Rachel Laperrière | Assistant Executive Director, Cultural Development Service, City of Montréal and Stéphane Ricci | Associate Director, Service de la culture, City of Montréal


20 ans d’audace et de culture © Martine Doyon

Rachel Laperrière and Stéphane Ricci, who both held key positions within the municipal administration, worked actively on the founding and development of the Quartier des spectacles for some fifteen years. This project, which Rachel Laperrière affectionately called “our utopia,” got off the ground thanks to their efforts, transforming downtown Montréal into a dynamic cultural space that draws crowds 12 months a year.

Rachel Laperrière took an early interest in the Quartier des spectacles: it was partly thanks to her that the original idea became one of City’s priorities in 2002. She then took part in every stage of the Partnership’s implementation, playing an key role within the City. She ensured the contribution of elected officials, secured the necessary financing and found solutions. For her, the Quartier des spectacles is part of Montreal’s DNA. It’s a place where art is at the heart of everyday life, where artists and audiences feel at home.

As for Stéphane Ricci, an urban planning specialist, he has been shaping this dynamic cultural space since 2006. The instant success of the Esplanade Tranquille rests on his vision of a space on a human scale—a sort of a cozy backyard or alley—of which he is a staunch advocate. Stéphane Ricci is determined to ensure that this exceptional leisure and meeting place remains accessible to the public at all times, 12 months a year. All winter long, the city’s largest refrigerated outdoor skating rink gives the Esplanade Tranquille a welcoming, Nordic feel. A distinctly Montréal destination for young and old alike!

Both share an unwavering passion for arts and culture, and a stated desire to contribute to the positive transformation of their city. Once a devitalized area, the Quartier des spectacles has become a vibrant neighbourhood, making Montréal a world-class cultural destination. Thanks to their expertise and commitment, Rachel Laperrière and Stéphane Ricci are building an enduring legacy, illuminating the present and future of the metropolis.