Skip to content
The Saint-Sulpice building will become the Maison de la chanson et de la musique du Québec

Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The Maison de culture et de la musique du Québec will see the light of day, which will at the same time ensure the preservation of the heritage building of the former Saint-Sulpice library.

The announcement was made Thursday by Prime Minister François Legault in the company of the Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, and those responsible for the project, as well as certain monuments of Quebec song, in this case Gilles Vigneault, Louise Forestier and Claude Dubois.

François Legault has repeatedly mentioned what has become his favorite theme, which is pride. “I know there are those who say: it’s annoying to always talk about this. (…) The pride of a people depends a lot on its culture. Culture is what we are, it is what distinguishes us from the other nations of the world. Quebec culture is what makes Quebec a unique place on the planet.”

Even more, he said, “Quebec music sings our history, our territory. Music makes us proud of who we are.

“An inclusive space”

The host and president of the organization Écho sonore, Monique Giroux, was very moved to finally see the realization of this project that she has been carrying out for 20 years and which she intends to make a gateway to culture for all.

“In this way, we want to interest young people and share the richness of our musical culture throughout the territory,” she said. We will work together to create an inclusive space that will teach children in Quebec and also newcomers to discover, to better know our culture, our language, to love them, to socialize with them through song and music. .”

And she found it hard to believe that the doors of the old Saint-Sulpice library were thrown open to her. “You believed in this project until you offered such a prestigious address to song and music,” she exclaimed.

Minister Roy also recognized that the government has a responsibility with regard to heritage buildings, particularly this one, located “in a mythical place in the metropolis, in the Latin Quarter”.

The treasures of the BAnQ

The magnificent Beaux-Arts style building, unoccupied since 2005, will thus house the treasures linked to the music of Quebec which are in the hands of the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ), explained its president and general manager, Marie Grégoire.

“We will be able to increase this dream tenfold by putting our archival funds, sound recordings, printed matter, because we really have a collection that is so deep, whether it be posters, show programs,” he said. -she says.

But beyond being a repository of musical heritage, the place will also become a living place of meeting and creation for music artisans. In fact, there are plans for the development of studios, workshops, premises to accommodate artists in residence and the redevelopment of its already existing concert hall.

Marie Grégoire also announced that a musical score created based on the wishes of the population will be installed there. “We are going to ask Quebecers to select the 50 songs they consider to be the songs that make up the soundtrack of Quebec. From there we will draw 50 video capsules which will be made available on the web and which will allow Quebecers to experience the development of the house.

This is a $50 million project that will be financed by Quebec and the City of Montreal, but also largely through the sale to Hydro-Quebec of land belonging to the BAnQ. The money will be used to renovate, restore and fit out the building and the House will then have an annual operating budget of $7 million.