Pre-feasibility study.

The Outremont borough choses the MIAM project for the building located at 30-32 St-Just Avenue, following a call for proposals to upgrade the site.

The MIAM is registered as non-profit organization, a social economy enterprise with a cultural vocation.

The business plan is presented to the CLD Les 3 Monts and the first start-up grant is obtained.

The MIAM is awarded First Prize (local level) at the 16th edition of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest (social economy enterprise category).

The MIAM project, which will be located in the heart of the new Îlot Saint-Viateur cultural hub in the Outremont borough, is selected as a legacy project for Montréal’s 375th anniversary. The city allocates $1 million towards renovations.

Nov. 2016

Renovation work begins.

Nov. 2017

Casteliers becomes the emphyteutic lessor of the building.  Renovation work continues with investments from the Fonds des ateliers d’artistes de la Ville de Montréal, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (Canadian Heritage), as well as with funds raised during Casteliers’ fundraising campaign.

Fall 2018

Renovation work is completed, and the founders move into the MIAM.

March 9, 2019

Inauguration day!

Fall 2019

Closure of the legal entity “Maison internationale des arts de la marionette” as a non-profit organization. The MIAM now exists as a centre dedicated to research and creation, entirely devoted to the puppet arts, and managed by its founders and its users!



Photo : Marc Gibert


A very eloquent speech delivered on the evening
of the MIAM inauguration, March 9, 2019.
François Bissonette offers a historical perspective
and recounts the six years he dedicated to the 
MIAM before its grand opening!

30-32 St-Just Avenue was built in 1911 and inaugurated in 1912 at the same time as the fire hall next door. It has had several tenants over the last 107 years.

The fire hall horses were fortunate enough to live within its walls for the first 10 years. Then the stables were converted into a rental home.

Different local social clubs occupied the premises afterwards: a bingo hall, workshops and a Senior Citizens Club.

Abandoned in 2006, the building had been home to a large number of rodents for over 10 years.

The MIAM you see today is an 11th art dream. A dream that was 25 years in the making, as Louise Lapointe would point out. A dream come true after six years of hard work, ups and downs, and changes of government at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Ministers and municipal councillors switched portfolios, and every one of these changes brought about its own share of setbacks:

Presentations to explain the project. Dozens and dozens of presentations.

And of course, we received comments and responses after these numerous presentations:

Congratulations on your beautiful project! It’s wonderful!

Don’t give up! Think big!

Or: Your file is under review, for the moment, we don’t have an answer for you, be patient! Budgetary rigour is a must!

And so on and so forth.

Yes, six years indeed, six years of patience and perseverance.



For me, it all started on April 13, 2013.

Louise officially asked that I come aboard: “Are you in?”

“Four meetings a year, more or less, no more for sure!”


June 2013

The MIAM project is endorsed by a resolution of the Outremont Borough Council.

The business plan has four pages, a $370,000 budget, and still only four board meetings a year.


March 18, 2014, almost one year later

The legal entity is created – Could our dream be coming true? We were only at the beginning of the adventure, with a tiny operating budget. That was five years ago!


May 29, 2014

Oops! Fifty pages are added to the business plan. We now have a 54-page plan, and the capital budget went from $370,000 to $870,000. 


June 18, 2014


The appraisal report for 30-32 St-Just just arrived and the building’s renovation work is now estimated at $1,433,000.

Oh boy! The project is getting a little more complex.


August, September and October 2014

Business charter and regulations, code of ethics, GST and QST tax options, charity number (or not?), establishing working committees to hammer out issues related to renovations, finances, management and activities. So many things to think about.

Subsidy applications, long lease contracts and more!



You remember, back in 2013 when Louise convinced me to join the adventure?

“Four times a year more or less, no more for sure!” Between August and October 2014, we held five years’ worth of meetings.


Minutes of the meeting on December 11, 2014: Both the MIAM and Place Micheline-Legendre are set to be inaugurated in 2017.

In 2017, we’ll celebrate Montréal’s 375th anniversary, Canada’s 150th birthday, and 50 years since Expo 67.

We can’t miss this opportunity!


