Place des Arts is a major performing arts centre in Montreal
.Located in the eastern part of the city's downtown, between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve Streets, and St-Urbain and Jeanne-Mance streets, in an area now known as the Quartier des Spectacles, the complex is home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and the Opéra de Montréal.
Place des Arts was an initiative of Mayor Jean Drapeau, a noted lover of opera, as part of a project to expand the downtown core eastward from the concentration of business and financial activity in the centre-west part of downtown. The Corporation George-Étienne-Cartier
, named in honour of George-Étienne Cartier, a Father of Confederation and opera lover, was set up to build it, and the first part of the complex (including the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
) was inaugurated on September 21, 1963.
The Place des Arts includes six halls of various sizes:
Construction of a new concert hall for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra was completed in 2011 at the cost of C$105 million and seats approximately 1,900 spectators.
This wealth of theatres permits the staging of opera, symphony, ballet and other dance, chamber music, choral music, theatre, film presentation, and various other presentations and ceremonies. In addition to the theatres, the complex hosts the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, a Museum of Contemporary Art
, as well as rehearsal halls and a large, popular esplanade decorated with original fountains and water cascades.