Design buffs will get an inside view this spring, as two events invite one and all to enter the intimate creative spaces of some of Montreal’s most acclaimed designers, architects, fashion creators and artists…
Spring is here, and as the cobwebs of winter get dusted away, doors are flinging open to let in the sunshine. Both Design Montréal Open House, running in various locations across town on May 4 and 5, and the Virée des ateliers, which runs from downtown to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve along Parthenais street from May 9 to 12, invite art and design fans into the interior sanctums of Montreal’s creative geniuses. Both provide an amazing opportunity not only to get a sense of how people work, but to pick up the most unique souvenirs imaginable.Over 100 addresses all over the city are yours to discover on the Design Montréal Open House trajectory, designed to familiarize you with the astounding star power that lives in Montreal, a Unesco City of Design. Among them you can visit the studio and store of Montreal fashion maven Mariouche Gagné, the mind behind the label Harricana, in St-Henri; the workspace and store of Aquaovo (pictured at top of page), on Saint-Laurent, who designed of the world’s most handsome water purifier (no wonder it won awards); the workspace of stuffed toys Raplapla, where designers Anne Chalifoux, Dominique Dansereau and Erica Perrot will give family-friendly workshops on how their funky characters are made; and Espace Verre, a glass-blowing studio and gallery in Old Montreal where not only will you able to snag unique pieces, you’ll see professional glass artisans create on the spot.The Virée des ateliers, in the city’s east end, is an event spread over three massive art buildings, each of which houses dozens of creative minds – think of the whole area as an enormous think-tank. Among the 100-plus studios you can visit – including so many by visual artists that you’ll get your fill of eye candy – are those of Atelier Cocotte, makers of beautiful woven wooden lamps; Velvet Moustache, which design hilarious cushions in the shape of animals; fashion accessory and textile designers Infuse, who make the most evanescent batik scarves; and women’s wear designers Grob, where you can pick up that perfect lacey blouse for all those upcoming summer picnics.
Design Montréal Open House, May 4-5, 2013
Virée des ateliers, May 9-12, 2013