Multicultural Montreal is a beautiful, diverse and cosmopolitan urban center.
And at the heart of its vibrant downtown is McGill, home to a brand new research hub devoted to the study of Montreal, its unique characteristics, as well as those it shares with other national and international urban centres.
Making its official launch this week, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal (CIRM) is made up of a dynamic group of 21 McGill researchers representing a wide range of disciplines including Architecture, Communication Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Literature, Law, Philosophy, Psychology, and Urban Planning.
“The idea is to try and take advantage of the critical mass of researchers already working on Montreal to give us a better understanding of the different layers of our city,” says Stephan Gervais, one of the founders of the Centre. Gervais says McGill is well positioned to unite Anglo and Franco researchers and create an overall sense of community.
The Centre will mark its inauguration by holding its first public activity, Questioning Urban Creativity: Montreal, a Case Study, on Oct. 18 and 19 at the McCord Museum.
Fifteen speakers will address five broad themes: Montreal as a Multicultural City; Governance, Democracy and Citizenship Issues in Montreal; Architecture, Design and Urban Dynamics; Language and Language Creativity; and Conceptualizing Montreal’s Creativity.
Two special round tables have also been organized. The first will deal with new directions in research on cities in general and Montreal in particular; the second will examine Montreal’s role in fostering artistic creativity. The event will conclude with a lecture by the distinguished scholar and McGill alum, Witold Rybczynski, on “Frederick Law Olsted, creativity and Montreal” on Oct. 21 in the Leacock Building and will be in collaboration withLes Amis de la montagne.
Gillian Lane-Mercier, another co-founder of the Centre and one of the moderators of the conference hopes the discussions will shed new light on Montreal’s distinctiveness as a Quebec, Canadian and international city.
“Montreal is more than just a city of festivals,” says Lane-Mercier. “We hope (the conference) will leave people with a new awareness on the richness, creativity and complexity of our city.”
This will be a colloquium open to the public. Since space is limited, registration is mandatory. For more information, please go here.