Yesterday, the Scientific Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture, Louise Poissant, and the President of the Palais des congrès de Montréal Ambassadors Club, Prof. Hany Moustapha, announced the winners of the Soutien à l’organisation de congrès internationaux awards, a competition jointly organized by the Ambassadors Club and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) recognizing the work of researchers involved in organizing international scientific conferences. The recipients of the three $10,000 prize are:
- Thierry Karsenti of Université de Montréal
7e Colloque international en education: Current and future challenges of teacher training and the teaching profession
- Louise Potvin of Université de Montréal
24th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion and Education: Policies for health, well-being and equity
- Naglaa Shoukry of Université de Montréal
27th International Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus and Related Viruses (HCV2020)
From left to right: Louise Poissant, Thierry Karsenti, Naglaa Shoukry, Louise Potvin, Prof. Hany Moustapha
The ceremony took place during the annual exchange forum the FRQ jointly organizes with the Palais des congrès de Montréal. This fifth edition of the forum, whose focus was “the conferences of tomorrow,” drew nearly 120 participants, who explored the most promising trends pertaining to the organization, activities, and communication and marketing of scientific conferences.
“Scientific conferences play a determining role in the dissemination and exchange of knowledge, and they evolve in lockstep with technology and societal values. It is important that we address new practices and trends, in order to maximize the experience for those organizing and attending these events.”
Louise Poissant, Scientific Director of the FRQSC
“It matters that we recognize the colossal effort of researchers who choose to get involved in the process of bringing scientific conferences to their city, and also acknowledge the present-day expectations of those attending them. By making the conferences of tomorrow the theme of this year’s annual forum, the FRQ is showing that it is in sync with the Palais, which is currently focused on creating the convention centre of the future.”
Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Montréal will host the World Congress of Neurology (WCN), and the more than 7,000 neurologists from all over the world who will be attending, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, October 13 to 19, 2023. The researchers and clinicians coming to the city, at the invitation of the Canadian Neurological Society, will generate 19,600 room nights in hotels across the Greater Montréal Area and an estimated almost $19 million in tourism spending for Montréal and Québec.
The Canadian bid stood out among the other shortlisted cities, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, because of the country’s stability, Montréal’s excellent reputation, and the local research community’s longstanding history of international collaboration. Montréal will host the prestigious biannual congress in the wake of destinations such as Kyoto (2017), Dubai (2019) and Rome (2021).
A process that began in 2013
The bidding process for a major event begins several years in advance. The WCN has been on the Montréal convention community’s radar since 2013. It bid for the congress twice before, for the 2017 and 2021 editions, prior to finally being awarded the 2023 congress.
The team effort included the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, the Canadian Neurological Society, and The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital), to name a few. The tireless work of some of Canada’s leading scientists also played a crucial role in persuading the international community of neurologists, especially that of:
- Jodie M. Burton, President of the Canadian Neurological Society
- Guy Rouleau, Director of The Neuro
Montréal: A nerve centre for neurology
Known as the research capital of Canada, Montréal is home to over 200 research centres and 1,500 institutions active in R&D. A bona fide hub for the study of neuroscience, over 240 professionals who work in the field practice in the city, and province-wide, the number jumps to over 800. These local specialists will certainly benefit from the exchange of knowledge and expertise the upcoming congress is going to make possible.
Montréal also has the good fortune of being able to count on The Neuro. Affiliated to McGill University and to the McGill University Health Centre, it is one of today’s leading neuroscience centres in Canada and a global authority in the field. The Neuro has pioneered numerous revolutionary scientific firsts in Québec, in Canada and in the world. Actively involved in research abroad, and home to researchers and clinicians from all over the world, The Neuro’s reputation within the international neuroscientific community gave Montréal’s bid an extra edge. True to the vision of its founder, the famous Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro became the first academic institute to develop and adopt Open Science. For the WCN, The Neuro has agreed to make its open data platforms available to the members of the World Federation of Neurology.
