[Photo Sparks] Art, startups and communities: how to make your city a creative hub


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this photo essay, we explore the creative aspects of a city through the experience of Montreal, designated a UNESCO City of Design in 2006!

In the earlier 50 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fair, world music festival, painting fair, telecom expo, art museum, mobile showcase, math museum, social hackathon, bookstore, co-working space, sensorium, international design week, flower show, outdoor ads, startup roadshow, computer museum, startup T-shirts, business cards, art therapy, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, jazz festival, modern art gallery, ecopreneurs, painter-poets, health activists, eNGOs and digital innovators.

With its unique fusion of French and British cultures and proximity to the US, Montreal has emerged as a major hub for the design, telecom, aerospace, life sciences, fashion and digital industries. It is not just government, industry and academic institutes that are driving creativity, local entrepreneurs and the design community have taken up the initiative as well. As these photos show, art is celebrated in indoor museums and finds space outdoors on the street and also as building art.

Events I attended like the Summer School on Creativity and the Montreal International Jazz Festival attract participation from around the world, and accelerators like Founder Fuel attract a number of startups also. Montreal-headquartered Bombardier has innovated with a range of hybrid ‘three wheeler motorcycles,’ and Birks is positioning itself as a Canadian luxury brand. The pioneering Spaces for Life initiative brings together a planetarium, insectarium and bio-dome in a single location to promote creative interpretations of our habitat.

Telus has launched a network of bike sharing hubs across the city (and in European cities too), and regular science competitions are sponsored for the design of products like solar-powered boats and cars. Take a photographic tour of creative Montreal in this photo essay – and think of how you too can increase the creative quotient of your own city!

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.