LES MOMENTS DU CŒUR DE L’ÎLE: DOWNTOWN MONTREAL IS GEARING UP FOR AN EXCITING SUMMER
Montreal, May 23, 2023 – At a time when downtown Montreal’s appeal is only growing for local residents and tourists looking for entertainment, the Moments du cœur de l'île initiative is back starting today, with more than 30 major festivals and events as well as about one hundred activities, open-air performances and interactive experiences, joining a thriving commercial scene and more than 300 terrasses.
Led by the partners in the Alliance pour le centre-ville – SDC Montréal centre-ville, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Ville de Montréal – for the third consecutive year Les moments du cœur de l’île will unite the creativity and expertise of the culture, tourism and business sectors to energize the downtown core’s commercial arteries, from the Quartier des Spectacles to Shaughnessy Village (“Shoni”), as well as the Quartier Latin, Sainte-Catherine Street, the Golden Square Mile, Phillips Square and the PVM Esplanade at Place Ville Marie.
FESTIVE ACTIVITIES FOR EVERY TASTE, IN EVERY CORNER OF DOWNTOWN
Nearly thirty festivals and events will happen in the Quartier des Spectacles from May through October. From Festival TransAmériques and Festival international Nuits d'Afrique to the JOAT Festival, the First Peoples’ Festival and the Festival international de Jazz de Montréal, this summer will be extra lively thanks to more than one hundred outdoor performances! The creation of pedestrian zones on Sainte-Catherine St. W. and Saint-Denis St. will transform both streets into urban havens thanks to the addition of several comfortable rest areas with plenty of greenery. The Quartier des Spectacles will present numerous cultural activities each day, with something for every taste, including music, dance, improv and theatre.
With the aim of enhancing city life for Montrealers and visitors, Montréal centre-ville will present a music program and new street furniture in the superb Phillips Square, the top new place to relax and sip a coffee or enjoy a meal in the sunshine between concerts. An open-air art gallery, terrasses and cooling islands invite visitors to patronize stores, cafés and restaurants this summer, from downtown to the Shoni district, which features all-new summer street furniture and an incredible variety of food options. Montréal centre-ville’s blog includes numerous posts that can help people plan their downtown adventures.
As part of its efforts to improve the attractiveness of downtown as a place to work and hold business meetings, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal recently launched six new creative and sensory experiences, all free of charge, as part of its “I love working downtown” initiative. The new experiences join two permanent installations that are already well-known to Montrealers: the Ring, located at the entrance to the PVM Esplanade at Place Ville Marie, and the mural titled Générations glorieuses, outside the Bell Centre. View the full ré·CRÉATIONMTL program here.
For its part, Tourisme Montréal will continue to add colour to the urban landscape this summer with a host of new visual creations that promise to redefine the face of the city for residents and visitors alike. The new creations include the continuation of the Murelles project with three more murelles – beautified alleyways – in the heart of the city. In all, six of the murelles will brighten the city until the end of summer, to the delight of Montrealers and visitors. In addition, two new “discovery” murals will be created this summer. Tourisme Montréal is also paying special attention to downtown lighting. Aimed at giving the city a look that reflects with its exciting nightlife, the special lighting will enliven the core while improving nightime safety.
The great moments that will provide an exceptional downtown experience this summer include:
Esplanade Tranquille, in the Quartier des Spectacles, will continue to welcome Montrealers looking for a place to get together, relax and have fun with big summer festivals such as MUTEK, the OSM Classical Spree and the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma.
The ninth season of Les Jardins Gamelin will open on May 25 and run until September 17, with an appealing new design. Each day will featur free programing reflecting the colourful diversity of Montreal’s arts scene, including live music and dancing noon and night, with nearly 200 artists appearing this summer, including Anachnid and Qualité Motel for the opening party.
In the heart of Sainte-Catherine St., outside St. Jax Church, Le Jardin du Monastère will host open-air circus shows all summer, including the eagerly anticipated Pride Cabaret, from August 3 to 19, featuring a dozen artists from the 2SLGBTQ community. In the meantime, head to the garden on June 15 and 16 for the inaugural festivities. Everyone is welcome to the free event, but reservations are required.
On May 21, the McCord Museum’s Urban Forest returned to Victoria St. with a temporary park and free outdoor programming. Musical Wednesdays, an indigenous plants garden, environmental workshops and fashion shows can all be found on the street this summer.
