MONS 2015 : La métamorphose des esprits !
Monday 04 January 2016

In Mons, which was a gigantic open-air laboratory of new cultural practices, it is also time to take stock ...


For those eager for facts, figures and analyses: "The first counts back up a great year for Mons 2015", concludes Yves Vasseur, General Commissioner of Mons 2015, "180.000 visitors came to Mons for the exhibition 'Van Gogh in the Borinage: the birth of an artist', a record amount among the most successful Belgian art exhibitions, the local tourist office VisitMons has welcomed 6 times more tourists in the first part of the year.... The title 'European Capital of Culture' (ECOC) has a clear international appeal and visibility which helped the world to discover the transformation of the city and its inhabitants, we call it a "metamorphosis". The city regained pride about the heritage and even selfconfidence."
The city mayor, Elio Di Rupo, did set up this ECOC-project together with Yves Vasseur as the motor of the city development:   "In ten years, the city has visibly and mentally changed, thanks to Mons 2015 and European funding. The urban transformation is tangible and puts Mons on the map as an international destination with five new museums, a unique congress centre, a house of design and a one-stop-ticketing system at VisitMons. CNN has called Mons a top ten destination for 2015, but all these features and the UNESCO heritage will attract even more tourists in the years to come."
The mental shift, the « Renaissance » of Mons feeds this dynamic: "Mons 2015 was for a year a freehaven or laboratory to explore new ways to organize cutural events and to involve people differently in cosier, more flexible and more generous ways. Inhabitants, associations and artists drew a lot of energy, boldness, experience and togetherness from this."
"One of the most important effects of Mons 2015 is the inhabitants rediscovering their own city," states Elio Di Rupo. "This new vision and togetherness stimulates all elements of the city. Employers, labour unions, teachers, business people... are creating a new economic and social dynamic with a lot of private initiative and investments."
What's next?
The Mayor Elio Di Rupo has clearly expressed his wishes to continue: « The fruits of Mons 2015 are precious. "Culture -technology- creativity - tourism" are the keywords for the development of our region. The Foundation Mons 2015 will persist to create an offer that continues what happened this year, especially the participation projects of the Great Eight and international blockbuster exhibitions (like Warhol and Van Gogh in the past, Terry Fox and Bill Viola in the future) to charm thousands of visitors to discover Mons."
The Foundation Mons 2015 will concretely, in close collaboration with Theatre Manege Mons, set up new multidisciplinary, cultural projects, every two years from 2018, catalyzing the further development of the city and enforcing the attractiveness of Mons as a tourist destination.
General Commissioner of Mons 2015, Yves Vasseur, sees the start of a new era and new models: "A new audience, a new generation of youngsters and families have massively participated in a wide variety og activities. New locations, new adventures were much appreciated. Mons invisible, The Literary Garden of the house Maison Losseau, Bistrot Folie, acrobats on the streets.... While television, tablets and computers bring the best of sports, opera and cinema to your couch, you yearn for something else to go out and find new experiences, encounters and surprises. Swinging chairs on the main square, merrygorounds in the garden of the Belfry, a pubcrawl with a choir singing polyphonic music ... cultural offer has to be an exceptional offer, something else, something different.
Important note :
The facts and figurespresented today represent only 95 % of the events Mons 2015, some main exhibitions go on until the end of January.
An analytic study on the economic impact by KEA is expected around April 2016.
1.        Visitors and participation at 30 november 2015
Total number of visitors 2.136.700 people
By nationality ( by numbers) : Belgium France Germany Netherlands Luxemburg United Kingdom Switzerland USA Italy Spain Canada Austria China
From Belgium: 72% from Wallonia, 18 % from Flanders, 10 % from Brussels
Top 15 of the events by number of visitors
The Van Gogh exhibition (from 25.01.2015 until 17.05.2015) : 180.000 people
Opening night: 100.000 people
Great Eight (local projects managed by local people): 52.000 people
Opening weekend of the new museum « metamorphosis » : 50.000 people
Ville en jeux (performing arts in public spaces with Dominos by Station Opera House and Red Ball project by Kurt Perschke): 50.000 people
Labyrinth of Sunflowers - Sun City (10 days): 35.000 people
Great West (local projects managed by local people in the wider region): 29.000 people
Exhibition Fervent China (from 4.07.2015 until 4.10.2015): 26.000 people
The Literary Garden at Maison Losseau (from 23.04.2015 until 26.09.2015): 22.000
Mons Invisible ( garden of the youth project in summer): 20.000
Festival au Carre ( Multidisciplinary performing arts festival of ten days) 15.000 people
Week dedicated to Orlandus Lassus : 15.000 people
Cafe Europa 15.000 people
Note: the twelve city museum including the five new museums have welcomed together 455.000 visitors.