“Nearly 40% of the conferences we host at the Palais are in the life sciences field. Montréal enjoys an excellent reputation and it is an honour to have the opportunity to showcase our knowhow during a major event that will generate significant economic benefits and intellectual wealth for the city and Québec.”
– Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal
“The participation of local researchers and experts is invaluable when it comes to bringing a congress like this to Montréal. I salute the synergy and teamwork of our partners in making it happen! Montréal has everything the delegates could ask for, and they are in for a rewarding experience.”
– Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal
“We are very proud to host the 24th World Congress of Neurology 2023 in Montréal, Canada. We have a rich history of welcoming the international neuroscientific community – trainees, researchers and clinicians alike. WCN 2023 will be a fabulous opportunity to build on that special relationship. We look forward to welcoming all the delegates from every part of the world to the wonderful, dynamic and international city of Montréal.”
– Dr. Guy Rouleau, Director of The Neuro
“The Canadian Neurological Society and its members are thrilled for the opportunity to meet, collaborate with and learn from our colleagues from across the globe during WCN 2023 in the beautiful city of Montréal, also the site of some of the historical contributions of Canadian neuroscientists.”
– Dr. Jodie M. Burton, President of the Canadian Neurological Society
The Palais des congrès de Montréal, jointly with the CAPSQ network of Québec painters and sculptors, just raised the curtains on a major exhibition spanning 176 artworks by 49 Québec artists. This opening installment in a series of initiatives will help broaden the reach of local artists and bring their art to the attention of local and international visitors attending events at the Palais. The exhibition is part of the Palais’ ongoing transformation and its new vision as a convention centre entrenched in the Montréal community yet open to the world.
“With this exhibition, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is acting on its desire to draw attention to Québec artists and to serve as a showcase for creativity. We firmly believe that our high-traffic venue can help promote the talent of local creatives,” explains Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and Mireille Forget, Founding President of the CAPSQ painters and sculptors network, at the November 6 vernissage of the exhibition, along with the artists.
The paintings are primarily on the 5th floor of the Palais and in the VIP lounges reserved for event participants. In keeping with the mission of the CAPSQ, the exhibition covers works that reflect a broad range of trends and mediums used. The idea is to give the attendees an overview of the art styles currently found in Québec, without having to leave the convention centre.
“This joint collaboration with the Palais des congrès de Montréal provides the CAPSQ with an enviable degree of exposure. Artists enjoy an international audience they would not otherwise have access to so readily. This exhibition is an opportunity to put our local talent on display,” declares Mireille Forget, the Founding President of the CAPSQ.
Interesting fact: The exhibition also includes the sculpture Hors-n-Orme, by Jean Côté. The artist was a close friend of the late Jean-Paul Riopelle, so naturally, the work is being displayed in Place Riopelle Hall, in the heart of the convention centre’s shopping mall.
The exhibition will be updated regularly in order to spotlight different artists and different styles. Everyone attending an event at the Palais will be able to view the exhibition, and other options are being considered to open the exhibition to the general public. Anyone interested in buying any of the works can do so by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling (450 667-7221 / toll-free 1 866 682-0271) the CAPSQ.
About the CAPSQ
Always striving for excellence and freedom of expression, the Cercle des Artistes Peintres et Sculpteurs du Québec (since 1984) has become over time a staple cultural institution and one of the most decorated thanks to numerous national and international awards. Its successes have made it a popular draw for both emerging and well-established artists. In 2019, the CAPSQ held its 50th international exhibition. Its artistic events transcend styles and disciplines, and are meant to foster interaction among peers and facilitate intergenerational exchanges. Meetings and gatherings nurture creativity and help create ties between artists and the general public.
