Montreal Celebrates Its 375-year History of Connection and Acceptance
“For the 375th anniversary celebration of Montreal, we are sending a strong message that this is a city in transformation,” said the honorable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal. “You will have a great place to connect, to work, and to live because here you can be equal and different at the same time. No matter where you come from, your race, your orientation, your gender, whether you are an immigrant or refugee, you can be part of this truly great legacy here in Montreal.”
Montreal is multicultural to its core—more than 120 cultural communities call the city home. In addition to being a popular destination for immigrants, Montreal welcomes refugees, and Mayor Coderre has declared Montreal to be an official sanctuary city.
Montreal is a French metropolis; over 50% of Montrealers speak two languages, and nearly 25% speak other languages proficiently (primarily Arabic, Spanish, and Italian).
As Canada’s second largest city, it is host to four universities, a thriving art scene, and a strong business culture—particularly in the tech industry. Its unique geography at the confluence of major waterways has meant long commercial and cultural ties across North America and with Europe.
Celebrating its 375th Anniversary
The city is planning 175 events to commemorate its unique identity and to usher in future prosperity. An art display will illuminate the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in an interactive installation. Montréal AVUDO is a multimedia extravaganza, offering over 100 free multimedia performances in Montreal’s Old Port.
Other commemorative efforts include socioeconomic projects to increase vitality, including a beautifully redesigned cruise ship terminal and updates to a national archaeological and historic site, celebrating over 1,000 years of human habitation at the precise location where the city was founded. A social innovation platform, Amplifier Montreal, is engaging young people, while a microfinancing fund seeks to support 375 new innovative projects.
Infrastructure for the Future
Digital technology is a keystone of the city, with initiatives to expand the Montreal’s IT infrastructure and workforce. Combined with an innovative electronic transportation infrastructure and efforts to create a smart, green city, Montreal is greeting the rapidly changing world creatively and strategically.
“We are making sure that culture and design are part of all changes, democratizing the transformation of the city,” said Mayor Coderre, a man who takes pride in his close ties to his community and never hesitates to get involved. “It’s all about a cohesion between economic, social, and sustainable development. And the greatest thing about Montreal is its people.”