5 interesting facts about the Palais des congrès de Montréal for convention planners

Convention organizers know all too well all the factors that need to be considered when planning an event, and just how long the to-do list can get. We like to keep things simple and efficient in Montréal, which is why we put together a few reasons why organizing a convention here is easy.

  1. The Palais is located in the heart of the city. This means convention organizers need not concern themselves with arranging for transportation to shuttle the delegates around, since the city’s attractions are within walking distance.
  2. Once your event is registered with the Canada Border Services Agency, your material can be customs cleared right at the Palais. No bother at the border!
  3. Our Palais team and their official and exclusive suppliers thrive on successful events. Each step is meticulously planned and executed to ensure each event exceeds its objectives. Which explains why we enjoy a 93% customer satisfaction rate for the quality of our event support!
  4. We have truly versatile event spaces. Whether you wish to present a circus performance on a terrace, configure one of our entrance lobbies into a unique meet-and-greet venue, erect a pop-up café in one of the event halls, just ask our event managers, they’ve done and seen it all! Together, you’ll discover your creativity and the possibilities are endless!
  5. The members of the Palais Ambassadors Club are luminaries in their respective fields, e.g. life sciences, aerospace, ICT. They are great resources for enriching the content of your conferences, tours and presentations.

The Palais Urban Agriculture Lab home to a vineyard

In Summer 2017, the Palais des congrès unveiled the fourth segment of its Urban Agriculture Lab, jointly with AU/Lab and Vignes en ville.IMG_2193light

The Urban Vines is Canada’s first urban rooftop vineyard and the world’s first in a northern climate. Among the techniques the vineyard is experimenting with is mixing the soil with crushed recycled glass, to study the outcome compared to the sand normally used. It’s a practical way of repurposing recycled wine bottles.

The vineyard is comprised of 80 vines and features hardy grape varieties whose popularity only stands to grow as Quebecers learn more about them. Frontenac Black (red wine), Frontenac White, Marquette (red wine) and Petite Pearl (red wine) grapes are already being cultivated in the province and have adapted to our climate. We’re looking to harvest our first grapes and start producing wine in 2020.



IRSST 2018-2019 scholarship program

The IRSST (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail) is now accepting applications for its 2018-2019 Graduate studies scholarship and postdoctoral fellowship program in occupational health and safety.

These scholarships and fellowships are intended for master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral candidates whose research program deals specifically with the prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases or the rehabilitation of affected workers.

The recipients will be able to put the funds toward their higher education goals. We invite Ambassadors Club members to share this information with potential candidates. The deadline for applications is October 18, 2017, 4 p.m.

To learn about past scholarship recipients and to consult the application guidelines, go to irsst.qc.ca/scholarships.


Source: IRSST


Our Ambassadors’ conventions

We will be hosting numerous major international conventions between now and year’s end, thanks to members of the Ambassadors Club and their hard work. Delegates will also be able to avail themselves of the festivities surrounding the city’s 375th Anniversary.

Dates Convention Number of delegates Tourism revenues Ambassadors
Aug 18 to 28 URSI XXXIInd General Assembly
and Scientific Symposium
1 200 $5.4 M Fabrice Labeau 
Oct 11 to 13 Conference of the Americas on International Education  700 $1.3 M Francis Brown
Oct 16 to 25 World Design Summit– Montréal 4 500 $12.3 M Sheila Copps and Alain Dufour
Oct 29 to Nov 2 24th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems – ITS World Congress 2017 8 000 $19.8 M Claude Carette and Michael De Santis



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.


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


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.

Ville de Montr-al - Cabinet du maire et du comit- ex-cutif-La Vi

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.


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.


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.


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.


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, located in Australia, was the Innovation Award Delegates’ Choice – it won for a promotional item made from steel recovered from their old roof.


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;
  • VERTical, an urban agriculture project driven by new vertical farming technology that is based on free-standing structures equipped with experimental wall tarps; and
  • Urban Vines, Canada’s first urban rooftop vineyard.

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.