(Re)discover René Lévesque with a three-part circuit marking his centennial

Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, August 24, 2022 – Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of René Lévesque. From August 24 to November 10, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the Fondation René-Lévesque and L’Espace René-Lévesque present, for free in the Quartier des Spectacles, L’Espace René-Lévesque à Montréal : le parcours d’un homme d’exception. Visitors will (re)discover the life and work of the man and the political figure through a three-part circuit comprising an exhibition, a video projection and a short documentary film. The event is part of Année Lévesque, an initiative of the Fondation René-Lévesque, presented by Quebecor in collaboration with Hydro-Québec and with the financial participation of the Gouvernement du Québec.

The circuit is the result of a collaboration between the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Fondation René-Lévesque. It is aimed at giving citizens of all ages a chance to learn more about one of contemporary Quebec’s great builders. Curator Daniel Fortin was invited to adapt the exhibition produced by L’Espace René-Lévesque for the urban setting of the Quartier des Spectacles and to create an artistic circuit including Place des Arts and the Université du Québec à Montréal. The project is part of the program for the Moments du cœur de l’île.

Getting to know René Lévesque

Installed in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, on the Promenade des Artistes, the exhibition is a reproduction of L’Espace René-Lévesque, a museum and garden located in New Carlisle, in Gaspésie. The exhibition opened in 2018 and is now presented outside the garden for the first time. It comprises eight zones representing the major eras in the life of René Lévesque. A free smartphone-based audio guide is available in English and French.

The façade of UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy will feature a video projection revealing a deeply human yet also larger-than-life René Lévesque, as captured by the camera of legendary photographer Yousuf Karsh.

At Place des Arts, in Espace George-Émile-Lapalme, the public can watch Luc Cyr’s short documentary Quelque chose comme un grand homme. The film explores the shockwave felt by Quebecers on Mr. Lévesque’s passing. A special guest book, designed by bookbinding artist Josée Dessureault, is available for visitors to write their thoughts and memories of Mr. Lévesque.

Lastly, after completing the circuit, visitors can make their way to Hydro-Québec headquarters on René-Lévesque Blvd. at the corner of Saint-Urbain St., where they will find a bust of René Lévesque by sculptor Paul Lancz.


“On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of René Lévesque, I invite the public to explore this fascinating circuit in the streets of the Quartier des Spectacles and to celebrate this exceptional man’s rich legacy. It is a unique opportunity to grasp Mr. Lévesque’s full impact on our society’s history and to celebrate his contributions to our city’s success.”
Valérie Plante, mayor of Montreal

“René Lévesque is unquestionably one of the most influential figures in our nation’s history. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, it is worth remembering his incalculable contributions to the building of modern Quebec in general, and francophone Quebec in particular. The adoption of the Charter of the French Language by his government in 1977 significantly altered the course of our history. It allowed us to express who we are. René Lévesque made an admirable contribution to the Québécois nation and to our collective pride. We owe him so very much.”
Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister of Justice and Minister of the French language

“We feel some regret when we think about what we are missing in the absence of a man we loved and admired so deeply. But there is not only sadness. Today, we celebrate something immense and unforgettable that continues to endure and shape our history: the legacy of René Lévesque. Enjoy the celebration.”
Lucien Bouchard, honorary chair, Année Lévesque

“René Lévesque changed Quebec profoundly and left a legacy that continues to shape our lives. This free event in a public space is an opportunity for Montrealers and all Quebecers to learn more about this important historical figure. It is also an encounter between Montreal and the regions, between history and culture. We are very pleased that the facilities available in the Quartier des Spectacles make it possible to create such cultural and historical moments.”
Monique Simard, chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership’s board of directors

“It is our pleasure to host part of the circuit in tribute to René Lévesque in the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in Place des Arts. It is a lively, unifying space in the heart of the city where everyone is welcome. Luc Cyr’s short documentary film about René Lévesque, Quelque chose comme un grand homme, will move and impress the tens of thousands of people who visit our halls, as well as the many Montrealers who visit our complex every day.”
Marie-Josée Desrochers, CEO, Société de la Place des Arts.

“On this August 24, we remember that 100 years ago a man was born who would change the course of our history and have a profound impact on our nation and its destiny. By paying tribute to René Lévesque today, we take the measure of his many achievements and see that the path taken since his passing was taken with the confidence and pride that he inspired in all of us. Through its association with Année Lévesque, Quebecor is proud to contribute to the presentation of a program that allows people to discover or rediscover the larger-than-life personality that was René Lévesque. We are thrilled to invite everyone to come to the Quartier des Spectacles to explore the life of an exceptional man. Quebecor is proud to support hundreds of organizations across Quebec each year through its social action initiative, La culture du possible.”
Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO, Quebecor

“The history of Hydro-Québec is closely linked to René Lévesque. His vision of the world and our society set the organization, which would become Quebec’s flagship, on a unique course. Hydro-Québec is proud to be involved in Année Lévesque and to have a direct role in the presentation of L’Espace René-Lévesque in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. I salute and congratulate all of the partners in this initiative, which pays well-earned tribute to a fiercely determined man, and that will allow future generations to grasp this builder’s enormous contributions.”
Sophie Brochu, CEO, Hydro-Québec


Daily from August 24 to November 10, 2022

Exhibition: L’Espace René-Lévesque à Montréal
Promenade des Artistes

Quelque chose comme un grand homme, a short documentary film by
Luc Cyr
René Lévesque guest book Daily from noon to 8 p.m. A guide will be present.
Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme, Place des Arts

Video projection
Daily from sunset to 11 p.m.
Pavillon Président-Kennedy, UQAM

Complementary site, 24/7
Bust of René Lévesque by Paul Lancz
Hydro-Québec — Jean-Lesage Building, corner of Saint-Urbain St. and René-Lévesque Blvd.


Circuit curator: Daniel Fortin
Exhibition: Espace René-Lévesque
Short documentary film: Luc Cyr
See the press kit for full credits.

Co-producers: L’Espace René-Lévesque, Fondation René-Lévesque, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Place des Arts and Université du Québec à Montréal


This museum and garden, dedicated to the memory of René Lévesque, is located in New Carlisle, Quebec, on the shores of Chaleur Bay. Visitors discover the man beyond the politician through a sensitive look at the events, activism and actions that marked his life.

At the space’s inception, the decision was made to centre this multifaceted man. To maximize its educational value, the activities offered are designed for visitors who know little or nothing about René Lévesque. The institution also tells the story of the Quiet Revolution through the prism of an exceptional man’s life. It is a clear success: older visitors are moved, of course, and younger ones are fascinated. The space opened in 2018.

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Année Lévesque is an initiative of the Fondation René-Lévesque, presented by Quebecor in collaboration with Hydro-Québec and the financial participation of the Gouvernement du Québec. From June 2022 to June 2023, the Year presents a series of commemorative activities and initiatives in memory of René Lévesque, whose centennial falls on August 24, 2022.

By highlighting René Lévesque and his legacy, the Fondation René-Lévesque supports research, dissemination and publication activities through annual student grants. It is recognized as a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency.

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The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’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.

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The product of a fruitful collaboration between the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Ville de Montréal, in collaboration with Tourisme 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.

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Online press kit

Partenariat du Quartier des spectacle
Mélanie Mingotaud
514 582-5272

Marie Lamoureux
Senior Advisor – Strategic Communications, Partners and Media
514 923-6772