Another city won over by Commerce Design Concept - Montréal exports concept to Brussels

    MONTREAL, Sept. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay is
pleased and proud to announce that the city has signed a memorandum of
understanding with Pro Materia and Design September, two design-promotion
organizations based in Brussels, to bring the Commerce Design Montréal concept
to the Belgian capital.
    Brussels is the sixth city worldwide to adopt the concept, following the
lead of Trois-Rivières, Québec; Saint-Etienne, Marseille and Lyon, France; and
New York City, U.S.A. Drawing inspiration from the benefits of Montréal's
experience in terms of the revitalization of commercial arteries, Brussels
hopes in turn to improve the quality of its urban living environment, its
image and its appeal, by providing a stimulus for creativity and innovation in
commercial design. The Commerce Design Brussels contest will reward business
owners for the overall quality of the layout of their premises and for
highlighting the work of architects and designers. The contest will be
officially launched September 23 as part of the "Design September" colloquium
organized with the support of the Brussels-Capital Region.
    "The expansion and growing reputation of the Commerce Design contest in
Europe and the United States is helping to position Montréal as a leader when
it comes to strategies for the development and promotion of design," Mayor
Tremblay declared. "These knowledge transfers are very beneficial for our
city, both in terms of visibility and encouraging networking with other
emerging design cities. These exchanges go hand-in-hand with Montréal's recent
designation as a UNESCO City of Design. The advent of this new partnership is
not only very stimulating for Montréal; it also benefits all of the cities in
the Commerce Design network."
    For her part, Lise Coirier, Director of Pro Materia, noted: "The
replication of the Commerce Design contest in Brussels shows our willingness
to proclaim the Belgian capital as a design city on both the local and
international levels. The goal of this contest, initiated by my association
Pro Materia in collaboration with Design September and with the support of the
Brussels-Capital Region, is to enhance the appeal of Brussels. Good design
generates added value, which contributes to the economic, urban and social
development of the city."

    An eminently exportable concept!

    Organized by the Ville de Montréal from 1995 to 2004, Commerce Design
Montréal sought to persuade Montréal merchants of the benefits of investing in
the design quality of their premises with the help of qualified professionals.
A further goal was to create a ripple effect and convince owners of other
businesses of the benefits of design on their bottom line, and to exert a
strategic influence on the revitalization of commercial arteries in the city.
    The success of this made-in-Montréal concept received abundant media
coverage, and its potential was recognized by other cities, which in 2003
began seeking out Montréal's expertise to set up their own contests inspired
by Commerce Design. So far, six cities have followed Montréal's example.
    The impact of Commerce Design Montréal was acknowledged in 2002 when the
Ville de Montréal received the International Downtown Association's top
honour, the Outstanding Achievement Award, for its dynamic, innovative and
unifying character. The contest was also named one of 48 best practices
worldwide as part of the UN-HABITAT 2006 Dubai International Award for Best
Practices to Improve the Living Environment. The award recognizes the
excellence of projects that have a positive, sustainable impact on improving
the living environment.
    In 2006, the Commerce Design Montréal contest evolved into the Créativité
Montréal design de commerces contest, run in partnership with the private
sector. Winning entries in the contest's third edition will be announced
November 6.

    For more information about the Commerce Design Brussels contest, visit
the website

For further information:

For further information: Stéphanie Jecrois, Design Montréal, (514)
872-5388; Source: Renée Sauriol, Mayor's office, (514) 872-4894

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