Staying true to its pledge to create unforgettable moments and experiences, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is introducing its CITE Event Innovation and Technology Centre. A bona fide nerve centre of creativity, this new initiative will enable organizers of events of all types and sizes to reinvent the level of experience they can offer participants thanks to the expertise of numerous local startups.
“CITE is akin to an innovation clinic, where our customers can find creative solutions for their needs,” explains Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, adding that “today’s participants don’t just want to attend an event, they want to experience it, and CITE will enable us to help our customers make that happen by pairing them with creative entrepreneurs that elevate our city and will elevate their events.”
CITE will deliver affordable solutions that are also in line with the organizers’ current and future needs. There are presently a dozen firms that have joined or are in the process of joining CITE, and their services range from technology and food, to the arts and event logistics, all provided jointly with the Palais’ official providers: Freeman Audio Visual, GES Canada and Capital Catering. CITE will eventually house over 20 exciting firms offering innovative experiences.
Stimulation Déjà Vu created a booth that enabled convention-goers to visit Montréal through five olfactory creations representative of the city.
Solutions powered by MT Lab
The Palais entered the rich ecosystem of Montréal startups in March 2019, when it became a Grand Partner of MT Lab, North America’s first innovation incubator dedicated to tourism, culture and entertainment. Many of the experiences that CITE will offer come from the startups hosted under the MT Lab program.
By making services from local entrepreneurs available to organizers, the Palais is giving Montréal expertise international exposure, as visitors attending the events hail from all over the world.
A Palais designed for coworking
So customers can enjoy fast, quality service, many of the CITE-affiliated firms will also operate offices onsite at the Palais. Ultimately, the convention centre will house a full scale coworking space populated by creatives who will transform the venue into a veritable laboratory of event innovation.
“Working together with the city’s creative entrepreneurs will make it possible for us to set the standard for the events and convention centres of the future. It also positions us as a leader in our industry,” concludes Robert Mercure.
CITE is an initiative that will evolve as new services emerge. Firms confirmed to date include:
Optimization of the washroom experience by transforming and managing facilities, placing products, and providing host and bespoke services.
Live video streaming
Live video online streaming services for staging and broadcasting professional and public conferences that enrich the overall experience.
Memorable cocktail experiences
A variety of themed cocktail experiences offered in partnership with Capital Catering that add a unique, festive touch to any event.
Art- and design-integrated events
Services aimed at enhancing the event experience like the span of scenery and sets, design, as well as creative art-driven installations.
Interactive experience-triggering transmitters
Access points that install on any physical surface for the purpose of instantly generating a digital experience with a smartphone.
Digital accommodations map
A service allowing users to find accommodations near their event at the best price available online.
Creation of olfactory experiences and signature fragrances for use in a range of applications tailored to the client needs.
Many more firms will be added to the list of experiences in the coming days.
For the Apimondia 2019 congress, MASSIVart developed a mosaic that gradually came to light as participants added pictures of themselves.
The Palais des congrès de Montréal, jointly with Centre Déclic, is putting together a series of public conferences intended to bring science to a broader audience, by sharing scientific information in plain, everyday language. Titled Up Close and Personal with Science, these small intimate talks with scientists will enable participants to access scientific content without the scientific jargon and complicated formulas. By holding these events, the Palais is hoping to become a showcase for local scientists, which is one of the key pillars of its new vision. These conferences will also enable Montréalers to rediscover their convention centre, better known for its exhibitions than for the scientific conferences it hosts.
“Many of the city’s academics and researchers play a crucial role in attracting international organizations to Montréal. Montréalers are interested in science and we are determined to render it more accessible with these free conferences aimed at demystifying concepts like the world of bees and recent technological advancements,” explains Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
A proven formula predicated on sharing information
Centre Déclic drew from its vast experience organizing numerous conferences across Québec to develop the content of the first instalments of the series, which it did in collaboration with researchers affiliated with upcoming conferences at the Palais, including luminaries who are members of the Palais Ambassadors Club. The topics are closely tied to these major events to enable the public to experience the same excitement as the conference delegates who will be converging on the Palais.
