As Montrealers, culture is central to our identity. It defines us, resembles us and brings us together. Culture is also an industry, a key sector of our economy. Culture has been a poor relation in Montreal in recent years, even before the arrival of the pandemic that has hit it even harder. A recovery plan for the metropolis must imperatively include a recovery plan for culture.
We must put in place structuring cultural policies that will provide artists with security of cultural and financial expression, guaranteeing them the durability of their work and their careers, so that they do not stop creating and Montreal does not lose this wealth. All of this will obviously have to be put in place in consultation with the stakeholders.
We need to increase accessibility to art for both artists and citizens, and this means making better use of cultural and other infrastructures (such as churches and schools). We must also ensure the diversity of cultural expression so that it is representative of what Montreal is. Finally, we must also facilitate the export of our culture.
Montreal, one of the oldest cities in North America, has an exceptional heritage that must be cherished, protected, preserved and restored to ensure its continuity. In short, we must restore Montreal’s status as a radiant international cultural metropolis.
A metropolis that relies on culture
A Coderre-Gelly administration is an administration that relies on culture and is committed to :
- Increase the budget dedicated to culture;
- Taxing giant billboards in order to finance Montreal’s culture.
- Increasing the funding of NPOs based on their mission rather than on their projects, notably through multi-year funding.
Montreal is a city that shines through its culture and its great artists who stand out in all fields. Art, in addition to its great intrinsic value, is also a vector of tourism and economic development. Ensemble Montréal wishes to help artists stay in Montreal and others to come and settle here. To achieve this, the Coderre-Gelly administration will propose to:
- Reduce paperwork and modify the various support programs to be more agile and flexible, so that artists and cultural organizations can more easily and quickly obtain the funding, authorizations or permits they need;
- Support artists in obtaining intermittent status for Montreal artists and artisans, to ensure job security during in-between periods;
- Create new affordable spaces and studios (while securing existing ones) for artists and artisans;
- Optimize the utilization rate of cultural infrastructures so that their doors are open 24/7, with the objective of allowing young creators to take their first steps and thus ensure the discovery of new talent;
- Create cultural centres in orphaned neighbourhoods;
Culture is a vector of social link between citizens, yet not all have access to it. Ensemble Montréal is committed to democratizing access to culture so that all Montrealers can enjoy and participate fully in this wealth. A Coderre-Gelly administration believes in the cultural influence of Montreal’s neighbourhoods and is committed to :
- Multiplying art projections on the walls of buildings throughout the city;
- Create a pan-Montreal public piano festival;
- Promoting the integration of fablabs throughout the neighbourhoods;
- Distribute free Accès Montréal cards to newcomers;
- Deploy local branches of major festivals in Montreal neighbourhoods;
- Study the feasibility of a pilot project for summer shuttles between disadvantaged neighbourhoods and Montreal museums;
- Add a Nuit blanche in the summer, on the first day of the Francos de Montréal;
- Create a network of urban promenades to link attractive Montreal sites and neighbourhoods.
- Create a financial assistance program for commercial development corporations (SDC) to create traffic on commercial streets with cultural events from the perspective of cultural districts (PRAM-Commerce).
A built heritage highlighted
Since its founding, Montreal has experienced a variety of rich architectural influences. From French and British vernacular styles to post-modernism, including Second Empire, Victorian, Art Deco, Modern and Brutalist styles, Montreal has a unique architectural depth. Unfortunately, this heritage is too often threatened by an apparent lack of interest or awareness.
A Coderre-Gelly administration will not only encourage private owners to enhance their buildings, but will start by setting an example. Ensemble Montréal believes that before imposing something on others, one must do it oneself. This is why Ensemble Montréal wishes to :
- Continue the updating of the directory of all heritage buildings (vacant or not) public and private. To enhance and protect our heritage, we must first be able to inventory it;
- Find a use for and quickly restore surplus hospital buildings to preserve and enhance their built heritage;
- Implement a policy to safeguard religious heritage in order to preserve its architectural value and its social and community vocation;
- Restore the Saint-Sulpice library to its role as an emblematic place for Montreal culture;
- Ensure the preservation of the rich industrial heritage (notably Silo #5 and the Five Roses building) and that of Expo 67 in the Cité-du-Havre project;
- Ensure that the size and architecture of new buildings in the vicinity of a heritage building is in harmony with the architecture and size of the building.
Beautify the city, beautify life!
In 2006, Montreal joined the UNESCO network of creative cities and became a “UNESCO City of Design”, the first in North America. It must continue to be this city of design by offering its residents and tourists the sight of beauty wherever they are, whether it be through murals or urban furniture.
That is why a Coderre-Gelly administration is committed to:
- Create an inventory of all walls that could potentially support a mural project, including the large blind walls that are visible from the Kondiaronk Lookout;
- Investing in mural lighting and enhancing and sustaining the mural maintenance program;
- Stimulate the ability of our artists to create murals;
- Develop a strategy to beautify downtown facades and commercial windows;
- Leverage the UNESCO Design Cities network to develop an inventory of design enhancement and creation practices in cities.
Implement a policy to “make everything more beautiful” from street furniture to manhole covers, street lights, medians and any other infrastructure that falls under the City’s jurisdiction.