20 Years: 20 Hours at the Canadian Centre for Architecture celebrates its 20th anniversary

From 11:00am on Saturday, May 2 to 7:00am the next morning, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents the exceptional 20-hour program 20 Years: 20 Hours in celebration of its achievements and influence as a unique cultural institution within the Montreal and international communities.


Two special public conversations underline the CCA’s role in architecture, research, and the conservation of built heritage. At 11:00am, Mirko Zardini, CCA Director and Chief Curator, speaks with Barry Bergdoll, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the MoMA in New York City. At 8:00pm, the public is welcome to attend a conversation between Phyllis Lambert and Peter Rose, architect of the CCA building.


From noon to 6:00pm, the CCA invites the public to take part in the 3rd edition of Design Montréal Open House, a Ville de Montréal initiative that allows the city’s designers and exhibition spaces to open to the public free of charge on May 2 and 3. Among the activities organized for the occasion are unique guided tours of the building, led by the building’s designer, the acclaimed architect Peter Rose. Tours of the CCA’s garden and of the building and the exhibition Total Environment: Montréal, 1965–1975 provide the chance to see the CCA’s programs and spaces in a new light. 


As part of the Youth Design portion of Design Montréal Open House, the CCA offers children the opportunity to create their own construction site with a family activity, Building Permit. Within the CCA galleries, children are invited to build their own architectural works using construction paper and building blocks. Meanwhile, adults can explore a special presentation of CCA Collection objects selected from 20 years of exhibitions (1989–2008). The CCA holds one of the world’s foremost international research collections of publications, conceptual studies, drawings, plans, models, prints, photographs, archives, related artifacts and ephemera, and oral histories of individual architects, dating from the Renaissance to the present day.


For the festive occasion, visitors are welcome to relax in the CCA’s Baile Park with some ice cream from Bilboquet from noon to 8:00pm and with an outdoor barbecue with live music from 5:00 to 8:00pm.


To the delight of film buffs, a unique program called 20 Years: 20 Films, assembled and introduced by filmmaker Luc Bourdon, is presented in the Paul Desmarais Theatre from 1:00pm to 8:00pm and then again at 10:30pm to 3:00am. The selection includes films on architecture and urbanism from the rich collection of the NFB, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. View the complete program at www.cca.qc.ca/20.


The CCA’s 20th anniversary is also celebrated by Bande à part, producing L’actualité musicale before a live audience in the CCA galleries from noon to 3:00am. This musical feast is accompanied by video screenings by Topological Media Lab (TML) and ILU’s Martin Laporte with Saulo Madrid, from 11:00am to 7:00am.


From 10:00pm to 7:00am, CCA post-vernissages regulars groove to the talents of DJ Mighty Kat and DJ Vincent Lemieux while enjoying video screenings and the bar in the Shaughnessy House. Night owls can enjoy live music as they tour the galleries from 11:00pm to 3:00am. Nocturnal tours of Total Environment: Montréal 1965–1975, led by students from Université de Montréal who helped develop the exhibition, take place every hour from 11:00pm to 3:00am. Nighttime tours of the CCA building and its various spaces, led by CCA staff, are scheduled for 11:30 pm, 12:30 am, and 1:30 am.


Toward daybreak, from 4:00am to 7:00am, participants in 20 Years: 20 Hours have the privilege of eating free breakfast at the CCA to restore their energy and get back to discovering design and architecture by taking part in the second day of the Design Montréal Open House on Sunday May 3, from noon to 6:00pm. For the complete program of the Open House, please visit www.designmontreal.com.


Please note that all events and activities are free, except for food and drinks.