Catalyst for creation. Agora de la danse was the first permanent venue in Quebec devoted specifically to contemporary dance, and has been at the forefront of new dance creation and presentation for more 30 years. In addition to offering a public performance venue for dance, Agora also co-produces avant-garde dance projects and provides long-term support for choreographers. It has been a mobilizing force for artists such as Hélène Blackburn, Danièle Desnoyers, Paul-André Fortier, Lucie Grégoire, José Navas, Crystal Pite, Isabelle Van Grimde, George Stamos and Virginie Brunelle. Agora de la danse opened its doors in Montreal in 1991 on Cherrier Street in the same building as the UQAM dance department, at the instigation of a founding body composed of Dena Davida, Martine Époque, Florence Junca-Adenot and Gaétan Patenaude. The Quebec dance milieu was burgeoning at the time and needed a space to create and present dance works to the public. A dance creation fund was soon established in order to provide artists with residencies and co-productions. A program of public activities demystifying and promoting dance was also launched, expanding over time. To develop networks across Quebec for the presentation of dance performances, the Agora implemented international exchange projects with the Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in France (1995), with Vooruit in Belgium (2003) and also in Catalonia (2008) in order to present shows from other countries in the Agora venue and have Quebec works featured abroad.