Since its designation in 2006 as a Creative City of Design, Montreal distinguished itself in establishing cooperation between and with UNESCO Creative Cities, both with Cities of Design including Graz (Austria), Saint-Étienne (France), Seoul (Republic of Korea) and with Cities of other creative fields such as Lyon (France) Creative City of Media Arts. The two events and the programme presented hereafter highlight Montreal’s engagement in UNESCO Creative Cities Network:
- The exhibition “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”, designed by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, will be presented in Seoul, Republic of Korea, beginning in March 2016, as part of Fashion Week, at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza created by architect Zaha Hadid. This presentation is a direct outcome of the special relationship between Seoul and Montreal which are both Creative Cities of Design.
- In May 2015, the Design Month Graz (Designmonat Graz) in Austria, to which Montreal was invited as a guest of honour, gave the city the occasion to propose the exhibition “Montreal Meets Graz: I Was There”. It presented the multiple facets of the city to visitors through immersive installations emblematic parts of Montreal. Creative productions of 52 Montreal designers included in the Code Souvenir Montreal catalogue were shown at the exhibition; meanwhile six of those creators took part in a meeting aiming at developing their networks of business contacts and creating market opportunities. Among the designers, Guillaume Sasseville whose project “Verre commun”, created with the support from the Phyllis Lambert Grant in 2011, had been featured in the Selected show. Designed in Graz, “Verre commun” was inspired by the glass tumblers produced in Montreal’s industrial heyday in the early 20th century. Guillaume Sasseville had, therefore, been influenced by the ancestral know-how of Austrian glassmakers for achieving its creation, proving that a fruitful cooperation between Cities can provide spaces and opportunities for creation and creativity.
- “Commerce Design Montreal Awards” is a programme aiming at encouraging merchants and restaurant owners of the benefits of investing in the design quality of their premises. Since 2002, Montreal has been exporting its concept internationally. Saint-Étienne (France), Creative City of Design, was the first to adopt the concept in 2003, making it its own and renaming it “Commerce Design Saint-Étienne”. Several other European cities followed suit, including Lyon, Creative City of Media Arts.