It was used by the École polytechnique, the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, the École des beaux arts and the Conservatoire d'art dramatique, which all had their origins there. It served for adult education and the woman's movement in Québec.
A true multi-ethnic centre, the Monument national, supported by the Société Saint Jean Baptiste, was used by Montréal's growing Jewish community. From 1896-1956 it was the major venue for Yiddish theatre outside New York, although presenting only American productions. In the period following the Second World War, the Monument national declined in popularity and although it was declared a historic building in 1976, it sank into oblivion. In 1978, the National Theatre School acquired the building for $412,000. The school planned major renovations, and the Monument national underwent a complete restoration, reopening on 24 Jun 1993, exactly one hundred years after its initial inauguration. It now had three halls: the Balustrade a 55-seat cabaret theatre; the Ludger-Duvernay Theatre; and Studio Hydro-Québec and housed National Theatre School workshops and a rehearsal hall.
The Monument National remains one of Canada's first multi-functional buildings. Among shows presented in 2012 were the musical version of Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs, the Québec folk group Mes Aïeux, and MUTEK, an international festival of electronic music and digital art.
Author Gilles Potvin, Susan Spier
Morin, Victor. 'Cent vingt-cinq ans d'oeuvres sociales et économiques,' Cahier des Dix, 23, 1958
Bean, Audrey, et al. Le Monument national, brochure (Montreal 1976)
Pinard, Guy. 'Le Monument national,' Montreal La Presse, 15 May 1988
Anctil, Pierre and Ira Robinson ed Les Communautés juives de Montreal Histoire et enjeux contemporains (Montréal 2010)
Links to Other Sites
National Theatre School of Canada
The website for the National Theatre School of Canada, which offers public performances and professional training in all the theatre arts. See also details about their home base, the illustrious Monument-National (click on "The School" and then "History" to view the 1993 entry in their timeline). Check "Multimedia" for a virtual tour and other videos.
The website for the Monument-National, the oldest theatre still in use today in Québec.