Montreal Will Host Its First Major International Art Fair Next Year

ArtMontreal will hold its inaugural event in June of 2018.

The Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal will host the new ArtMontreal fair. Photo courtesy of ArtMontreal.
The Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal will host the new ArtMontreal fair. Photo courtesy of ArtMontreal.

Art Toronto kicks off its 18th straight edition on Friday—but that’s not the only art-related news coming from Canada this week. ShowHamptons, the event producers formerly behind such fairs as ArtHamptons and the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, have announced that they will now be opening a new event in the northern nation: ArtMontreal.

The event will become just the third major modern and contemporary art fair in the country, after Art Toronto and Art! Vancouver.

The inaugural ArtMontreal will be held from June 1st to 3rd of next year, after Frieze New York and before Art Basel. Located in the 85,000-square-foot convention center in Place Bonaventure, a hard-to-miss Brutalist building in downtown Montreal, the fair will include some 60 galleries from North America and Europe. The spotlight, however, will be on Canada’s home-grown offerings. The full list of exhibitors is still being assembled, but the producers anticipate that a full 70 percent of the participating galleries will be from Canada.

The Montreal Skyline

Rick Friedman, the founder of ArtMontreal, says the strength of the city’s art scene convinced him to produce his fair there. “Montreal has impressive commercial galleries that are passionate about showing the best in Canadian fine art,” Friedman told artnet News. “They have an exciting roster of fresh talent and a lot of creative energy. There is a respectable secondary market for the Modern masters, as well as several museums focusing on up-and-coming contemporary artists.” He marveled that “it’s a city of four million residents, but they do not have an international arts fair.”

The extent to which the city will be involved with the fair is still up in the air, but Friedman notes that there will likely be partnerships between local museums and galleries to highlight Montreal’s art scene.

“We will have local gallery openings on Friday night and museum events, and major foundations and patrons will open their homes to show their world-class collections,” Friedman told Artnet. “We want to create an environment for art collectors to return each year to celebrate and salute Montreal’s longstanding commitment to the fine arts.”


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