Located in downtown Montreal, The Quartier des Spectacles (QDS) is the city’s cultural heart. QDS is an all-season, day and night destination attracting droves of tourists and Montrealers alike. With a focus on eight public spaces, 40 festivals, 80 cultural venues, effervescent lighting, and programming throughout the year, the Quartier always has a cultural activity to discover.
The project was born around the year 2000 at the Montreal Summit – a major meeting to define the future of Montreal. The Quartier des Spectacles was then brought forward as a means to position culture as a key developmental tool for Montreal. QDS was declared a priority for the City of Montreal, focusing on helping festivals flourish in the downtown area and on showcasing the many cultural institutions and venues within the territory.
Although the district is a relatively new initiative, the area has a history of culture and entertainment, stretching back to the late 19th and early 20th century, when it was known primarily as Montreal’s red-light district. The district continued to flourish over the years, with new theatres, museums, and attractions but was in serious need for revitalization by the end of the 20th century. With the creation of QDS, the vision was not to create a new cultural district, but instead to identify and promote the existing cultural infrastructure. The important public spending since the adoption of the QDS project has since had a more than tenfold impact in terms of real-estate economic impact, thus proving right the initial vision of the positive boost this investment in culture would have for the development of Montreal’s downtown core.
The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership was created in 2003 to manage and program activities in the neighborhood’s public spaces. Today, the Partnership seeks to actively contribute to the development and promotion of the cultural value of the Quartier by integrating urban, touristic, social and economic considerations into every one of its actions. Aside from initiating artistic programming, the Partnership assists the more than forty festivals and events that take place on its public realm.
The Partnership has been an active member of GCDN since its inception. Most recently, QDS collaborated with other GCDN members, such as LAC in Lugano, Switzerland and Navy Pier in Chicago, USA to present in these cities art installations that were originally created for and showcased in the Quartier des Spectacles’ public spaces.
MissionThe Quartier des Spectacles Partnership's mission is to actively contribute to the development and promotion of the cultural value of the Quartier des Spectacles by integrating urban, touristic, social and economic considerations into every one of its actions.
Reason for joining GCDNGCDN is a useful network to share information, advice and ultimately, learn from one another, thanks to its members from all over the world with similar realities and challenges. It has also proven to be a valuable network for artistic exchanges. Since 2016, several of our art installations originally created for the Quartier des Spectacles’ public spaces have been presented by other GCDN members.
Director of Development
Created: 2003 Joined GCDN: 2014
1km2 (approx. 0.5 sq mi)
Montreal, Québec, Canada