LES AVENTURES DU CŒUR DE L’ÎLE : A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT TO REVITALIZE DOWNTOWN MONTREAL
Montreal, May 27, 2021 – Seeking to contribute to the revitalization of downtown Montreal, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville and Tourisme Montréal proudly join nearly 200 partners in announcing Les aventures du cœur de l’île, an initiative made possible by the Ville de Montréal and the Gouvernement du Québec. Les aventures du cœur de l’île is the product of this major collaborative effort: a set of welcoming urban designs and a varied program of activities designed to showcase downtown Montreal and attract and entertain visitors. Fun and safe walking routes, cultural activities, pedestrian zones, green spaces and special activities will begin in June and continue until the fall, to the delight of thousands of visitors of all ages who will come to rediscover and revitalize the heart of the city.
MONTREALERS RETURN TO THEIR DOWNTOWN
“With its $25 million relaunch plan, announced this spring in collaboration with the Quebec government, the Ville de Montréal’s goal is to revitalize downtown and attract more visitors. This will boost business for retailers, restaurants and bars, which have suffered badly during the pandemic. I am delighted to see the enthusiastic response and creativity of the organizations involved. There is no question that downtown will be lively this summer, and I invite Montrealers to come enjoy it and make the most of their city in the coming months,” said Montreal mayor Valérie Plante.
QUEBEC’S ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL METROPOLIS
“As the minister responsible for the metropolis and the Montreal region, I am pleased that downtown remains a focal point for the city. In recent months, it has been deeply impacted by the prolonged absence of workers, tourists and students, but we know that its DNA remains intact. And that is a good thing, because the entire city and province benefit from the influence of a strong, attractive and lively downtown core,” said Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region.
A UNIFYING PROJECT
“The major project we are announcing today is the result of an unprecedented mobilization effort. With this collaborative project, we are demonstrating not only the cultural and economic vitality of downtown, but the creative strength of its ecosystem. Les aventures du cœur de l’île offers an exciting summer program, many new urban designs and inspiring art projects. We are confident that they will help the heart of the city emerge from the crisis stronger, more united and more attractive than ever,” said Monique Simard, chair of the board of directors for the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.
AN ENGINE FOR ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL REVIVAL
“The downtown relaunch will certainly attract more visitors and encourage Montrealers and Quebecers to return to the heart of the city this summer. This alliance between the business, culture and tourism sectors aims, among other things, to support our restaurants, retailers, hotels and major employers, who are eager to welcome workers back to their offices. Les aventures du cœur de l’île focuses on the importance of the public spaces, pedestrian zones, terrasses and unique activities that enhance the downtown experience. This collaborative work will help us highlight the features that make our downtown a world-class destination and a source of national pride. When the public health crisis ends, we will be fully prepared to welcome visitors from around the world once again,” added Glenn Castanheira, executive director of Montréal centre-ville.
LES AVENTURES DU CŒUR DE L’ÎLE ET AND THE ISLAND GETAWAY CAMPAIGN
“Tourisme Montréal is pleased to be part of the Aventures du cœur de l’île campaign, which will help restore downtown’s vitality with compelling initiatives and activities. This initiative aligns with our campaign inviting Montrealers and Quebecers to spend their free time exploring the Island of Montreal, where they will discover an extraordinary playground. By venturing to the four corners of the Island, we discover a multitude of attractions, environments, cultures and flavours in every neighbourhood. Taking inspiration from tropical destinations, we will soon announce all-inclusive packages and a multi-attractions pass, as well as a special edition of MTLàTABLE. We invite Montrealers and Quebecers to stay up to date with Tourisme Montréal, their travel agent this summer,” said Manuela Goya, vice-president, destination development and public affairs, Tourisme Montréal.
Starting June 4, Les aventures du cœur de l’île will include a fun, safe and participatory series of stops. The spaces and activities have been designed for the general public, families and the city’s many different social and demographic groups. 11 Oases created by local designers, in collaboration with institutions and organizations based in neighbouring communities, will provide inviting spaces to eat, relax and socialize while enjoying the island’s wonders.
The large yellow communal table of Oasis | Prenez place ! in Place Hydro-Québec will return this summer in an even more inviting form; Oasis | Place des souhaits will delight Chinatown visitors with its decorations recalling Asian community traditions; Oasis | À l’ombre des cosmos will bring some colour to Square Victoria; and Oasis | Plage Saint-James will provide a sandy stop on the parvis of St. James United Church. Oasis | Les grands jardins will be a green space perfect for socializing in Shaughnessy Village and Oasis | Jardins Gamelin will continue the summertime transformation of Place Émilie-Gamelin for the seventh consecutive year. Oasis | Esplanade Tranquille, scheduled to open later this summer, will become Montrealers’ fun new backyard; a few steps away, Oasis | Place des Festivals will be a refreshing and welcoming space thanks to more than 70 trees in planters and the famous fountain. Oasis | Quartier latin, Oasis | Terrasse gourmande and Oasis | Escale du coin by XP_MTL, on Sainte-Catherine St. West, will provide the setting for festive experiences and entertaining installations in downtown’s major shopping and dining zones. These urban oases, featuring impromptu performances, will be open daily. They are aimed at supporting both the cultural scene and local companies that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
For more information on pedestrian zones in downtown Montreal this summer, click here.
A DIVERSIFIED CULTURAL OFFER
From June until the fall, theatre, dance, music, circus, comedy, visual arts and digital art will all be presented, to help audiences and artists reconnect through art.
