On September 28, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal welcomed Lorraine Pintal, Artistic and General Director of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (TNM). In front of nearly one hundred guests gathered at the Centre Sheraton Montreal, Ms. Pintal took the opportunity to present the long-awaited expansion project of the TNM and to reiterate the importance of the arts for the revitalization of downtown Montréal.
"After 70 years of existence, the TNM must be repositioned at the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, at the heart of a city, at the heart of a country."
The TNM's expansion
More than 20 years after the theatre's last revitalization, Lorraine Pintal outlined with great enthusiasm the main features of this major project during the conference: larger and more welcoming common areas, a new multifunctional hall, integration of leading-edge technology for creation and broadcasting, and the addition of a green roof. According to the TNM's Artistic and General Director, this revitalization will be more in line with the theatre's mission.
"We want to strengthen the sense of belonging for the public and the artists. We are building a lasting place, one that will be passed on."
The TNM's expansion also includes the addition of a second multifunctional performance and rehearsal hall: the Salle Réjean-Ducharme. In an effort to be more open to artists, to diversity and to Indigenous peoples, this new hall will host small-scale productions as well as more experimental and avant-garde works.
"The significance of this hall is important—it is a real forum for artists, digital creations and multidisciplinary arts."
A digital transformation
In addition to expanding the TNM's current spaces, the revitalization project will also make it possible to renew its stage and digital equipment. In doing so, the theatre hopes to continue the technological shift it began in earnest during the pandemic, and to increase the visibility of its plays. Lorraine Pintal's vision is for the TNM to become the most technologically advanced theatre in Quebec, as well as a national and international leader in theatrical and cultural infrastructure.
"The filmed theatre we experimented with during the pandemic represents a great potential for monetization and the possibility for remote or immobilized populations to have access to our works."
Art to revitalize downtown
In Lorraine Pintal's words, theatres can serve as landmarks for various audiences. Cultural institutions thus play a key role in the appeal of the downtown area. The Artistic and General Director of the TNM hopes that workers will be back in the office towers soon. Sustained collaboration must be established and maintained among various stakeholders, including private and public partners and the business community, she said.
"Culture is what is most easily shared, because the language of emotion is universal."