The Up Close and Personal with Science talks are presentations intended to popularize an exciting scientific topic and provide answers to questions from the public. The objective is also in line with Centre Déclic’s mission, that of facilitating the sharing of science-related knowledge so that more people can use it to make better informed decisions, in terms of both their personal lives and the society in which they live.
“The Déclic conferences are lifebuoys that enable you to stay afloat of information overload on all sorts of topics. They present an opportunity to exchange with scientific experts, with the help of a mediator who ensures everything is understood. During the course of a Déclic conference, you’ll discover all kinds of things you’ll find surprising, useful, funny or revolting, on topics that concern us all, by talking with real people who know what they’re talking about and have no hidden agenda,” explains Valérie Borde, the Founding Director of Centre Déclic, a non-profit organization supported by the Québec Research Funds.
The opening instalments of Up Close and Personal with Science you should add to your calendar:
SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 – THE FUTURE OF BEES
In connection with the Apimondia 2019 congress
Bees produce honey and play an essential role in the pollination of plants and crops. But the focus is on all the challenges they’re up against! What exactly are we talking about? What can we do? Pull the curtain back on the secrets of bees in the company of a researcher specializing in apiculture.
- Conference given in English: 5:30 p.m.
With Dr. Stephen F. Pernal, Research Scientist and Officer-in-Charge of the Beaverlodge Research Farm, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Scientific Coordinator of the Apimondia 2019 congress
- Conference given in French: 7 p.m.
With Dr. Pierre Giovenazzo, Assistant Professor at Université Laval, holder of the Leadership Chair in apiculture science education, and Chair of the Apimondia 2019 congress
OCTOBER 30, 2019 – THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND EVERYDAY LIFE!
In connection with the IEEE SENSORS 2019 conference
The internet has changed how we live, and it’s just getting started! Today, we can link things from our day-to-day or industrial equipment to the internet and convert them into “smart” devices and machines. But how does it work? Beyond the gadgetry, there are new solutions capable of transforming our healthcare, transportation and many other facets of our lives. What does it mean in terms of opportunities, and risks? What stage are we at?
- Conference given in French: 5:30 p.m.
With Dr. Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) at McGill University, and Organizer of the IEEE SENSORS 2019 conference
12The Palais des congrès de Montréal’s bold new vision set the tone for a year packed with events and innovation. Venue operations between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 generated economic spinoffs estimated at more than $215,000,000 for Montréal and the province of Québec—a remarkable 11% gain on the annual average recorded since the facility’s expansion in 2002. Over the course of the fiscal year, 353 events brought in a record 909,000 attendees, who booked more than 142,000 hotel nights in Greater Montréal. This new attendance record is 2.8% higher than the previous one, while the number of hotel nights number is a 17.4% increase over last year.
“The Palais’s outstanding performance for 2018–2019 is due to the incredible work of our staff and key suppliers—Capital Traiteur, Freeman Audio Visual, GES, GDI, and Bee-Clean—as well as industry partners such as Tourisme Montréal, our Ambassadors, and Association des hôtels du grand Montréal,” said Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “Montréal has real drawing power and we are proud to offer a venue that is perfectly suited to large business gatherings,” he added.
The Palais: A vehicle for local creativity and convention centre of the future
Its eye firmly set on creating exciting, unforgettable experiences for convention-goers, the Palais founded its new vision on the creativity and know-how Montréal is famous for. The year was marked by partnerships with local startups and new initiatives designed to breathe life into the Palais’s public spaces.
“This industry is extremely competitive. So to exceed our clients’ expectations we’ve introduced a whole series of innovative ideas to help position us as a leading global player while showing off our fine city,” added Mercure. “The Palais is a true showcase for Montréal’s creativity. We want to make this the new standard for the future,” he said.
Host of major conventions
In all, 36 national and international conventions were held at the Palais this year. Some of the most notable include:
||Number of attendees
|Thirty-second Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems
|22nd Annual RoboCup International Symposium
|American Society for Bone & Mineral Research Annual Meeting
|29th International Congress of Applied Psychology
|2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Substantial contributions from our Ambassadors
Many of the conferences held at the Palais in 2018–2019 were made possible through the invaluable support of Ambassadors Club members. They include:
|International Society for Cellular Therapy 2018 Annual Meeting
||Dr. Denis-Claude Roy
|Global Power & Propulsion Society Conference – GPPS 2018
||Prof. Hany Moustapha
|4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity
||Prof. Philippe Archambault
|22nd Annual RoboCup International Symposium
||Ms. Sara Iatauro
|2018 World Congress of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
||Hon. Denis Coderre
|29th International Congress of Applied Psychology
||Dr. Karen R. Cohen
|18th International Biotechnology Symposium and Exhibition
||Prof. Nicolas Moitessier
|XXI World Congress of Medical & Clinical Hypnosis
||Mr. Michel Landry
Dr. Claude Verreault
|9th International Congress on Glaucoma Surgery
||Dr. Ali Hafez
|11th World Stroke Congress
||Dr. Sylvain Lanthier
Dr. Alexander Thiel
Together the events our eminent Ambassadors helped secure generated nearly $35,000,000 in economic spinoffs for Montréal and Québec.
Focus on sustainability
The Palais’s social and environmental commitments were at the forefront this past fiscal year, and promise to have a noteworthy impact on both the Palais and, more importantly, the planet. The Palais recently announced it was adopting the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an international framework to guide its actions. Some of its most recent environmental initiatives of note are:
- Achieving carbon neutrality for the building, establishing the Palais as one of the first convention centres in the Americas to make such a commitment
- Offsetting greenhouse gas emissions associated with sales representative travel
- Supporting the Scol’ERE carbon exchange and its awareness activities in Montréal primary schools
- Creating the Sustainable Development Innovation Committee with experts from ten Québec universities
- Announcing an innovative carbon offset program that will soon be available to Palais clients looking to reduce their attendees’ environmental footprint
New heights of client satisfaction
The Palais, with the support of its official and exclusive suppliers, set new records for service quality this year, making the finalist selection for the prestigious AIPC Apex Award recognizing the convention centre with the highest client rating. The venue’s outstanding 92% satisfaction rating was its strongest score in the past decade.
According to the prestigious ranking of the Union of International Associations (UIA) for 2018, Montréal is the number one international convention destination in the Americas for the second year in a row. Montréal’s drawing power brought 108 events to the city, ahead of the likes of New York, Buenos Aires, Washington and Toronto.
2018 Americas Ranking – Union of International Associations
||Number of Events
The report also shows that Montréal hosted 50% of all international events held in large Canadian cities—a phenomenal tally that shows how much the convention market is driving economic growth and tourism in the city.
“The outstanding teamwork and collaboration of our partners in the Montréal ecosystem continue to generate exceptional results, such as this first place ranking in the UIA’s Americas list,” said Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Montréal is a highly attractive city where it’s easy to do business. The city is known for its supportive partners, great service by expert local suppliers, opportunities for connecting with opinion leaders in a variety of sectors, and an expanded range of air connections that make it easier than ever to get to.”
“Thanks to cooperation between the business tourism sector, Québec universities, and the city’s main economic clusters, as well as the involvement of leading figures such as our Ambassadors, Montréal hosts many major events that generate significant economic and intellectual benefits for the city and Québec as a whole,” said Robert Mercure, president and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The Palais is becoming a vector of Montréal creativity, and we intend to generate ever greater benefits for Montréal and Québec by promoting local people and know-how.”
This report takes over 450,000 meetings into account, organized in more than 12,500 cities, by nearly 30,000 international organizations. Founded in 1907 by Nobel laureate Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, the UIA holds a database of more than 70,000 organizations in 300 countries and territories.
Montréal dominates another major international ranking
According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Montréal is also one of the world’s most popular destinations for international events. The UIA list, which places Montréal 1st in North America for a third consecutive year and 2nd in the Americas, just behind Buenos Aires, draws on a database of more than 12,000 events whose conventions alternate between at least three countries.
Once conventions have been confirmed, Tourisme Montréal and the Palais successfully meet the expectations and requirements of convention organizers and their delegates. A survey by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Tourisme Montréal shows that 95% of business tourists were satisfied with their stay in 2018 and 98% were satisfied with the conference facilities in Montréal. Notably, 84% of these business tourists said they would return to Montréal for a vacation—a testament to the city’s outstanding reputation.
About Tourisme Montréal
Established in 1919, Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. The organization leads innovative tourist welcome strategies with a twofold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a quality experience and maximizing the economic benefits of tourism. Uniting more than 900 tourism professionals, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city’s economic, urban and cultural development. This year, Tourisme Montréal is celebrating its 100th anniversary. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.
About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events. Buoyed by a team of creative professionals with one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, it generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city in the Americas for international events. To learn more, visit congresmtl.com.
The Palais des congrès de Montréal recently put together a Sustainability Innovation Committee made up of experts from establishments that include ten Québec universities.
The Committee’s purpose will be twofold: facilitating the sharing of knowledge between the Palais and the sustainability research being conducted in higher learning establishments, and identifying research partnership opportunities between the Palais and sustainability organizations.
“With this new blue ribbon committee, the Palais is asserting its role as a knowledge hub by rallying the expertise of sustainability specialists. We are pleased to be collaborating with the universities on innovative projects that will position Québec and the Palais as sustainability leaders,” said an enthusiastic Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
THE PROVINCE’S UNIVERSITIES JOIN FORCES
The representatives from various university institutions who sit on the Committee have been chosen for their experience with sustainability strategies:
Business Partnerships Director
Université de Sherbrooke
Advisor, Sustainable Development
Associate Professor, Environmental Science Institute
Scientific Director, Urban Agriculture Lab
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) – AU/LAB
Advisor, Sustainable Development
École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
Assistant to the Vice-Rector, External and International Affairs and Health
Professor, Department of Strategy, Social and Environmental Responsibility, and at the Institute of Environmental Sciences
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) – ESG UQAM
Sustainability Director, McGill Office of Sustainability
Advisor, Sustainable Development
Université de Montréal
Coordinator of the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability and of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre
Professor and Director of the Eco-Advisory Chair
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
This group could see the addition of new members from other Québec universities.
MAJOR SUSTAINABILITY ANNOUNCEMENTS
The unveiling of the Committee comes on the heels of the Palais recently joining the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whose 17 goals to transform the world include the importance of working with partners.
In addition to putting together this Committee, the Palais also announced in April that its building is going carbon neutral, its support of Bourse de carbone Scol’ERE and their awareness-raising efforts in Montréal elementary schools, its new carbon offsets program for clients looking to shrink their environmental footprint, and its involvement in new research projects.
“We have the privilege of watching the world of tomorrow unfold within these walls and we firmly intend to continue to grow by fostering sustainable practices. Various initiatives are in place, and we’re just getting started,” mentioned Christian Ruel, Vice-President of Finance & Administration and Chief of Sustainability.
Carbon neutral building — Raising awareness in schools
Blue ribbon committee of experts – University partnerships
In keeping with its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is proud to announce it is joining the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In doing so, it plans to change the course of events by implementing tangible actions aimed at reducing its environmental footprint and that of its users, in order to better its impact on society and the community.
Thanks to partners who are committed and a careful understanding of the environmental issues affecting its industry, the Palais is confirming its sustainability leadership and laying the foundations for the convention centre of tomorrow.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN are at the heart of the principles, objectives and deeds through which the Palais intends to significantly contribute to altering behaviours, sensitizing stakeholders and leveraging offsets. The various initiatives to be deployed shortly fall within the above international framework, which envisions a better and more sustainable future for everyone.
“As a major player in the convention industry, the Palais can also play a role in driving change through actions that might inspire other convention centres looking to adopt sustainable practices,” said a hopeful Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “Sustainability comes in different forms, and we can make a difference. We have a firm desire to adopt new practices and to support those that will have a real impact on the generations of today and tomorrow,” he further stated.
THE PALAIS ANNOUNCES ITS BUILDING IS GOING CARBON NEUTRAL
In addition to its daily efforts aimed at reducing its environmental footprint to a minimum, the Palais today becomes one of the first convention centres in the Americas to announce its building will be carbon neutral. It will achieve this by offsetting the GHG emissions stemming from the building’s energy expenditures by contributing to the forest management and tree planting efforts on four hectares of the Université Laval Montmorency Forest, the largest teaching and research forest in the world.
“It was key for us that the carbon neutrality of the Palais result from an initiative that would have a local impact, and the program developed by the Québec researchers affiliated with Université Laval meets that criteria perfectly,” confided Robert Mercure.
Driven by a deep-seated sustainability culture for several years, Université Laval is known worldwide as a university leader in the area of sustainable development. “We are proud to be the Palais des congrès de Montréal’s carbon neutrality partner. This innovative sustainability partnership is a perfect example of our university’s desire to contribute new solutions to the issues our society is facing and inspire other organizations and communities to do their part for future generations,” underscored Rénald Bergeron, Vice Rector of External and International Affairs and Health at Université Laval.
RAISING AWARENESS IN MONTRÉAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Firmly minded toward a local and lasting impact, the Palais is also announcing a brand new partnership with the Coop FA aimed at supporting the Bourse du carbone Scol’ERE, a program designed to educate Montréal elementary school children about the realities of climate change, and also encourage them to adopt best sustainability practices.
Through this program, which has a proven track record and already enjoys the support of prestigious public and private partners, the Palais will contribute to the evolution of social norms and the education of future generations, by making available 30 workshops a year for 125 students and their families.
“Such a great show of confidence for the Bourse du carbone Scol'ERE by the Palais des congrès de Montréal tells the children and their parents that what they are doing for the environment is inspiring and important to our communities. Also, the Palais des congrès’ influence on the business community’s and event industry’s growing level of engagement toward greener practices is helping to drive a movement that is uniting every segment of society,” declared Charles-Hugo Maziade, Director of Bourse Scol’ERE.
CREATION OF THE SUSTAINABILITY INNOVATION COMMITTEE
Because of its mission to generate intellectual wealth by way of the knowledge shared during the conferences it hosts, the Palais is active within numerous academic circles. In order to foster the development and spread of best practices, the Palais has set up a new Sustainability Innovation Committee made up of scientists and academics.
These experts from the province’s various universities will be tasked with facilitating the sharing of knowledge between the Palais and the sustainability research being conducted in higher leaning establishments. They will also ascertain research partnership opportunities between the Palais and the academic community.
SUPPORTING RESEARCH THANKS TO UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS
A veritable cornerstone of knowledge and innovation, the Palais is also getting involved in research. It is teaming up with Québec universities, including Université Laval, to support the development of information on forest management best practices promoting carbon capture via forest carbon sinks.
This partnership is on top of the winning collaboration between the Palais and Université du Québec à Montréal and its association with AU/Lab, which has been overseeing the Palais’ Urban Agriculture Lab housed atop the roof of the convention centre since 2011. The Lab is the main showcase in Québec for experimenting with and advocating for urban farming technologies and techniques serving to reduce heat islands and also collect scientific data.
