The 34 UNESCO Creative Cities Meet in Montréal
Montréal, May 21, 2012 – At the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, taking place today and tomorrow, the Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, accompanied by Executive Committee Member Responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women, Helen Fotopulos, said he was proud to be hosting more than 100 delegates from all 34 of the network’s member cities. Montréal has been part of the select club of UNESCO Creative Cities since 2006, as a UNESCO City of Design.
“Let there be no doubt: creativity is the vital fuel that we, as cities, will need to meet the challenges set before us in the years to come,” Mayor Tremblay declared, adding: “With the responsibilities entrusted to cities growing ever more complex, we must strengthen international co-operation and increase opportunities for dialogue like this one. These meetings allow us to share our respective experiences and best practices to guarantee harmoniously sustainable development that benefits all our citizens.”
Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, congratulated Montréal for its ongoing support of and dynamic contributions to the Network. “Your city’s rigorous, committed work as part of the Montréal, UNESCO City of Design initiative is an inspiration,” he said. “You have placed creators and creativity front and centre as drivers of the quality of urban life and of the city’s socio-economic and cultural development.”
“Cities all over the world recognize the value of the creative industries as drivers of their social and economic development and as means for preserving their cultural distinctiveness. These objectives are also perfectly in keeping with the reference document Agenda 21 for Culture, which many of our cities have signed,” said Ms. Fotopulos. “This document establishes culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development for communities.”
The meeting will be an opportunity for members to engage in dialogue on topics germane to the development of the rapidly expanding Creative Cities Network, as well as to discuss initiatives and collaborative projects that can bring cities together, and that are core components of the network’s rationale.
Discovering Montréal and the Creative Cities Network
As a complement to the meeting, the international delegates will have several opportunities to meet with their Montréal counterparts and have discussions with key players in the city’s cinema, crafts and folk art, design, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music industries.
On Tuesday, March 22, everyone is invited to enjoy a rich program of public activities developed together with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and produced in partnership with PechaKucha Night Montréal. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., 9 UNESCO Cities of Design will each have 6 minutes and 40 seconds (20 slides x 20 seconds) to showcase the work and creative approach of one or more designers emblematic of their city. A talk entitled Everyday Design in Montréal, presented by journalist Sylvie Berkowicz, will follow.
The museum’s Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, the most important collection of 20th-century international design in North America, will also be showcased, and the event will conclude with the inauguration of a sculpture garden created by Ville de Montréal designers.
For more information, visit the website mtlunescodesign.com.