Danièle Henkel will chair the major fundraising campaign

Official unveiling of the Espace danse project

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Tangente, the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and Agora de la danse are pleased to announce that Ms. Danièle Henkel will serve as President of the Major Gifts Campaign launched to complete the funding of Espace danse in the Wilder Building.

In September 2016, these four internationally renowned dance organizations will move into their new home in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles district. While each organization is a shining star in its own area of expertise, they will now be able to pool their talents and expertise to create an unparalleled hub of creation benefiting everyone in the world of dance and the community as a whole.

Ms. Hélène David, the Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, took advantage of the press conference to acknowledge the hard work done by the four organizations and Danièle Henkel: “The four organizations’ combined effort to conduct the fundraising campaign reflects a real desire to make this project happen. I am also delighted that Ms. Henkel has agreed to be the campaign’s President. Her determination and contagious energy will certainly have a positive impact. I hope the fundraising effort will meet with great success in giving the dance world the means to achieve its ambitions and help dancers develop their talent.”


Édifice Wilder Espace danse

The unveiling of Espace danse in the Wilder Building, for which Ms. Danièle Henkel will serve as President of the Major Gifts Campaign. From left to right: Hélène David, Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Danièle Henkel, President of the Major Gifts Campaign, Manon Gauthier, Member of Montreal’s Comité exécutif responsible for Culture, and Alain Dancyger, Executive Director of Les Grands Ballets.


As a recognized businesswoman and the Founding President of Entreprises Danièle Henkel, Ms. Henkel is well known for her commitment to health and well-being. “It was a great honour to be invited to serve as President of the Major Gifts Campaign,” said Danièle Henkel. “As a former ballerina myself, I understand the need to invest in a facility where dance can continue to evolve.” Over the next few months, Ms. Henkel will unveil a campaign cabinet that she is putting together to oversee outreach and solicitation efforts for the campaign.

Representing a total investment of $99.2 million, the project has received $66.4 million in financial support from the Quebec government and $7 million from the Canadian government. The campaign headed by Ms. Henkel will aim to raise the $25.8 million needed to complete the project’s funding.

The Canadian government has reiterated its support for the project. “With the Canadian government focusing on creating jobs, fostering growth and building strong, prosperous communities, our government is proud to invest in major infrastructure projects such as these. This new, state-of-the-art complex will meet the artistic needs of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal while furthering the city’s growing reputation as an international dance centre,” noted the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

As an invaluable international showcase for Montreal, Quebec and Canadian dance talent, the new Espace danse will strengthen Montreal’s position at the global forefront of dance creation and innovation. More than just a training centre, the facility will be a unique creation and performance hub offering a wide range of services to professionals and the general public alike.

By relocating to Espace danse in the Wilder Building, the organizations will enjoy facilities worthy of their reputations and ambitions. Benefiting from more space and bigger studios designed for dance, they can now set their sights on fulfilling their artistic potential and expanding their offerings to dancers and the community alike.

On behalf of the four partners, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal Executive Director Alain Dancyger declared that “Espace danse in the Wilder Building will have a major impact on the community. As both a dynamic training incubator and an agent of social and community change, it will play a leading role on the international stage and in achieving personal well-being through the many benefits of dance.”

“Donors will be doing much more than just investing in a building,” added Danièle Henkel. “They will be enabling the four institutions to continue to shine, both nationally and internationally, and to bolster Quebec’s position as an active supporter of the arts. But even more importantly, these investments will help make dance more democratic by making it more accessible and positioning it as one of our greatest sources of collective wealth.”

Espace danse’s holistic vocation will be evident in the presence of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal’s National Centre for Dance Therapy Centre. Launched in 2013, the Centre will be the only such facility in the world to offer three interconnected types of services: dance and movement therapy, clinical research, and participation in developing Canada’s first graduate-level dance therapy training program.

Construction is being overseen by Société québécoise des infrastructures. Once construction is complete, the renovated and expanded Espace danse in the Wilder Building will house a restaurant and a café overlooking Place des festivals, along with an Atrium and several other common spaces. Incorporating an outstanding artistic showcase that sees over 10 million passers-by in the summer alone and whose exterior walls will double as screens for outdoor projections, the Wilder Building, designed by the architectural consortium Lapointe Magne & Ædifica, is destined to become a Montreal landmark.