Montréal, international community

Major international organizations have long made Montréal their home – they are over 60 based here, making the city the largest international organization community in North America, after Washington, D.C., and New York City. The city’s drawing power was confirmed once more when AIESEC announced it had picked Montréal for its international secretariat.

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AIESEC, one of the largest associations in the world with 50,000 students and recent graduate members, is a global platform that encourages young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. Formerly an acronym, AIESEC (pronounced eye-sek) is now the organization’s official full name.

“Montréal stands out due to its strategic location, economic stability, competitive cost of living and safe urban environment. What’s more, Montréal is home to a large and vibrant student community. The city’s got everything we need to fulfill our mission,” declared Niels Caszo, President of AIESEC International 2016-17.

Thanks to its 11 higher learning establishments, including 6 universities, Montréal is a bona fide knowledge hub. Which explains why Montréal took top spot in the 2017 QS Best Student City rankings.

“We are delighted that AIESEC chose Montréal and we would like to thank the 30 organizations that helped with the city’s bid, particularly student groups and educational institutions, as well as youth organizations and private sector businesses,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International. “Our partners’ engagement and ability to work together were decisive factors in AIESEC’s choice, providing a glimpse of the full business potential the organization can tap into to grow and strengthen its position across the world,” he added.

 

Sources: Montréal international and AIESEC

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MTL WiFi is expanding

Montréal’s free public WiFi service now boasts broader coverage thanks to new stations and the annexation of the ZAP network already serving 16 boroughs and 5 cities in the Greater Montréal Area.

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MTL WiFi’s 825 access stations now make it one of the world’s largest networks of free public WiFi. Montréalers and visitors can enjoy a unique and simple way to stay connected while getting around town.

A map of the exact locations of the MTL WiFi stations is available online, and now technical support has also been added. You can call 514 MTL-WIFI Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and weekends between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Jointly launched in 2015 by the Palais des congrès, the City of Montréal and Montréal en Histoires, MTL Wi-Fi is among the 70 projects included in the Montréal Smart and Digital City Action Plan, which aims to position the city as a global leader among the world’s smart cities. In 2016, it earned Montréal the title of Intelligent Community of the Year.

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The Urban Agriculture Lab hosts a Novae Field Trip

The awareness-building purpose of the Palais Urban Agriculture Lab was in full display on July 6, 2017 as it welcomed 25 professionals from the commercial real estate and environmental communities on a Novae Field Trip.

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Representatives from a diverse array of organizations spanning the likes of Desjardins, Aedifica, Bell, Aéroport de Montréal, Saputo, the SAQ and the City Montréal, took part in a guided tour of the various parts of the Palais Urban Agriculture Lab, i.e. Culti-VERT, the beehives and VERTical.

Eric Duchemin, of AU/Lab, and Laura Charpentier, of Miel Montréal, contributed to the presentation by explaining the techniques, technologies and experimental processes used at the Lab. Meanwhile, members of the Palais staff talked about the history and partnerships that have marked the development of the Lab since 2010.

In addition to helping reduce urban heat islands and improve air quality in the Montréal downtown area, the Palais Urban Agriculture Lab’s goals also include encouraging the real estate industry and property owners to adopt concrete steps toward greening their rooftops, and promoting Montréal’s reputation as a world-class city firmly committed to fostering urban sustainability.

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The Ambassadors Club: As indispensable as ever

Since it was founded in 1985, the Ambassadors Club has appointed 330 members in recognition of the role they played in bringing a major convention to the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Sixteen of these members achieved this more than once, thus earning them the title of Emeritus Ambassador.

Hany Moustapha, president of the Ambassadors Club

Hany Moustapha, president of the Ambassadors Club

From Bernard Lamarre to Hany Moustapha, who recently took over the helm of the Club, there have been 10 presidents in the Club’s history.

The Club’s members work in a wide range of fields, including the health sciences, social sciences, aerospace and the environment. Their noteworthy accomplishments have been many, such as the development of the most-prescribed medication for treating HIV/AIDS (Mark Wainberg, 2001) and erectile dysfunction (Pavel Hamet, 1985 and 2016), the first simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants in Canada (Pierre Daloze, 1995), the first Canadian to fly in space (Marc Garneau, 2005).

The Ambassadors’ contribution to the Palais des congrès is immeasurable. Because of their university, association and business contacts, they are ideally positioned to rally together strategic alliances. The conventions won as a result of their involvement have generated over $1 billion for the Montréal economy since 1983.

