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Announcement of Place Ville Marie's 50th anniversary celebrations

Announcement of Place Ville Marie's 50th anniversary celebrations

It's the "grande dame's" jubilee!

MONTREAL, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Place Ville Marie today kicked off the festivities to mark its 50th anniversary, in the presence of associate partners and many key figures from the business community and architecture and urban planning circles.

A series of events is planned to highlight this jubilee year for the landmark cruciform tower, its 10,000 occupants, its 360,000 weekly visitors and all Montrealers.

The year 2012 marks a historic moment for Montreal and for Place Ville Marie, a property of Ivanhoé Cambridge and Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMco.), affectionately nicknamed "La grande dame de Montréal" by residents of the city. The festivities will culminate on September 13, 2012, exactly 50 years after Place Ville Marie's official inauguration.

"This is a key anniversary for architecture, Canadian heritage and Montreal's economic and social environment," said Dany Gauthier, Senior General Manager, Place Ville Marie. "Place Ville Marie was the tallest building in the Commonwealth in 1962, propelling Montreal into modernity. With Place Ville Marie reaching its 50th birthday, it's our duty to organize celebrations befitting the grandeur of the expectations of the visionaries who originated this project!"

A permanent commemorative work
Through a partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, Place Ville Marie will receive a new piece of art on its outdoor esplanade to mark its half-century anniversary. Nicolas Baier was the artist chosen to create this permanent work of art to be unveiled this autumn following his participation in a competition.

Mr. Baier's work, which can be found in leading collections in Quebec and Ontario, is also incorporated in the architecture of the Sir George Williams campus of Concordia University, his alma mater. A sketch of the artwork to be bequeathed to Montrealers was presented by Mr. Baier at the news conference.

Helen Fotopulos, Member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal, responsible for culture, heritage, design, and women's issues, remarked:  "Public art has an undeniable impact on the day-to-day life of citizens. It creates important landmarks in the city and is closely linked to its history and culture. Public art plays a role in developing our cultural identity and enriching our heritage. This is why the Ville de Montréal rejoices in this exemplary initiative by Place Ville Marie, which will help strengthen its leadership position in our city."

A series of initiatives to mark Place Ville Marie's 50th anniversary
In addition to this commemorative work, Place Ville Marie has planned various activities and events to mark its 50th anniversary in a significant way. In collaboration with VIA Rail Canada, it is also launching a "Visions of Tomorrow" Time Capsule competition and is inviting the general public, well-known figures in various fields and its main partners to share their visions of the future and offer their stories.

An innovative fundraising campaign will be launched by employees of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) whereby all Montrealers will be invited to contribute to the Canadian Cancer Society by purchasing a stylish shopping bag specially created for the 50th anniversary in collaboration with fashion designer Marie Saint Pierre.

Various exhibitions and promotions will highlight the anniversary throughout the year. The festivities will culminate in September with a program of varied activities intended for the general public, including an urban picnic on the Place Ville Marie esplanade paying tribute to 50 years of Montreal music and culture.

A souvenir book painting a complete portrait of Place Ville Marie's rich history will also be launched on this occasion.

About Place Ville Marie
An architectural jewel designed by I.M. Pei (creator of the famous pyramid at the Louvre)  and Henry N. Cobb, the Place Ville Marie complex stands out with its famous cruciform tower, the tallest of its type in Canada (188 metres). Still very contemporary, Place Ville Marie has evolved with the times and has metamorphosed with its technological, energy-related and environmental innovations to remain in the vanguard and meet the needs of the hundreds of renowned Canadian and international companies housed there. Today Place Ville Marie has become, as suggested by the visionary spirits who conceived it in 1962, a "city within a city" and forms the heart of Montreal's business centre. The Galerie Place Ville Marie still moves to the beat of the major trends while providing a site filled with warmth and dynamism. Nearly 80 renowned restaurants and shops can be found there. www.placevillemarie.com

About Ivanhoé Cambridge
Ivanhoé Cambridge is one of the 10 largest real estate companies in the world, with assets in 24 countries valued at over C$30B as at December 31, 2010. Ivanhoé Cambridge is the real estate arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.