In addition, an original and engaging dance show by local artists will be presented spontaneously all season. The façades of some of downtown’s most iconic buildings will be the canvas for a major group art project featuring the faces of Montreal. To link the various activities, Oases, performance venues and activities organized by cœur de l’île partners, a walking route will create an enjoyable connected experience.
Full details of the program for Les aventures du cœur de l’île will be released in the coming weeks.
LIVELY, ANIMATED DOWNTOWN PUBLIC SPACES
This summer relaunch project is also an opportunity to bring together more than 200 downtown partners and unify their summer attractions and activities over a 9 km2 area. From east to west, the project’s festive colours will be seen in the partners’ and collaborators’ activities presented in public spaces.
In addition to the famous pedestrian zone along Sainte-Catherine St. in the Village, a new one on Saint-Denis St. in the Quartier Latin will provide a festive ambiance and original street furniture – a perfect place for after-work drinks and all kinds of activities. Meanwhile, the summer program at BAnQ will highlight the neighbourhood’s history and mark the hundredth anniversary of the Archives nationales du Québec with a new video projection on the library’s outer walls.
Old Montreal will feature a series of beautification initiatives, with installations and temporary urban designs aimed at enhancing the visitor experience in the historic, restaurant-rich neighbourhood. The Pointe-à-Callière museum is setting up an outdoor space in Place d’Youville that will be both educational and relaxing. The Palais des congrès de Montréal will present artworks as well as collaboration spaces to contribute to the resumption of regular activities in the city’s downtown. The Créer des ponts project by Art Souterrain will support emerging artists and the real estate industry by setting up artists’ studios in 30 vacant storefronts. The spaces will be open to the public, stimulating the downtown core with an abundance of art.
The Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins will be transformed into a dedicated space for Cubes du bonheur, an art installation presenting portraits of Montrealers in unusual settings or enjoying life’s simple pleasures. The McCord Museum’s packed calendar will include an outdoor exhibition revisiting memorable gatherings in Montreal over the last 100 years. Starting in June, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will present an immersive installation on du Musée Avenue called La Dérive, a tribute to glaciers by the Incognito Collective with the participation of Innu author Joséphine Bacon. In the next few weeks, Ivanhoé Cambridge will announce its summer programming for its downtown properties. Aux Alentours will present unique experiences at the Eaton Centre, Place Montréal Trust, Esplanade Place Ville-Marie and The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.
XP_MTL will offer three custom walking routes this summer as well as creating two of the oases for Les aventures du cœur de l’île. In addition to facilities provided for people to take a break, eat a snack or enjoy a drink, spontaneous performances will make time spent standing in line pass quickly and provide yet another good reason to visit downtown Montreal. This year, the merchants of Crescent St. will set up sidewalk stands and other attractive features to welcome customers back to the charming street, with its century houses and custom-made green spaces. From late May to late October, Peel St. will host the second edition of the Peel Mtl Foodies Festival, a culinary event showcasing the diversity of the street’s restaurant strip between Sainte-Catherine and Sherbrooke streets.
Les aventures du cœur de l’île will electrify downtown Montreal from June 4 until the fall, with fun and safe facilities, cultural activities, pedestrian zones, green spaces and special activities. In late June, a website will be launched listing all of the initiative’s walking routes, programming and partners. Until then, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for details.
More information: lecoeurdelile.com
ABOUT LES AVENTURES DU CŒUR DE L’ÎLE
The result of a productive partnership between the Quartier des Spectacles and Montréal centre-ville, in collaboration with Tourisme Montréal and with the financial support of the Ville de Montréal, Les aventures du cœur de l’île is downtown Montreal’s summer relaunch project. Bringing together the cultural and economic sectors, the initiative features a variety of activities specific to the project as well as the partners’ programming. From Atwater to Papineau streets, between Sherbrooke Street and the St. Lawrence River, downtown is the setting for next-generation activities thanks to several new pedestrian zones, safe designs for public spaces, spontaneous performances and an enhanced cultural offer. From June to the fall, these initiatives will welcome Montrealers and residents of neighbouring regions to be part of the city’s revival and enjoy the Island’s wonders.
More information: lecoeurdelile.com
ABOUT QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES AND THE PARTNERSHIP
The Quartier des Spectacles is Montréal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues as well as numerous festivals and events. The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design and immersive environments. The Quartier des Spectacles has become an international showcase for digital public art. The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with more than 85 members active in the district. It is responsible for animating the Quartier des Spectacles by programming cultural activities, managing and animating public spaces, providing distinctive illumination and promoting the Quartier as a must-visit cultural destination. The Partnership benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal.
More information: quartierdesspectacles.com
ABOUT MONTRÉAL CENTRE-VILLE
Montréal centre-ville is the city’s downtown business development corporation (SDC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to the development, animation and promotion of downtown Montreal. The association has nearly 5,000 member businesses located between Atwater Avenue and Saint-Urbain Street and between Sherbrooke and Saint-Antoine streets. Montréal centre-ville was founded in 1999 and is the largest organization of its kind in Canada.
More information: montrealcentreville.ca
ABOUT TOURISME MONTRÉAL
Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that has been positioning Montréal as a world-class leisure and business travel destination for over 100 years. The organization leads innovative tourism strategies that have a twofold objective: to ensure visitors enjoy a quality experience and to balance economic growth with the city’s long-term interests. Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism industry, and advises on issues related to the city’s economic, urban and cultural development.
More information: mtl.org
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Please include full photo credits.
Les aventures du cœur de l’île (cultural and artistic components and installations)
Les aventures du cœur de l’île (economic and commercial components)
Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
Senior Advisor – Strategic Communications, Partners and Media
Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations