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In a few words

DARE-DARE is an artist-run center whose mandate is to disseminate artistic practices in a variety of spaces, particularly public space.

Its offices, cultural mediation center and illuminated sign are currently located in the Sud-Ouest borough of Montreal.


To explore, question and evolve contemporary art practices, spaces and modes of dissemination and to promote their democratization and accessibility.


DARE-DARE supports the research and development of innovative practices by artists, be they just starting out or seasoned professionals. The artist-run centre has a long-standing interest in exploring and diversifying art work and intervention design processes, forms of expression and modes of presentation within diverse contexts not traditionally intended for art. The artist-run centre encourages collaboration with various cultural and/or community organizations, as well as with partners who are not within the art field.

DARE-DARE has as its objective to promote education, understanding and appreciation of contemporary art at a local, national and international level. This is achieved through a range of activities including: research, creation, production, dissemination, documentation, publishing, workshops, as well as artist discussions and forums. Within the artistic community, DARE-DARE aims to serve as a flexible and friendly go-to resource for research, experimentation and vital expertise with regards to intervention art in public space and to:

  • Generate a favourable context for the production, development and achievement of critical, bold, exploratory projects
  • Highlight the relationship between artistic practice, public space and social and civic engagement
  • Play a mediating role in presenting diverse forms of intervention practices within social spaces to the public at large
  • Accompany artists and facilitate the obtaining of authorizations and permits required for their projects
  • Serve as a meeting point, a forum for dialogue, debate and exchange between various disciplines, be they artistic or other
  • Be a place of learning, where emerging and seasoned artists can meet and network together
  • Encourage and support promising artists who have little promotional experience
  • Be an open, inviting, welcoming, friendly and inclusive space for one and all
  • Welcome artists and theorists in a fair and professional way in line with CARFAC best practice standards
  • Offer various alternative platforms for reflection and critical spaces, where action-oriented, rigorous, intellectually serious initiatives are encouraged
  • Strengthen ties between members of the artistic community
  • La HALTE at the PASSEPORT 2022 event, at Geneviève Letarte's station.
  • Vir Andres Hera, Animated group walk, 2021


DARE-DARE has as its guiding principle to be deeply responsive to the needs of artists and of their practice and to offer them not only logistic support in this regard, but also personalized attention in a spirit of openness to new ideas. The centre’s actions are thus motivated and guided by trust in the artists’ processes and choices, flexibility with regards to the form and duration of projects and a willingness to work with the established production schedule. DARE-DARE adapts to the needs of each project and to the profile of each individual artist, both in terms of the type of support offered creators and the degree of involvement expected from the centre. To succeed in its mission, DARE-DARE must share in the artists’ enthusiasm for their projects and partake in maintaining it, lest they fail. DARE-DARE wishes to remain in sync with strides made by contemporary art by keeping abreast of activities and issues related to new artistic practices in public space or within contexts not originally intended for the presentation of art.



Beginning as a NPO in 1985, and an artist-run centre since 1990, DARE-DARE had occupied several gallery-type spaces when in 2004, it elected DIS/LOCATION as its modus operandi and set up offices in a mobile shelter, which it subsequently  parked in various public spaces, making the city itself the canvas for its research and dissemination activities.

In 2004 DARE-DARE decided to make tangible the theories about the appropriation of public space that its members had been elaborating upon for several years. From that moment on, the artist centre focused its programming exclusively on public art projects, disseminating interventions throughout the city from its base of operations, successively located at: Square Viger (2004-2006), the park with no name (2006-2008), Cabot Square (2008-2009), Walter Stewart Park (2009-2012), St-Laurent metro station (2012-2015) and Atwater Market (2015-2018). 

This nomadic research was conducted from a variety of neighbourhoods, each with its own rich tapestry of social, political, environmental, economic, historical and urban issues. It provided the ideal structure for meeting the dissemination needs of artists and engaging the public and surrounding community in meaningful dialogue. By inserting itself within the fabric of daily urban life, DARE-DARE contributes to making art known to various people from all walks of life. DARE-DARE owns the mobile shelter, which is currently strategically located next to Atwater Market and Lionel-Groulx metro station. In 2016, the centre acquired a shipyard container in which it set up a documentation centre which in 2017 was christened HALTE — Pavillon de référence et de réflexion sur l’art dans l’espace public [Pavilion for Reference and Reflection on Art in Public Space] and whose purpose is to serve as an open-air public library specialized in contemporary art and various urban issues.

