Le Lézard

PHI Contemporary: a new cultural anchor and architectural landmark for art and public life

After fifteen years of bold, avant-garde and innovative programming, PHI begins a new chapter with the transformation of four heritage buildings with the intention of converting these sites into a new and expanded permanent cultural venue under the banner of PHI Contemporary. 

MONTREAL, April 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --


Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the PHI Foundation (2007, formerly DHC/ART), has been dedicated to the presentation of cutting-edge contemporary art by world-class artists through major exhibitions, a dynamic public program and a progressive education program. The PHI Centre (2012), celebrating its 10th anniversary, has championed projects at the crossroads of art, cinema, music, virtual reality and augmented reality, exploring new territories of storytelling by producing installations informed by new media, whereas PHI Studio (2019), the third entity of PHI's ecosystem, develops innovative exhibitions and captivating immersive experiences presented [at world-class venues] internationally.

PHI Contemporary

Opening its doors in 2026, the 6 900 m2 (approximately) building will be an institution dedicated to exploring the contemporary through public engagement with art and culture. As a response to a growing need for space to engage with PHI's various audiences and artists, the project will consolidate the full breadth of PHI's public cultural offer under one roof. Currently divided between the PHI Foundation and the PHI Centre, PHI Contemporary will create an open space for the public to engage with its multi-dimensional presentation of art, discourse and creative practices. 

At PHI Contemporary, carefully and critically curated exhibitions will meet vanguard works from burgeoning creative territories, allowing PHI to fully explore the emergent synergies and curatorial opportunities they represent. This new cultural landmark will engage with local communities including future residents in the rapidly evolving East-end of Old Montreal, additionally drawing in audiences from abroad, due to tourist populations visiting the city, as well as PHI's ever-expanding artistic network. 

PHI Contemporary is a rare and exciting opportunity for us to continue our commitment to the relevance of art in public life by providing greatly expanded public spaces to gather, encounter and commune with some of the most compelling art and evolving artistic practices from here and around the world.
-Phoebe Greenberg, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, PHI

The new project will provide a purpose-built space of the highest architectural quality that will allow PHI to sustain its offer on several levels; cultural, technological, environmental, social and economic, while making a significant contribution to civic life for both neighborhood residents and visitors from the rest of Quebec, Canada and abroad.
-Eric Albert, Chief Executive Officer, PHI

The site

From the Pre-contact era to the Colonization era, the site of PHI Contemporary has been one of strategic and symbolic significance, rife with a lineage of protagonists that played important roles in the evolution of the city. Located at the intersection of Bonsecours and Saint-Paul streets in the historic district of Montreal ? Old Montreal, ? the site of PHI Contemporary (formerly the Auberge Pierre-Du-Calvet) consists of an amalgamation of four historic buildings that date to the 18th century and a large adjacent lot. In direct proximity to the Bonsecours Market (1847) and the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel (1675) - both storied landmarks of the city and its heritage.

International Architecture Competition 

On August 26, 2021, PHI launched an International Architecture Competition for the design of PHI Contemporary. The call for candidature elicited 65 entries from world-class architectural firms from 14 countries, from which 11 were selected to compete. The competition is currently in its second stage with 5 finalists to present their architectural proposals for the project. 

On July 15th, 2022, the jury will announce the competition laureat, who will pursue the continued development of the winning proposal in partnership with PHI and the project's stakeholders. 

Public Presentations

On May 2nd, 2022, 11h-14h EST, each of the finalist architects will present their architectural concept for PHI Contemporary to the jury in the form of a public virtual event. As an expression of PHI's commitment to transparency and the creative process, the public at large is invited to witness this first unveiling of proposals. 

Access to the event via the following zoom webinar link*: https://zoom.us/j/95684836222
* simultaneous translation into French, English, ASL and QSL is accessible through zoom

Or via live stream*: contemporary.phi.ca
* no translations will be broadcast in the live stream version

If you have any questions, please contact: info@contemporary.phi.ca


This ambitious project is made possible, in part, thanks to the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. PHI is proud to partner in the  protection and enhancement of Montreal's heritage while contributing a cultural anchor and architectural landmark for future generations. This contribution and support is through the Cultural Infrastructure Development Assistance Program.


Founded and directed by Phoebe Greenberg in Montreal, PHI is a multidisciplinary artistic hub located at the crossroads of art, film, music, design and technology. Focused on the art and audiences of today and tomorrow, the organization covers a range of radical ideas by focusing on collective experience, social responsibility and audience participation.

PHI encompasses the PHI Centre, the PHI Studio, artist-in-residence programs and the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art. Thanks to an eclectic program and a predilection for the creation of content, PHI promotes unexpected encounters between artists and audiences.

Myriam Achard
Chief, New Media Partnerships and PR
Tel.: 514 779-8868 ? machard@phi.ca 

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