Montréal status as a creative design city is reconducted based on a positive record, hailed by the UNESCO

On the eve of Montréal's 375th anniversary, the Bureau du design focuses on emerging talent, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of design

Montréal, October 12, 2016 – Ten years after being named UNESCO City of Design, Montréal celebrates the positive record achieved by its Bureau du design, which was recently hailed by UNESCO. This international organization invited the 116 member cities of the Network of Creative Cities to learn from Montréal design initiatives on the local and international scenes.

“Because of its many structuring benefits, the UNESCO City of Design designation obtained in 2006 made a big difference in positioning Montréal design. We can be proud of this international recognition and will take advantage of the 2017 celebrations to affirm, loudly and clearly, our well-deserved status of creative City of Design. I would like to congratulate the Bureau du design's team of experts led by founder Marie-Josée Lacroix, and thank them for contributing positively to Montréal's reputation,” said Manon Gauthier, member of the Montréal Executive Committee responsible for culture, heritage, design, Space for Life and the status of women.

An exceptional record says UNESCO

Following the introduction of the first position as design commissioner 25 years ago this year, Montréal is now one of the cities with the most experience in the field of development and positioning strategies through design. The Bureau du design is responsible for several successful initiatives, including the Commerce Design Montréal awards concept, which is now reproduced in 14 cities around the world, and rewards design quality achieved by businesses and restaurants, the Portes Ouvertes Design Montréal weekends, which promotes exchanges between designers and the public, and CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL, which proposes a collection of quality items made by Montréal designers and featured in a catalogue initially aimed at institutional buyers.

In addition to initiatives that promote design, the Bureau du design has worked hard to introduce a competitive approach involving design and architecture in Montréal. Since 2006, the Bureau has held 51 competitions and design workshops, including 38 project competitions for short-term completion. These competitions alone have generated high quality achievements and resulted in significant economic spinoffs representing more than $27.3 million in designer or architect fees. They have also opened new windows of opportunity for many professionals. The most recent competition was approved today by the members of the Executive Committee, while Montréal is calling on the creativity of emerging international designers to develop information modules to be used on construction sites. The prototypes are planned for introduction in summer 2017.

Montréal, the unique city, laboratory city and city of entrepreneurs

In the coming years, the Bureau du design plans to increase its efforts to develop the designer market, have these professionals contribute even more to Montréal's future, and continue its design awareness-raising efforts. Emerging designers, innovation and design entrepreneurship are at the very heart of the Bureau du design's new action plan.

Montréal's 375th anniversary, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and the 50th anniversary of Expo will provide a unique context for highlighting the talent and creativity of local designers and architects. The Bureau du design is determined to let designers benefit from current economic conditions. In anticipation of these festivities, the Bureau du design is stepping up its efforts to disseminate the CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL 2017 catalogue with institutional buyers, and to make available to the general public this rich selection of designer items, so that Montrealers and visitors may purchase souvenir items with the Montréal DNA.

“Our message to Montréal designers and architects is clear: More than ever, Montréal needs your talent. We intend to use all the levers available to us as buyers and owners to achieve, together, the Montréal of tomorrow, and to make you shine. You can count on the support of the Bureau du design so that together, we can continue to live up to our title of UNESCO City of Design,” said Manon Gauthier.

For more information on the Bureau du design, please visit:


Andrée-Anne Toussaint

Press Attaché
Mayor's Office and Executive Committee, Ville de Montréal
514 243-1268

Jacques-Alain Lavallée

Ville de Montréal
514 872-4641