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Inspired by the saying "A city without art is a city without soul" in the fall of 2000, several artists graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University and at the Saidye Bronfman Art Center presented the town with a plan to form an artistic group in Town of Mount Royal. At the same time, students of Jocelyne Lambert-Moulin's watercolor lessons at the Town recreation center considered a similar project. After several meetings between the two groups, TRAM became a reality and provided an avenue whereby artists could meet to discuss their art, exhibit and sell their works.
The founding members of TRAM are, from the first group: Nicole Leblanc-Touchette, Claudette Lefrançois, Andrée Lecoq, Marie Saheb and Claude Tessier and from the second: Yolande Audet, Nicole Balcer, Solange Béliveau, Edith Galien, Jocelyne Lambert-Moulin, Jeannette Mathieu and Marie-Louise Simon.
Incorporated as a non - profit organization, the association that has been renamed ArtTram has as its mission to promote art and a dynamic artistic life in the town of Mount Royal.
Following a first “open door” at the Town Recreation Center, more than fifty artists responded to the call and expressed their enthusiasm. Together, they organized activities: workshops, live model demonstrations, painting in the park excursions, conferences, meetings, TRAM Sundays as well as exhibitions in the various businesses located in the Town.
ArtTram's commitment to the community has been manifested in various ways over the years, including auctions, participation by students from neighbourhood schools as well as by residents of the Vigi Center in the annual Salon, group poetry evenings, Cultural Days, the Town's annual multicultural fairs, conferences, concerts, folk dances, setting up of DIY workshops for young people, heritage walks, fundraising for the Mount Royal Volunteer Center and the Terry Fox Walk through the sale of small paintings, donations to Multicaf, and more.
ArtTram also encourages the purchase and display of public art in Mount Royal.
The first example of this was the creation of a recognition award by ArtTram to the Royal Bank in 2001 for the restoration of its building.
In 2003, the ArtTram prize was born, awarded to a resident or a corporation of the town of Mount Royal who had made an exceptional contribution to art in our community.
Recipients of the ArtTram prize included the Mount Royal Police Station, Iris eyewear, the Annunciation Church, the United Church of Mount Royal and Bistro Dupond and Dupont..
Annual Art Fair - From its inception, the annual ArtTram Art Fair showcased the work of over forty artists over a three day period. Over the years other activities were incorporated into the program including live music presented by young musicians from Pierre Laporte High School, painting demos, displays of pigments used to create various paint colours, and more.
Now an annual tradition, the ArtTram Art Salon is one of the most important and popular cultural events in the town of Mount Royal.
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