The Diamond is officially out of its box. Fifteen years and 57 million dollars later, the place of creation and theatrical diffusion which dreamed for a long time the director Robert Lepage was inaugurated Friday, and one says already of the new jewel of place of Youville that it will become a map for Quebec around the world.
"This is an absolutely extraordinary place, comparable to rooms where I have played everywhere, like in Athens or Barcelona. It's ten times, a hundred times better than we thought, "said Robert Lepage.
With a theater for up to 650 people and a state-of-the-art creative studio, Le Diamant, unveiled in front of a crowd of politicians and its main backers, is already arousing curiosity. .
The two open days, Saturday and Sunday, are full and all tickets for the premiere of the play The seven branches of the Ota River, September 7, are sold.
"It's wonderful," Mayor Régis Labeaume exclaimed. The people of Quebec do not realize it, but it will quickly become, in the first year, a place of international culture because of Robert's reputation and reputation. "
Better than the Batcave
Before establishing its penates in the building that once housed the Cinema de Paris and the YMCA, Le Diamant was at the time destined to settle in a cavern under the ramps of the Dufferin-Montmorency highway. In front of a projected budget of 200 million dollars, Robert Lepage and his sister Lynda Beaulieu had to opt for a plan B. That they do not regret absolutely.
"Compared to what it brings to the city, Le Diamant has a lot more sense here, instead of Youville. It forces us to do things in synergy with the Palais Montcalm and the Capitol. We are going to make the city a lot more dynamic with the Summer Festival, ComediHa !, the Film Festival. It will have more impact than going alone in the Batcave, "said Robert Lepage.
"Two thousand six hundred seats in three rooms, two hotels in Youville's square. It's rare in the world. The vie de Nuit will live again, "added Mayor Labeaume.
One of Robert Lepage's main goals is to attract tourists to Le Diamant. Already, many people in Montreal have bought tickets for the first performances. It's only just beginning, the theater man firmly believes.
"We have a team working on the cruise ships and at Château Frontenac. "
Her sister Lynda Beaulieu, President of the Diamond, for her part, expressed the wish that the people of Quebec come with their children. Because "culture makes you dream," she argued.
– With the collaboration of Taïeb Moalla
An architecture that winks at the past
Spectacular without being flashy, modern while retaining the original character of the building built in 1890, the Diamond finally reveals its charms. "The common thread is memory. The Diamond is a tribute to the history of Quebec City and the architect Joseph Ferdinand Peachy, who built 27 buildings here, "said the project's chief architect, Marie-Chantal Croft. Here are some pictures of the interior of the completely renovated building.
- Total cost: $ 57 million
- Government of Quebec: $ 30M
- Government of Canada: $ 10M
- Quebec City: $ 7M
- Private: $ 10 million (including $ 500,000 from Robert Lepage)
Opening of the YMCA on the current site of the Diamond
Sale of the YMCA and opening of the Cinema of Paris
The Cinema of Paris closes its doors
Purchase of buildings by Ex Machina
Beginning of the construction of the Diamond
Sources: The Diamond and the Archives of Quebec City