Festivals: the mayor of Montreal speaks to Quebec city and Ottawa

Festivals: la mairesse de Montréal interpelle Québec et Ottawa

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The Quartier des spectacles and its place des Festivals — built in 2009 at a cost of $ 200 million — have experienced important changes over the last decade.

While the leaders of the major montreal festivals ‘ strike, once again, the City of Montreal on Monday in an open letter published in La Presse +, the mayor Valérie Plante, for his part, returned the ball in the camp of Québec and Ottawa, calling on both to show a more sensitive and a better support for these large-scale events.

“The City of Montreal already does a lot to support our cultural scene, both in terms of financial resources and material “, recalled the head of Project Montreal questioned on the issue on Monday, just hours after the publication of the cry of the heart initiated by the promoters of the celebrations of the place des Festivals.

Far from seeing it as an attack at the place of its administration, the Valerie Plant took the opportunity to reiterate its support for the leadership of the festivals, emphasizing that the City will continue to carry their message to other politicians ” because this industry is what literally beat the heart of Montreal “. On this subject, both Quebec and Ottawa have already indicated that they were open to discussion, without necessarily engaging in the implementation of concrete solutions.

“I am of the same opinion that the signatories of this letter, she assured. We understand that they are out of breath and we’re going to continue to be the appointment to help. Because it is true that Montreal is known for all sorts of reasons — it is a student city, a port city, a dynamic city… — but it should not be forgotten that it is also its cultural scene, which is celebrated around the world. He must take care and ensure that it can continue to grow ! “

In this sense, the mayor has also pointed out that, since the entry into position of his team in November 2017, a series of working committees has been set up in collaboration with the organisers of the festivals in order to find solutions to the problems raised by the latter during the last few months. “It is still too early to move forward on possible solutions “, she clarified, however, by adding that both public officials and the private sector — also detained by the promoters on Monday — will however need to demonstrate a lot of creativity in the years to come.

Neighbourhood changing

The beating heart of the city, the Quartier des spectacles and its place des Festivals — built in 2009 at a cost of $ 200 million — have experienced important changes over the last decade, as new real estate developers, and businesses are settling in this critical sector. To such an extent that, ten years later, the leaders of the major festivals believe that the area is victim of its success.

“[The leaders of the events] are now forced to claim all the consideration of this explosive growth and seen coldly : the future of festivals with a large pane for free […] is less assured than ever “, can we read in this letter, co-signed by five leaders of the world’s festivals, tourism and business, including Jacques-André Dupont, president-director general of the Festival international de jazz de Montréal, Francofolies de Montréal and Montréal en lumière.

In addition to the reported earnings losses in recent years, they also emphasize that this pressure is stronger the force, year after year, to demonstrate ever more inventive, in particular to store their equipment in a space endangered. The City is actively working to find a solution to this thorny issue.


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