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Palais des congrès de Montréal wins prestigious international innovation award for its Urban Agriculture Lab

The Palais des congrès de Montréal was presented with the prestigious AIPC Innovation Award on July 4, 2017 at the AIPC International Association of Convention Centres Annual Conference in Sydney, Australia. The Palais was recognized for its Urban Agriculture Lab and its innovations in sustainable development. The Lab was among the 16 convention centre entries shortlisted for the award.

The AIPC Innovation Award recognizes excellence in convention centre management by showcasing initiatives that represent innovation, namely through the development of a new, more creative or more effective approach to any aspect of convention centre management, operations or marketing. The Palais des congrès was the Overall Innovation Award Winner as selected by the committee, while the Cairns Convention Center was the Innovation Award Delegates’ Choice – it won for a promotional item made from steel recovered from their old roof.

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In 2016, the Palais des congrès de Montréal became the main showcase in Québec for experimenting with and advocating for urban farming technologies and techniques, when it opened its Urban Agriculture Lab jointly with AU/LAB, an organization associated with the faculty of science and institute of environmental studies at Université du Québec à Montréal. The Urban Agriculture Lab includes:

  • Culti-VERT, a technological showcase for green roofs and container gardening;
  • Three pollinating beehives; and
  • VERTical, an urban agriculture project driven by new vertical farming technology that is based on free-standing structures equipped with experimental wall tarps.

The various components of the Palais Urban Agriculture Lab are primarily tasked with:

  • Helping reduce urban heat islands and improving air quality in the Montréal downtown area;
  • Encouraging the real estate industry and property owners to adopt concrete steps toward greening their rooftops;
  • Promoting Montréal’s reputation as a world-class city firmly committed to fostering urban sustainability; and
  • Enabling convention participants and the Maison du Père homeless shelter to benefit from the crops grown, with the help of Capital Catering, the Palais’ exclusive caterer.
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48,5 tons of thanks!

At the Palais des congrès de Montréal, there’s a special bond that exists between advancing sustainability and continually improving our service.

Each time a client fills out a survey on the quality of our services, the Palais gives $10 to Planetair to buy Gold Standard carbon credits. So in fact, your feedback not only helps shape our actions, it also contributes to measurably reducing the carbon footprint of events hosted at the Palais.

48,5 tons of CO2e were offset in 2016-2017. The 5 minutes required to complete the survey was time well spent! Since 2012, the CO2e offset made possible by the Palais’ clients exceeds 176 tons.

Purchasing carbon credits is investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects and helping to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Gold Standard credits, which meet the highest standards on the carbon market, ensure that the investment will lead to a tangible reduction in your climate impacts and require they also lead to sustainable development for local communities (such as better living standards, knowledge transfer, job creation and pollution reduction).

Thank you all for your contribution!

planetair

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Journée Coup de pouce turns 10

On June 13, 2017, the Palais des congrès de Montréal team held its 10th Journée Coup de pouce, a day employees dedicate every year to doing social and environmental community work.

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Twenty-four Palais staff members devoted their day to improving the surroundings of John F. Kennedy High School, in the Montréal neighbourhood of Saint-Michel, by performing some gardening and landscaping, and planting 60 trees.

The team building activity, organized in collaboration with the Société de développement social and the Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain, is part of the Plan d’action canopée, whose goal is to foster the planting 300,000 trees in Montréal by 2025.

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Creation of a network for urban farming research, expertise and transfer of best practices

On May 5, 2017, the Québec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the city of Montréal, UQAM and the Palais des congrès de Montréal announced the creation of a partnership tasked with setting up the Carrefour de recherche, d’expertise et de transfert en agriculture urbaine, or CRETAU, a network focused on urban farming research and expertise, and the transfer of urban farming best practices.

The organization AU/LAB was entrusted with coordinating the network, whose purpose is to render businesses that embrace urban farming more efficient, profitable and competitive. More specifically, CRETAU’s aim is to foster ties between the various parties operating in urban farming within Québec, Canada and abroad.

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The work of CRETAU covers 4 areas: rooftop farming, greenhouse farming, indoor farming and soil farming. VERTical, one of the projects of the Palais des congrès de Montréal Urban Agriculture Lab, falls under the first category. Says Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal: “We are proud of the leadership role we play both within the industry and the community through tangible sustainable development actions. By opening the Urban Agriculture Lab, the Palais is contributing to reducing heat islands, while simultaneously proudly promoting Montréal’s reputation as a world-class city committed to fostering urban sustainability. Besides being firmly aligned with our mission, the intellectual benefits stemming from CRETAU will inspire researchers from here and elsewhere in the world.”

