concluding a long path rooted in Montreal culture for 10 years.
  • The founding assembly elects the first conseil d’administration de l’organisation (Board of Directors for the organization). Simon Brault is named first president of Culture Montreal.
  • With the active participation of its members, the Board of Directors prepares for the public intervention of Culture Montreal at the Summit of Montreal in June 2002, and the resulting projects start from there.


  • Ariane Émond becomes the first Executive Director of Culture Montréal


  • Culture Montréal joins the City of Montréal and the various municipal decision makers in the creation of the first Montreal cultural development policy.


  • Culture Montréal organizes an international symposium within the Entretiens Jacques Cartier in Montréal on the topic of « Villes de culture, villes d’avenir ». (“Cultured Cities, Future Cities”.)


  • Culture Montréal contributes to the clarification of the creative character of Montreal by ordering the famous researcher Richard Florida to write a paper entitled « Montréal, ville de convergence créative : perspectives et possibilités » The highly anticipated and mediatised research was presented by Mr. Florida to the members of Culture Montréal as well as members of the Montréal Chamber of Commerce.


  • Anne-Marie Jean takes over from Ariane Émond as Culture Montréal’s new Director.
  • During the municipal elections, Culture Montréal initiates the idea of the Rendez-vous novembre 2007 – Montréal, métropole culturelle. At the end of an awareness and mobilization operation passionately carried out by the Culture Montréal team and its members, every candidate at City Hall committes themselves to implement, if they were elected, the deployment of the ‘cultural metropolis’ plan.


  • Culture Montreal hires Kelly Hill, President of the Hill Strategies Research Firm, to distribute a study in Montreal about the early results of its most recent study on volunteering in the arts community.

November 12th and 13th 2007

  • The electoral promise of 2005 materializes in November 2007 with the implementation of the Rendez-vous Montréal, métropole culturelle. The Culture Montreal Board of Directors and team were some of the 1300 people present. This event, chaired by Mayor Gerald Tremblay, initiates an Action Plan spread out over ten years, where business, culture and the three levels of government collectively begin the achievement of a dream – Montreal, the cultural metropolis of the 21st century.

Culture Montreal leads the steering committee responsible to implement the vast Action Plan adopted at the Rendez-vous novembre 2007.

Since 2007

  • Culture Montreal officially takes part in the steering committee and the follow-up committee of the Action plan 2007-2017, the cultural development agenda of Montreal is adopted during the Rendez-vous novembre 2007.


  • Culture Montreal organizes an international symposium within the Entretiens Jacques Cartier à Montréal on the topic « La gouvernance culturelle des grandes villes : enjeux et possibilités ». (Cultural direction of large cities: risks and possibilities)”.

    The event attracts more than 300 people.

  • Montreal Culture, in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the cultural community, initiates an important protest in reaction to the cuts carried out by the Conservative government to arts and cultural programs. A public protest event held at the Société des arts technologiques on August 27th, 2008 attracted 2500 people.


  • A year during which talks about the economic crisis take the stage and send waves of worry within the population and many businesses. The Government of Canada and the Gouvernement du Québec deliver prudent budgets that aim at boosting national economic activity while reducing the taxpayer’s contribution. To Culture Montreal’s satisfaction, Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget identifies the cultural sector as a key player in the nation’s economic recovery, a statement countenanced by specific public investments and measures to consolidate artistic and cultural activity in Quebec.
  • The back-to-school period brings us two much-awaited events! In late September, Simon Brault, Culture Montreal Chair, launches his first-essay entitled Le Facteur C : l’avenir passe par la culture (English translation available under the title No Culture, No Future, published by Cormorant Books) at a 400-person reception in Montreal. The electoral municipal campaign is also under way, and Culture Montreal makes sure that the arts are at the top of the priority list by holding a debate with the mayoral candidates and by launching MICRO CULTURE, an interactive website created for the occasion MICRO CULTURE.


  • In May, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Grande Bibliothèque, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and Culture Montréal organize a colloquium on the theme of cultural participation. Over 250 participants gather to hear knowledgeable experts from France, the United States and Québec such as Christophe Girard (municipal elected official in charge of culture, Paris), Nathalie Bondil (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), Guy Berthiaume (BAnQ), Simon Brault (Culture Montréal) and Christine St-Pierre, Quebec Culture Minister.
A bit more about us

Culture Montreal is an independent organization and place for reflexion and action that contributes to building Montreal’s future as a cultural metropolis through research, analysis and communication activities. Its mission is to assert the central role of the arts and culture in all areas of Montreal’s development: economy, buisness, politics, land-use planning, education, and social and community life while encouraging cultural diversity, emerging artists and practices and public art.

We wish to thank all our members as well as:

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.

Our organization is a member of:

  • 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