Charles Lapointe at the Board of Trade: A cri du cœur for Montreal

January 31, 2007

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... and projects for the Quartier des spectacles.

The Honorable Charles Lapointe, president of Tourisme Montréal and president of the Quartier des spectacles Partnership, addressed an audience of businesspeople on January 30 2007 during a conference entitled "The highs and lows of Montreal tourism", organized by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

During an impassioned speech, and after reminding the audience that 7.5 million tourists bring 2.5 billion dollars into the local economy every year, Mr. Lapointe evoked two factors that, among others, make Montreal unique among urban areas in North America: its inhabited downtown and "Montrealers that are simultaneously European, North American, and very creative". Later on, he restated an idea that he has held for over 15 years: "Montreal's downtown can and must become the most beautiful downtown in North America."

Decrying the numerous physical deteriorations in tourist areas, Charles Lapointe also cited the remarks of notable visitors, who also act as influential observers during their visits here. These visitors having clearly noted a certain lack of cleanliness in our streets, Mr. Lapointe proposed a "culture of quality" as a remedy, taken to heart by all Montrealers. This notion also drives the development vision of the Quartier des spectacles.

Summing up the urban improvements that have been carried out over the past ten years, and reasserting the importance of the culture industry in the city's international image and reputation, Mr. Lapointe invited the public and private sectors to collaborate in building major projects for the future of Montreal. He appealed to each business leader to support this collective effort, by contributing directly to the beautification of his or her environment or by sponsoring a cultural organization.

To conclude his address, the president of Tourisme Montréal offered his wish list for 2007. At the top were two items: "a definitive development plan for the Balmoral block, one that takes into account the need for a permanent home for major festivals in the Quartier des spectacles, as well as the accelerated implementation of the Quartier des spectacles lighting plan and the neighbourhood's signage program". These three projects simultaneously support the cultural and tourist economy while contributing to Montreal's brand.

Photo: June 2004, Charles Lapointe presents the Quartier des spectacles project at a press conference (Source: Quartier des spectacles Partnership archives).