In the Québec government 2017-2018 budget speech, urban faming was referred to as an innovative farming method. And according to Éric Duchemin, Scientific Director and Head of Training at AU/LAB: “The advent of CRETAU will help further consolidate AU/LAB’s research, training and interventions, and also enable Québec to shine as a world leader on urban farming issues. In addition, CRETAU will make it possible to build on the ideas and measures undertaken in recent years on how municipalities could integrate urban farming into their urban planning as a means of dealing with climate change, social cohesion and economic development.”

The projects the Palais des congrès de Montréal Urban Agriculture Lab works on are primarily focused on helping reduce urban heat islands and improve air quality in the Montréal downtown area, encourage the real estate industry and property owners to adopt concrete steps toward greening their rooftops, and promote Montréal’s reputation as a world-class city firmly committed to fostering urban sustainability. The Palais’ Urban Agriculture Lab includes:

  • Culti-VERT, a technological showcase for green roofs and container gardening (flowers, plants, fruit, vegetables);
  • Three (3) pollinating beehives; and

VERTical, an urban agriculture project driven by new vertical farming technology that is based on free-standing structures equipped with experimental wall tarps.

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Wanted: Researchers to attract conventions – Palais des congrès and Fonds de recherche du Québec strengthen their partnership

The Palais des congrès de Montréal, its Ambassadors Club and the Fonds de recherche du Québec further bolstered their partnership, whose aim is to promote Québec scientific research by attracting international conventions to Montréal. The agreement, which runs until 2019, fosters closer cooperation between the scientific community and the Palais des congrès in order to bring more major conferences to Montréal – events that will generate both intellectual wealth and tourism revenue that will benefit the entire community.

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Annual grants
Among the terms of the partnership is the awarding of the Prix du Club des Ambassadeurs du Palais des congrès de Montréal et des Fonds de recherche du Québec, grants recognizing the work of researchers invested in organizing international scientific conventions. The first recipients were announced in November 2016, during the Fonds de recherche du Québec forum organized annually by the partners. They are:

  • Gaétan Laroche and Diego Mantovani of Université Laval, in collaboration with Sophie Lerouge of the ETS school of engineering, for the 10th World Biomaterials Congress
    Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Nature et technologies
  • Jean-Marie Dufour of McGill University, for the 11th World Congress of the Econometric Society
    Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Société et culture
  • Pierre Talbot of INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, for the International Congress of Microbiology
    Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Santé

Promoting science by hosting international conferences

The three-year agreement is also focused on actions aimed at shining the spotlight on the research of those who invest themselves in winning and organizing an international convention in their field. Through their cooperation, the Fonds de recherche du Québec and the Palais des congrès de Montréal make sure the economic and intellectual benefits for Montréal and the province are maximized.

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Montréal tops 2016 North American rankings of most popular cities for international conventions

Montréal is back on top as the city having hosted the most international conventions in all of North America, according to the Country and City 2016 rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Montréal finished ahead of destinations like Toronto, Vancouver New York, Chicago and Washington with 76 events held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the universities and the city’s hotels. These events attracted nearly 37,000 business travelers and delegates to the city – 21% more than the runner-up destination. The last time Montréal finished atop the North American rankings was 2013.900$/2 ans d'utilisation (en date du 19 septembre 2014)

“The excellent work performed by the Palais des congrès and its Ambassadors, by Tourisme Montréal and all the tourism and institutional partners, is generating remarkable results, including a top spot in international rankings like the ICCA’s,” indicated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

“It’s easy to do business in Montréal. There’s a synergy among the city partners, the quality of the services offered by local experts is outstanding, as is the opportunity to interact with influencers from various industry sectors, not to mention the increase in number of flights, which makes the city even more accessible. I would like to point out the excellent of everyone involved,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

“I salute the collective effort that continues to nurture Montréal’s international standing. Business tourism is of capital importance for the city’s hospitality community,” declared Eve Paré, President and CEO of the Hotels Association of Greater Montreal.

Satisfied attendees

Furthermore, once conventions are confirmed, Montréal and the Palais have an outstanding track record of meeting the needs and requirements of convention organizers and delegates. In fact, in a poll conducted by the Ipsos research firm for Tourisme Montréal, 95% of leisure and business tourists responded they were satisfied with their experience during their stay in Montréal in 2016. Also, 97% of business tourists would recommend Montréal to work colleagues and business contacts. “We provide an infrastructure that meets the needs of major international associations, and we are proud of our role in nurturing Montréal’s reputation as a premier destination,” said Chrystine Loriaux, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Palais des congrès.

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