This summer, the Beach volley park was just another initiative from the very active and interesting BIA of Montreal’s Gay Village, un monde un village. Designed as an incentive for enjoying outdoor activities, this park was located in a neighborhood where scattered pocket parks are seldom used for actual recreation.
I wish I had seen the project last summer, as I would have liked to see who actually used the site and for what purposes. The beach volley site claimed to attract local work force and residents, as it was only 2 blocks away from the Francophone headquarters of Radio Canada. Yet the neighborhood is also struggling with issues ranging from drug abuse to petty crime taking place in public spaces, so I wonder if the project suffered from this – please comment or email me if you know anything about that.
I feel like the latest initiative for the BIA is part of an overall effort to reach audiences beyond the LGBT realm and appeal to the local work force and more traditional family structures, maybe in an effort to bring a more inclusive image of the neighborhood.
I tip my hat to Un Monde Un Village, there are not that many BIAs that display as much effort into not only marketing, but also improving their districts – ranging from closing their section of St-Catherine to inviting Roadsworth. Un Monde Un Village has produced a visual identity that promotes gender diversity by putting forward the creative capital the LGBT community brings to the city.
The Village’s mission statement was recently updated and published on the BIA’s home page. It states that Un Monde Un Village believes “in him, in her, in youth and in wisdom” . The statement as a whole is both affirming the village’s ambition as a creative hub, but also builds on more universal values such as respect for life and liberties. On the marketing side of things, this statement doesn’t shy away from its goal: becoming the number one gay destination in the world. And this is something Montreal is definitely counting on, judging by the City’s latest initiative to provide discounts for Gay people coming to visit town. This should help boost the local economy, as:
– US straight citizens are 3 times less likely to own a passport
– the US gay community has not changed their traveling frequency with the recession and
– they tend to chose LGBT friendly destinations
(for more stats see Home Around the World)
In any case it was about time Montreal started to target DINK (Double Income No Kids) segments of the tourist and industry markets, as these are usually the most recession proof and beneficial communities of tourists.