As part of the cooperation agreement between the cities of Paris and Montréal - A young Montréal industrial designer will work at Les Ateliers de Paris

    MONTREAL, Aug. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - In the wake of the cooperation agreement
signed between the cities of Paris and Montréal in April 2006, the Design
Montréal Bureau of Ville de Montréal, in partnership with the Ministère du
Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation du Québec, the
Direction du Développement Economique et de l'Emploi of the city of Paris, and
Alto Design, awarded Louis Drouin, a young Montréal industrial designer, a
$25,000 financial aid to help him develop and launch a line of kitchen
utensils during a six-month stay at Les Ateliers de Paris that starts in
November. The event was held at Montréal's city hall, in the presence of
Benoit Labonté, member of the executive committee responsible for culture,
heritage, the downtown area and design, the program's partners, the members of
the selection committee, and several guests from Montréal's academic and
industrial design communities.

    Louis Drouin, a young Montréal industrial designer

    Following a call for candidates among product design graduates, Louis
Drouin, who holds a degree in industrial design from Université de Montréal,
was selected on the strength of his portfolio which showed initiative and
entrepreneurship in the product design projects he undertook both as a student
and a trainee at various industrial design consultant firms.
    The members of the selection committee were seduced by his project to
develop a line of high-end oyster party products aimed at revamping the dining
experience through such kitchen utensils as the oyster knife, the lobster
pliers, and the seafood platter. These will be produced by a limited series
production process adapted to the high-end market, which could later be
upgraded for larger scale production.
    As the capital of gastronomy, Paris is the ideal place to start such a
production and marketing project. Several Parisian food experts will be asked
to use the shop developed and produced concepts to ensure that the final
product meets the industry's needs. A study of the attitudes of Parisians
towards culinary aesthetics will also help position the products on the North
American and European markets.

    Les Ateliers de Paris

    The city of Paris has long been promoting exchanges between creators with
a view to reinforcing international relations in the creative sector, a move
that has created jobs both at home and abroad. Such exchanges were greatly
facilitated by the creation of Les Ateliers de Paris in 2006.
    Located in the heart of Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Les Ateliers de Paris are
dedicated to the development of creative enterprises in the fields of design,
fashion, and arts and crafts. As a centre of hospitality, promotion and
exchange between design professionals, Les Ateliers de Paris will provide our
young Montréal designer with working space and free access to equipment and an
exhibition gallery. The financial aid will cover his expenses during his stay
in Paris.
    "The Ateliers de Paris incubator not only will provide Louis Drouin with
working space and an opportunity to meet and work with other creators, it will
also provide a support network that will help him develop and market his line
of kitchen utensils. Our aim is to help him establish long-lasting contacts so
that he could envisage with serenity the production and marketing of his
products in France and North America. Canada is a formidable laboratory of
design concepts, and we are confident Louis Drouin's ideas will be a great
challenge to his French counterparts. Hopefully, this program will soon
provide a French designer with a similar opportunity to work in Montréal,"
said Patrice Vermeulen, head of the Direction du Développement Economique et
de l'Emploi de la mairie de Paris.
    "This first tangible offshoot of the design cooperation agreement signed
between the cities of Paris and Montréal will greatly enhance Montréal's
status as a UNESCO City of Design. The project is the result of the collective
effort of the Québec government and the private sector aimed at fostering and
enhancing exchange between young designers from Paris and Montréal, and, above
all, at supporting the entrepreneurs who wish to create their own enterprises.
It is a great opportunity for a Montréal industrial designer to develop
professionally abroad. And Louis Drouin has shown true entrepreneurial spirit.
No doubt, he will make most of Les Ateliers de Paris project incubator," said
Mr. Labonté.
    Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Minister
of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, Raymond Bachand,
is especially proud to be associated with a project that is part of the new
Design-Innovation program born of the Stratégie québécoise de la recherche et
de l'innovation. "Our goal is to support enterprises that use design in their
innovation process in order to promote a Québec product, to enhance
competitiveness, and develop a brand image both nationally and
internationally. In addition to this program, the Québec government provides
support to enterprises using design through our design tax credit, which is
unique in the world," stated Minister Bachand.
    Proud of its contribution to this project as a private financial partner,
the industrial design consultant firm Alto Design will sponsor the laureate by
providing consulting support during the preparation phase and throughout the
    "Our role in this project is to identify emerging talent in product
design and to help it develop in an environment and support network like those
offered at Les Ateliers de Paris. We warmly wish Louis Drouin that his
residency will influence his way of seeing objects and allow his talent and
creativity to shine among his French colleagues. The financial aid also
underlines our firm's commitment to the promotion of new industrial design
talent in the coming years," said Mario Gagnon, president of Alto Design.

    The Design Montréal Bureau

    Under the coordination of the Design Montréal Bureau, the Ateliers de
Paris competition was developed with the cooperation of the Ministère du
Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation du Québec, the
Paris city council and Alto Design. Created in January 2006 by Ville de
Montréal, the Design Montréal Bureau's mandate is to implement a municipal
plan of action aimed at enhancing Montréal's design and its status as a city
of design.

For further information:

For further information: Hélène Reeves, Reeves et Associés, (514)
872-5323 or cell.: (514) 573-6892,; Source: Bernard Larin,
Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif, Ville de Montréal, (514) 872-9998

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