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City has designs on becoming fashion centre

$2.4 million for clothing industry. Quebec, Montreal launch 3-year plan to promote local couturiers


The GazetteMarch 4, 2009


Retail sales are declining and people are thinking twice before spending money to renew their wardrobe. But as far as Quebec's minister of economic development is concerned, support for the province's clothing industry never goes out of fashion.


"It's clear that consumers are slowing their spending because they don't know what's going to happen to them," Raymond Bachand told reporters yesterday as the Quebec government and the city of Montreal announced plans to promote this city as a centre of fashion design.


"But there are still 92 per cent of Quebecers who are at work," he noted.


"This is the best timing because what we're doing ... is focusing on our designers, helping our designers ... getting buyers from around the world to come to this fashion show, getting our designers to go elsewhere in the world ... branding Montreal as a city of creation and design and putting it on the world market.


"This is not a one-shot deal. ... This a long-term vision of building Montreal. ... We always have to keep in mind where we want to be in 18 months, where we want to be in two years."


Bachand and Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay met with reporters during the first full day of Montreal Fashion Week to announce a three-year plan to promote internationally this city's fashion and design industry and the people working in it.


During Fashion Week's kickoff Monday night, the province announced a $1.1-million investment in three local fashion enterprises in addition to the $82 million over three years earmarked in 2007 to bolster the industry.


Tremblay, who this week confirmed the economic downturn has compelled the city to trim $100 million in costs, shared Bachand's opinion that the $2.4-million set aside for the plan would be money well spent.


"Everyone's talking about stimulus in the economic situation we're going through," Tremblay said.


"We want to encourage Montrealers, Quebecers and Canadians to buy local, to encourage our local designers, the ones that are known and the ones that are less known.


"We want to make sure we have better recognition around the world. ... We don't want to copy what is happening in other cities or by being Paris, London or New York.


"We want to be different."


The local fashion industry employs about 50,000 people and accounts for more than 80 per cent of the exports by Quebec's clothing industry.

© Copyright © The Montreal Gazette

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2.4 million$ won't make much of a diufference...you really wanna make Montreal into the fashion capital of Canad once again...you're gonna have to invest more, cause right now, Toronto is blowing us out of the water!

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2.4 million$ won't make much of a difference...

That is exactly what I was saying to myself yesterday when I heard the news !!

...Toronto is blowing us out of the water!

Maybe so but the Torontonians women are still not as elegant as ours !! ;)

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