At the end of the summer, the Quartier Latin will celebrate the new school year with the second annual Grande rentrée du Quartier latin, during which Place de la Paix will be the site of a new street art project called Le chant de l’Arbre.
Les moments du cœur de l’île is a continuation of summertime projects from 2020, 2021 and 2022. It is the result of a major collaborative effort among key players in the downtown Montreal ecosystem; the initiative now provides a permanent framework for major summer and winter projects.
More information: lecoeurdelile.com
“We are already seeing a strong increase in pedestrian traffic on Sainte-Catherine compared to last year, and the season has only just started! Mobilizing the entire downtown ecosystem sends a clear message to Montrealers and our 9.5 million expected visitors: this summer, downtown is the place to be!”
- Glenn Castanheira, executive director, Montréal centre-ville
“It is very gratifying to see this initiative, which brings together the culture, business and tourism sectors, return for a third year. With hundreds of free performances, lush green terrasses and lively public spaces, Les moments du cœur de l'île will make the downtown experience ever more pleasant and memorable for Montrealers and our visitors, summer after summer.”
- Valérie Plante, mayor of Montreal and of the borough of Ville-Marie
“Whether they are residents, visitors or tourists, this summer everyone will have an original and memorable experience in the Quartier des Spectacles. The district will be a cultural hotbed all summer thanks to the major festivals and events as well as the many smaller-scale offerings. We are very pleased to be able to contribute to the downtown core’s vitality and undertake collaborative initiatives with our valued partners this summer.” - Monique Simard, chair of the board of directors, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
“Downtown is the economic, touristic and cultural heart of the city, and this summer it will be livelier and more colourful than ever! Montreal is getting ready for an influx of travellers who haven’t strayed far from home since the pandemic started, and we are thrilled to be able to help make the city even more dynamic, enchanting and welcoming for them by adding new lighting and public art all over the downtown core.”
- Yves Lalumière, CEO, Tourisme Montréal
“For two years, Les moments du cœur de l’île provided opportunities to celebrate the cultural life that defines downtown. Once again this year, the Chamber is participating in this collective effort with its ré·CRÉATIONMTL program, which includes art installations, immersive activities and unique work spaces. This year’s six new installations underline the unique character of the downtown experience for the workers who go there regularly as they resume daily office work.”
- Michel Leblanc, president and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
ABOUT LES MOMENTS DU CŒUR DE L’ÎLE
It is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the Alliance centre-ville partners: the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, SDC Montréal centre-ville, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Tourisme Montreal and the Ville de Montréal, Les moments du cœur de l’île is downtown Montreal’s collaborative summer project. Bringing together the district’s cultural and economic stakeholders, the initiative encompasses a wide variety of activities presented by each partner. From Atwater to Papineau streets, between Sherbrooke St. and the St. Lawrence River, downtown is the place to go for countless cultural activities thanks to a variety of pedestrian zones, safe public spaces, spontaneous performances and an enhanced cultural offering. From June to the fall, these initiatives invite Montrealers, visitors and tourists to enjoy the best of the island outdoors.
More information: lecoeurdelile.com
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR DOWNTOWN MONTREAL
Montréal centre-ville, founded in 1999, is the Downtown Business Development Corporation (SDC), a non-profit organization that brings together nearly 5,000 member businesses located between Atwater Avenue and Saint-Urbain Street, and between Sherbrooke and Saint-Antoine Streets. Montréal centre-ville is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada.
More information: montrealcentreville.ca/en/alliance
ABOUT SDC MONTRÉAL CENTRE-VILLE
Fondée en 1999, Montréal centre-ville est la Société de développement commercial (SDC) du centre-ville de Montréal, un organisme à but non lucratif qui regroupe et représente les intérêts de plus de 5000 entreprises-membres situées entre l’avenue Atwater et la rue Saint-Urbain et entre la rue Sherbrooke et la rue Saint-Antoine. Elle est la plus grande organisation du genre au Canada.
Plus d’informations : montrealcentreville.ca
ABOUT THE QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES AND THE PARTNERSHIP
The Quartier des Spectacles is 20 years old! 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 THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF METROPOLITAN MONTREAL
With a network of 8,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (hereinafter, “the Chamber”) is active on two fronts: it is the voice of the city’s business community and delivers specialized services to businesses and their employees. For 200 years, it has been acting on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.
More information: ccmm.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: www.mtl.org
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Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles
Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain
Ville de Montréal
Aurélie de Blois