In June 2011, the Ville de Montréal celebrated the fifth anniversary of its designation as a UNESCO City of Design. In this context, the Bureau du design of the Ville de Montréal launched a call for proposals to Montréal designer-producers and distributors, asking them to submit items that have already been designed, that are currently available on the market and that may meet the definition of gift items.
Gift items are mementoes given to national or international guests visiting Montréal or handed out by city representatives during trips outside Montréal. These items are souvenirs of Montréal and often serve to symbolize the city in the minds of visitors. As such, they must be chosen judiciously, and they must be suitable for a city of design, highlighting work by local creators.
The Ville de Montréal distributes gift items all year long. This applies also to institutions such as the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal International, Tourisme Montréal and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal, as well as the city’s universities and cultural institutions. The recipients of these gift items are a varied group. They include citizens, elected officials, dignitaries, convention delegates, international organizations, business executives, investors and donors. Those giving the gifts are generally mayors, directors or executives of organizations, or university rectors.
Gift items submitted in connection with these calls for proposals are selected by an independent committee and are listed in a catalogue intended for institutional buyers, leaving them better equipped to choose items created by Montréal designers.
Following this endeavour, representatives of the Ville de Montréal and of other institutions based in the city will have a selection of souvenir gifts, designed by Montréal creators, that they can give to visitors.