The new C$125 million venue will be built through a public-private partnership, a first for Quebec premier Jean Charest's government. According to the paper, private developers will manage the project and lease the hall back to the Quebec government.
The new hall would be located on the Place des Arts, across the street from the ‹lot Balmoral, where a hall had previously been proposed. Under the new plan, an academy of music and theater will be built on the island.
A previous proposal to renovate the Th_ê¢tre Maisonneuve instead of building a new hall, which was reported to be under consideration in November 2004, has apparently been scrapped.
Marc Beliveau, the head of the MSO musicians' union, told the CBC that musicians would welcome the new hall. "The one we have now, it's not that it's a terrible hall, but it's really too big for the size of the orchestra," he said.
The Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, the MSO's current home, has a capacity of nearly 3,000. The new space is likely to have about 2,000 seats, according to the La Presse.
Beliveau added that the prospect of a new hall could improve the chances for a settlement between striking musicians and management. "You know you can't just invest in a concert hall and stop investing in musicians," he said.