Rather than build on the neutrality of the gallery’s context, these new practices reconfigure the framework of artistic experience and deploy themselves within the public domain by drawing on the context, which is invariably loaded with meaning and connotations, inhabited and perpetually changing. Within the context of each and every of its dis/locations, DARE-DARE has articulated its programming around a theme echoing a contemporary societal issue—or more specifically—an issue in line with its current surroundings, be it related to: heritage, itinerancy, social justice, green spaces, urban infrastructures and quality of life, interculturalism, social and generational mixity, speculation, gentrification, civic friendliness, etc.

[2004-2011]   First grounds for research : marginalized areas, neglected fringes and residual spaces

This first option consisted in the adoption of a stealth strategy. Our aim was to reach out to a diversified audience of people who were uninitiated and unfamiliar with, not to say wary of arts organizations. Not only was its asking price very modest, allowing us access to ownership while significantly reducing our operating costs, the mobile shelter afforded us the ideal vehicle for incognito infiltration of the urban fabric with an aesthetics characteristic of your typical construction site mobile office. Within the collective mind, a mobile shelter is a harbinger of change and innovation, arousing curiosity. Likewise, DARE-DARE wishes the artist centre to be perceived as playing an active role as a social player and agent of development in the city.

[2012-2015]   Second grounds for research : occupy areas of power, perturb the entertainment-oriented, preformatted cultural offering.

In an attempt to breach the gap with larger cultural institutions, the centre decided to move downtown. The initiative was successful; curious visitors came to our offices every day to learn more about our mission and the activities on our program. For many, it was their first contact with contemporary art. In order to make manifest our openness as well as our artistic mandate, DARE-DARE decided, by means of a collective graphic intervention, to give the trailer a makeover, its anonymous aspect being perceived as somewhat too austere and official-looking to non-initiates. DARE-DARE then went on to acquire a shipyard container in which it set up HALTE — Pavillon de référence et de réflexion sur l’art dans l’espace public  [Pavilion for Reference and Reflection on Art in Public Space].

In addition to its regular programming, special events addressed specific issues related to new artistic practices: Odyssée (2004-2014) (an historical sightseeing tour), 2014, Viva! Art Action (an international action and performance art biennial ) 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2006, SATELLITE – Detroit/Tijuana (transborder residencies) 2011, Écocité sur le terrain 2011 and Fête des fleurs 2007 (citizen art and ecology), Périmètre 2005, Autour de l’Agora 2006, (art intervention in public space) Mémoire vive in collaboration with the Centre d’histoire de Montréal 2002 (contemporary art and heritage), L’algèbre d’Ariane with the Centre Les Brasseurs de Liège, Belgium 2002 (relational aesthetics and participation).

[2015-2020] Third research territories : Mixed-use, transit, mediation and commercial zones

In 2015, DARE-DARE set up shop in the South-West, on a piece of land next to the Atwater market. A new adventure began that brought about encounters, crossovers and partnerships. In 2016, the Centre acquired a container, named LA HALTE, which houses its DOCUMENTATION AND REFERENCE CENTRE (currently located in Parc Sainte-Cunégonde).

[2020-     ] Current research territories : Multicultural areas, popular neighborhoods in accelerated mutation.

Since September 2020, our offices are located at the CÉDA, in Little Burgundy, the historic heart of the Black community of Montreal, currently home to a culturally diverse population. By doing so, the center gets closer to a community center (support for newcomers and popular education services for disadvantaged populations) and fosters the creation of innovative partnerships in a neighborhood marked by intensive gentrification.

  • Alexandre David, Faire des places, 2007
  • Anne-Marie Ouellet, Secondes zones, 2012
  • Dominique Pétrin, Palazzo II, 2012
  • Alastair MacLennan, VIVA! Art Action, 2019
  • Julie Faubert, Apparaître/disparaître : Les mots (volet1), 2009

If DARE-DARE has so many visual archives on this site, it's thanks to the contributions of various sources that are not always identified. These include team members, volunteers, artists and other friends of DARE-DARE. If you are able to specify certain photographic credits for images on the site, or if you have visual traces of daredarian content in your possession, we encourage you to send them to us by contacting

Policies, regulations and logo

Important documents about DARE-DARE, its members and its participants

Downloads :

  • DARE-DARE at the PASSEPORT event, 2018
  • Nicole Panneton's station during the event PASSEPORT, Atwater Market, 2018.