20th-Anniversary Edition - The Commerce Design Montréal Awards return!

Montréal, October 30, 2014 – Created in 1995 by the Ville de Montréal, presented for 10 years in a row, then exported internationally, the Commerce Design Montréal Awards are back. The Ville de Montréal’s Bureau du design and Équipe commerce are launching a 20th-anniversary edition, to culminate in May 2015 with an awards ceremony at which prizes will be handed out to 20 Island of Montréal merchants and their design partners.

The program, which is accompanied by an extensive promotional campaign, rewards businesses for outstanding quality of interior and exterior design on their premises, and showcases the talents of Montréal designers. Merchants, designers and architects are invited to submit applications no later than 5 p.m. on January 9, 2015. The entry form and regulations are available online at commercedesignmontreal.com.

A winning strategy for merchants and the city

The original contest concept aimed to enhance the quality of city living by convincing Montréal merchants of the benefits of investing in good design on their premises, with the help of qualified professionals. An impact study conducted in 2004, after 10 years of Commerce Design contests, showed that the awards had definitive impacts on revitalization of commercial arteries.

Many award-winning businesses have gone on to become bona fide institutions over the years, including the Orbite hair salon (Saucier + Perrotte architectes) as well as restaurants Leméac (the late Luc Laporte, architect) and Le Petit Alep (Bosses Design).

Commerce Design Montréal has helped open up the market for Montréal designers, and contributed to the emergence of new talents as well as diversified practices in design for retail businesses. Creators such as Jean-Pierre Viau, Bruno Braën of Cabinet Braun-Braën, the designers and architects at Bosses Design, and Mr. Laporte are among those who have won the most Commerce Design Montréal awards.


There are two levels of prizes awarded: a jury will select 20 Jury Grand Prizes, to be announced in May 2015, while the People’s Choice Awards will go to the grand prize winner that receives the most votes from members of the public. This People’s Choice Award will be announced in the fall of 2015.

Eligibility criteria

The following businesses are eligible:

  • Commercial establishments located on the Island of Montréal that have had their premises designed or redesigned between October 1, 2011, and October 1, 2014 (date of work completion), with the assistance of Montréal -based interior design and/or architecture professionals, with the design and/or renovation work executed by Québec-based contractors;
  • Establishments that are aimed at the general public and open during normal retail business hours during the public voting period for the contest, from May to September 2015.

The following are ineligible:

  • Establishments that have already won an award in a previous edition of the contest;
  • Professional-services offices (e.g., dentists, law firms), financial institutions, teaching institutions and daycare centres.

The jury for the 20th-anniversary edition is chaired by Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and comprises:

  • Benoît Dupuis, architect
  • Jean-Pierre Généreux, architect, Vice-President, Brand and Concept Development, Groupe Aldo
  • Jessica Rivière-Gomez, interior designer, Vice-President and
  • Founder, Index-Design
  • Marie-Hélène Trottier, graphic designer, Creative Director, Jump&Love

Application deadline

Application packages must be received electronically or in person no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 9, 2015, at: Bureau du design de la Ville de Montréal, 303, rue Notre-Dame Est, 6e étage, Montréal (Québec) H2Y 3Y8. The entry form and regulations are available online at commercedesignmontreal.com.

An outstanding showcase for winners

Commerce Design Montréal Award winners become true ambassadors of good design and sources of inspiration for many other retail business owners. The 20 winning merchants benefit all together from an extensive promotional campaign including, among other things, local and international media relations, tour itineraries for the public, the people’s choice vote, a poster campaign in Montréal, and a dedicated website. The campaign for the last edition of the contest, in 2004, reached more than 12 million people, including nearly 2 million outside Québec (in the rest of Canada, the U.S. and Europe).

Success beyond borders!

The effectiveness of this made- in-Montréal concept has been recognized by other cities that, since 2003, have sought out Montréal’s expertise in organizing their own contests. To date, 14 cities have adopted the concept, including Brussels, Luxembourg, Marseille, Saint-Étienne and Strasbourg. A video providing an overview of the Commerce Design international network is available online.

The formative impacts of Commerce Design Montréal on revitalization of commercial arteries was acknowledged in 2002 by the International Downtown Association, which presented the Ville de Montréal with its Outstanding Achievement Award, and in 2006, when the contest was named one of 48 best practices worldwide (out of 609 entries) as part of the UN- HABITAT Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.


The Commerce Design Montréal Awards receive support from the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal and from the Société de transport de Montréal.

About the Bureau du design

The mission of the Ville de Montréal's Bureau du design is to develop the market for, and promote the talents of, Montréal-based designers and architects by advocating processes that call for public commissions, such as design and architecture competitions. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network, of which Montréal is a member as a City of Design, comprises 41 cities in 23 countries and enables creative practitioners in member cities to share experiences, while promoting the international exchange of best practices and knowledge.

About the Équipe commerce

The mission of the Ville de Montréal’s Équipe commerce is to work with partners from the business community, the boroughs and linked municipalities of the Montréal agglomeration to promote market opportunities in order to strengthen commercial activity and enhance Montrealers’ quality of life. The Équipe commerce’s contribution complements the initiative to create a city where it is desirable to live, work and play, and to build its reputation as a local, national and international shopping destination.


Sylvie Champeau

Design Commissioner
Bureau du design de la Ville de Montréal
514 872-2023