MONTREAL IN LOVE: EMBRACING DIVERSITY
at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

from January 18, to February 19, 2017 

This exhibit presents thirty of the couples included in that photo essay. In different seasons and neighbourhoods, you will meet a few of the families that make up Montreal’s celebrated diversity. Video stations provide a more in-depth encounter with some of these couples. Let yourself be inspired by these adventurous love stories and thoughts about immigration and being open to differences.

The concept of harmonious diversity in communities has grown in relevance. An issue in intercultural cities like Montreal, it raises many questions. Can intercultural couples who experience diversity in their daily lives provide us with some answers?

Besides satisfying human curiosity, Aime comme Montréal challenges preconceived ideas and invites intercultural dialogue. The vision that inspired Aime comme Montréal was of a happy community life that is open to everyone. If it results in a greater sense of connection and understanding, this project will have succeeded.

Aime comme Montréal is the creation of Marie-Christine Ladouceur-Girard (project manager and author), Mikaël Theimer (photographer), Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

 

Aime comme Montréal: Improving Our Lives Together for Montreal’s 375th Anniversary

The Aime comme Montréal production team is proud to announce that its project is part of the city’s 375th anniversary official schedule.

The Society for the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary appreciated the project’s intercultural focus, which is dear to all citizens. “Celebrating Montreal is akin to celebrating cultural diversity,” pronounced Montreal’s 375th anniversary commissioner Gilbert Rozon. “Is there a better way to show our openness to others than to share other people’s love stories?” he asked. “This project offers unique and creative insight into citizens who love each other and their city.”  

The Aime comme Montréal project sprouted from the je fais mtl movement and was proudly supported by Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM). It is a photojournalistic collage representing 60 Montreal-based intercultural and inspirational couples. The collage will be launched in book format this fall. Throughout 2017, citizens will be able to see this collage through large-scale exhibits. This will be made possible by the commitment of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Place des Arts, and Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The Brian Bronfman Family and Cole foundations, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, CSN, and ONIVO Expo have financially supported this project.

Marie-Christine Ladouceur-Girard, the project’s commissioner and implementer, presents Aime comme Montréal as the result of a thoughtful reflection. “Improving our lives together is a major challenge as we speak,” she said. “Communities are trying to ensure peaceful diversity. The intercultural couple chooses to deal with differences every day, and this is the phrase we would like to use on a larger scale,” she added. “I wanted to provide an accurate perspective on diversity and Montreal citizens by interviewing 60 couples representing native-born Canadians, immigrants, cultural community groups, and Aboriginal communities.”

As the 60 couples share their refugee and military experiences or unusual encounters, they express identity-related worries and tell us how their well-being contributes to relationships with cultural and occasional religious differences. The stories will dispel myths and encourage intercultural dialogue.

Acclaimed Le Devoir photojournalist Jacques Nadeau and talented Portraits of Montreal photographer Mikaël Theimer have taken pictures of citizens’ daily lives through four seasons and in each neighbourhood.

Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM) jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Aime comme Montréal experience. “This artistic and social project is a new kind of public awareness with respect to Montreal’s cultural diversity,” assured Jérôme Pruneau, the DAM managing director.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre added, “This project shows differences and shows where Montreal citizens meet other people, which is touching and inspiring. I would like to thank the entire Aime comme Montréal team for this initiative, and I am proud that the Ville de Montréal is one of its collaborators for this major anniversary we will celebrate together.”