Feb. 6, 2024

Living downtown: interview with Anne-Andrée Daneau, art lover

Anne-Andrée Daneau, amatrice d,arts et chroniqueuse culturelle

Downtown Montreal is a unique place in many ways. Home for some, work for others, it’s a must-see when discovering the city for the first time. And what makes the downtown area so special is its ability to bring people together and amaze both young and old. In fact, Place des Arts plays a key role in the experience of visitors who come from all over Quebec and the world to attend a music festival, a play or a comedy show. Place des Arts brings the arts to life. The largest cultural and artistic complex in Canada, it celebrated its 60th anniversary on September 21, 2023, and is an integral part of the DNA of downtown and the metropolis.

Anne-Andrée Daneau discovered this place when she was very young, an encounter that changed her life and career. Today, as a cultural columnist, she shares with us her special relationship with downtown Montreal.

Her first memories of Place des Arts

Anne-Andrée discovered Place des Arts on a family outing when she was very young, organized during the holiday season to attend the famous Nutcracker ballet. That day, this local girl who grew up in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu discovered “the big city”, a magical environment where everything seemed larger than life.
She still remembers vividly her first encounter with the Place des Arts theater, with its flamboyant decor, red benches and lights scattered everywhere. The stars in her eyes at the time still light up today when she talks about this mythical venue, an inspiring environment that gave her the desire and the idea to talk about culture. A decade later, she’s doing just that in her career as a cultural columnist, talking about the artists who have marked Quebec’s history and passed through Place des Arts. Still enthusiastic about the venue, she returns frequently, whether for business or pleasure.

Le spectacle Casse-Noisette des Grands Ballets Canadiens, à la salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, au centre-ville de Montréal
© Sasha Nyshchenko

A place full of life and history

Anne-Andrée has many memories of Place des Arts, whether with her father, with whom she returned to attend a comedy show, with lovers she took to discover the place, or of the red carpet evenings she attended at the Gémeaux. For her, the place is full of history and stories.


Place des Arts exists to bring emotions to life. […] You get the impression that the hall is alive and that the walls could speak to you.

Anne-Andrée Daneau


For this enthusiast, who has believed in the arts from an early age, it’s a source of great pride to have Place des Arts downtown. Culture is essential. “It’s a reflection of who we are, of what we do. It’s our history.” She sees Place des Arts as an invitation to discover and marvel, a place that invites curiosity and togetherness. She saw this first-hand when, after the COVID-19 pandemic, audiences rushed back to the halls and theaters to catch up with their favorite artists.

Downtown, a lively district

Today, Anne-Andrée lives in Montreal. She meets her friends downtown, shops and works. She enjoys a bite to eat and the many shows that continue to dazzle her. Anne-Andrée, who witnessed the redevelopment of the downtown area, is fully aware of its evolution, and looks forward to a future in which more and more international events will be held there, in order to pursue its mission as a window on the world.


Downtown, everything is accessible by public transport. I don’t need a car. I can do everything in one place and end my day with a show.

Anne-Andrée Daneau


Today, she’d like to introduce her nephew to this space that brings generations together, and create new traditions in the image of a neighborhood that’s constantly reinventing itself.

Visiting downtown?

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Visiting downtown 

visiter le centre-ville et admirer la vue depuis le mont Royal

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