January 28, 2015

This is the first time that we talk about a Plan B in our meeting minutes. There will be nine more Plan Bs to follow.


April 14, 2015

After the development of the FTP

With the functional and technical program, we realize that the MIAM will be too small, at least 30% too small. And there you have it! Another plan B.


June 20, 2016

Twenty-five pages added to the business plan.

There are now 79.


July 2016

A new concept appears in our business plan and minutes.

Phase 1 and Phase 2

Our Plan B just won’t cut it.



Fall 2016

Phase 1 of the renovation work begins and is beset with delays from start to finish.


January 2017

A new concept emerges: Phase 1.1 and Phase 1.2 make their debut.


Spring and summer 2017

Phase 2 renovation work begins and is beset with delays from start to finish.

Ta-dah! A new concept appears.

Phase 3 renovation work will begin and will probably be beset with delays from start to finish.


November 1, 2017, signature of the 30-year emphyteutic lease contract.

The MIAM really exists. The MIAM exists:

Thanks to the vision and the dream, thanks to the determination, stubbornness, patience, generosity, work, and, above all, thanks to the “true believers” – to all of those who had faith in the project.


I would like to thank the members of the board of directors of the MIAM, the AQM, the elected officials of Outremont, Québec and Ottawa, and the past and present elected officials who supported the project.

The civil servants from these different levels of government who have encouraged us, who believed in us and helped us throughout this great adventure.

I would like to thank the donors, large and small.

Without you none of this would have been possible.


Special thanks to:

Michel Desjardins, Gilles Renaud, Élise Dion, Alain Fiset, Pierre Beaupré and Sabrina Richardson (architects), Patrick Vignola (contractor), Jean-Guy Chaloux and François Pilotte.



Very special thanks to:

Anne-Marie Poitras, Jeanne Bertoux, Brigitte Vincent, Claudine Raymond, Madeleine Philibert, Catherine Renaud, Guy Bazinet, Sylvain Auclair, and lawyers Patrice Picard and Janie Chaloux.

Great dreams come true thanks to great people.

Here we have two great people, two great dreamers, but above all: two determined people.

Two women of great patience and perseverance.

They were both determined to make their dream come true.

In this project, they have played a crucial role. Without them, I don’t think we would be here tonight.

Marie Cinq-Mars, Louise Lapointe, thank you!

On behalf of all the AQM puppeteers…

No! Not just the AQM puppeteers.

On behalf of puppeteers from around the world!

Thank you! Thank you!


Housed in what used to be the old stables of the Outremont firehouse, that were then converted into apartments for local social organizations, it took nearly two years to renovate the building at 30 Saint-Just Avenue to properly accommodate the MIAM’s operations.

This major renovation project was made possible thanks support provided by:

– The City of Montréal’s 375th anniversary
– The Fonds des ateliers d’artistes de la Ville de Montréal
– The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (Canadian Heritage)
– The Ministère de la Culture et des communications’ capital assistance program for special equipment
– As well as the devoted staff at the Outremont borough, Ateliers créatifs Montréal, and hard-working professionals at each phase of the project, especially the Beaupré Michaud & Associés architectural firm, and the Groupe VIG general contractors.

Come take a look at the tremendous work they have accomplished and see how far the MIAM has come since its humble beginnings!




Michel Desjardins, Project Consultant (cultural capital projects) – Avis’Art
Gilles Renaud, General Director – Ateliers créatifs Montréal
Élise Dion, Administrator – Ateliers créatifs Montréal
Anne-Marie Poitras, Director of Culture, Sports, Recreation and Social Development – Outremont borough
Alain Fiset, Project Manager – Outremont borough
Pierre Beaupré, Architect – Beaupré, Michaud & Associés, Architects
Sabrina Richardson Architect – Beaupré, Michaud & Associés, Architects
Patrick Vignola, Contractor and Jean-Guy Chaloux, Foreman – Groupe VIG
François Pilotte, Technical consultant
Martin Roy & Associés, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers
Calculatec Inc., Structural Engineers
Marchand Houle & Associés, Civil Engineers