Doudou Museum: 38.000 visitors
Belfry: 35.000 visitors
Mons Memorial Museum: 21.000 visitors
Number of tourists at the tourist office VisitMons » : + 470% compared to 2014
Number of Guided tours by VisitMons in 2015 : 6.012 guided tours for 106.722 people : + 2500% compared to a 2014
Economic figures
Global Budget ECC : 70 million euros Budget invested by public means: 60 million Budget invested by private partners: 10 million
Average spent tourist budget: 75€ a day (117€ with an overnight stay and 39€ by daytrippers) - source enquiry by KEA
Sales numbers (ticketing) :3,160 million € or 570.687 sold tickets
Number of private partners: 841 businesses are member of the Mons 2015 Business Club and 70 (non-artistic) private and institutional partners
Local commercial partners: 110 partner shops in Great Mons and 22 labelled products
Number of new restaurants opened in 2015 : 38 in Great Mons
Number of new shops opened in 2015 : 70 in Great Mons
Artistic figures
Number of projects : 300
Number of artists: 5000 artists of whom 1500 local artists
Partner Cities : 48
Cultural Partner Institutions: 50
7000 books for the urban art installation Biografias by Alicia Martin
27.000 m3 wood panels for The Passenger by Arne Quinze
20.000 concrete blocks for Dominoes by Station House Opera
175 direct connections from Cafe Europa Mons with 15 other partner cities from the network Cafe Europa
147 litres of «artisanal brewed draft beer » consumed at the Literary Garden
1000 flags planted at Place du Pare at the end of the Ideal Manifestation
124 3D fox masks cut out by the laser cutter ar the FabLab of Cafe Europa
1768 videos uploaded to the Beehive app and screened at the videowall of Cafe Europa
4.        Infrastructure
New and renovated cultural and touristic infrastructure:
Arsonic (concert hall)
Musee du Doudou
Mons Memorial Museum
Silex'S (Spiennes)
MICX - congress center
L'Alhambra (music club)
Maison du Design
Renovated: Maison Losseau, BAM (fine arts museum) and the Mundaneum
Seat of the Foundation Mons 2015 106 rue de nimy
Temporary event architecture: The Literary Garden, Cafe Europa, Mons Invisible, Bistrot Folies, M.
Number of national press articles, radio and TV: 8420 (national reach: 401.186.143 people)
Number of international press articles, radio and TV:: 3717
Number of accredited journalists: 2330 accreditations ( among them 450 international journalists)
Social Media: 70.000 mentions on Twitter that reached 125 million users
Number of visits of the website: 1,1 million (more than 5 million page views)
Human Resources
Number of people employed by the Foundation Mons 2015:183 people (142 women) 164 temporary contracts 19 longterm contracts Average age: 34 years
7.        Public relations - International relations
Number of Belgian delegations welcomed: 41 national delegations
Number of schools and educational institutions : 710 teachers involved
Number of international delegations welcomed: 82 international delegations (1760 people)
Number of representations at international events: 42 international missions
Remarkable visitors : the Belgian Royal family, Youssou N'Dour, Jaco Van Dormael, Patti Smith, Salvatore Adamo, Princess Lea, Martine Aubry, Mr Omyia, President of Mitsubishi and many others ...
8.        Mons 2015 in some more figures
2189 preparation missions for the conception of the Great Eight
210.000 badges distributed
62 litres of peint for 10 km of poetry through the city: La phrase
10.999 Purchase Orders
800 kg of coffee
100 911 #mons2015
1583,69 m2 promotional tarpaulins
3 million e-mails sent out by the team of Mons2015
05.03.2016 > 12.06.2016 Elemental Gestures (Terry Fox - Bill Viola) BAM 10.03 .2016> 20.03 .2016 Via Festival (multidisciplinary and digital) 07.2016 Festival au Carre (July)
Mons Memorial Museum (21.02 > 26.06 Ceci n'est pas I'Europe : cartoonexhibition)
Doudou-museum (Doudou on 22 May 2016)
Maison Van Gogh
Silex's (reopens in April)
08.12 > 15.12 Cold Blood
19.12 Cafe Europa 2016
04.01 La Phrase
17.01 The Man, the Dragon and Death at MAC'S
17.01 House Of Lights - Daniel Daniel
17.01 Prix Europeen des Arts Appliques - European prize for applied arts
24.01 Verlaine, Cellule 252
24.01 Parade Sauvage : sixties counterculture
31.01 Cedric Gerbehaye - D'entre Eux
29.05 Mapping Knowledge