The Palais des congrès de Montréal is proud to unveil its lineup for the very first edition of “Les Printemps du Palais.” Starting April 8, Montréalers are being invited to rediscover their city’s iconic convention centre. In the spirit of replicating the beat of the Montréal community, the Palais is presenting art- and design-driven experiences by local creatives that will showcase their work to the 850,000 people who visit the convention centre to attend one of the 350 events it hosts each year. The lineup spans pop-up works, interactive installations and public living spaces, offered against the backdrop of typically springtime activities for young and old alike. Jointly produced with MASSIVart, this initiative falls within the new vision of the new President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Robert Mercure, which is that of advocating for Montréal creativity and creating unforgettable experiences!
“With Les Printemps du Palais, we are inviting Montréalers to discover their Palais and enjoy some unforgettable experiences,” declared an enthusiastic Mr. Mercure. “This initiative speaks to the new vision of the Palais and will enable us to stand out from the world’s other convention centres by focusing on one of the city’s major assets: its community of bold creatives,” he added.
“Art and design play a key role in the transformation of public spaces. Thanks to the lineup we’ve assembled for Les Printemps du Palais, both local and international visitors will have the opportunity to experience moments that are typically Montréal, and that reflect the city’s creative energy. There’s been a shift in how business is done today, and by bringing art and culture into the mix, the Palais is rising above its competitors in the field. We are very pleased to help Robert Mercure and his team realize their new vision for this Montréal landmark” indicated Philippe Demers, CEO of MASSIVart.
A Showcase for local artists
The Galeries du Palais Bear – Recycled cardboard art
In this tip of the hat to Québec wildlife, Laurence Vallières, a Montréal artist known for her super-sized sculptures made of salvaged cardboard, offers us an immense bear sculpture made of recycled cardboard. The bear greets visitors, and captures their imagination. The artist, who has made Montréal her home. admits wanting her art to shock, amuse and inspire.
Where: Outside Place-d’Armes metro station
Maple Syrup Cans – An ode to sugaring off season
Montréal artist Whatisadam, aka WIA, turns the classic can of Québec maple syrup into an iconic tribute to local culture. The eight massive garbage cans that make up the installation are playfully arranged at the edge of Claude Cormier’s Lipstick Forest, known for its pink trees, not the sap-producing kind needed to make syrup.
Where: Place Riopelle Hall
RAYON – An impressive log structure
The illuminated structure by the design workshop EN TEMPS ET LIEU greets visitors as they approach the Palais and captures their imagination before even entering the venue. A mix of raw materials, conventional techniques and modern technology, the installation invites us to gather around the cultural cues that provide the tempo for our winters and signal that spring is around the corner. Although a temporary art installation, the materials used will be repurposed and serve as a tribute to the province’s raw materials.
Where: Corner of Viger west and Saint-Urbain
Art Souterrain: The festival is extended at the Palais
Art Souterrain, the annual contemporary art festival held in various segments of downtown Montréal’s underground city, including the Palais’, is enjoying an extended run! In fact, during “Les Printemps du Palais,” we will continue to display the following works:
Events that are trademark Montréal
Sugaring off at the Palais
Come enjoy maple taffy on a fresh bed of snow, just like at the sugar shack! Until April 13, we will be serving 350 maple taffies on a stick each day for free to people visiting the Palais. After we reach our daily limit, it’ll be $2 a stick. Wednesdays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Place Riopelle Hall
Lace up those running shoes because now that spring is here, the Palais and Cardio Plein air will help you get back in shape with workouts that will stretch the length of the convention centre, and give you a chance to see it anew. Two types of workouts available for free. A total of eight 45-minute workout sessions at lunchtime for groups limited to 35 people. Hurry and book your spot. See here for more details.
The Palais presents
The NFB and Tourisme Montréal will take over the Palais’s screens with a series of short films and videos that will bring their unique perspective to the city’s attractions and Québec culture. International visitors will get a glimpse of the wonders the city has in store for them, while Montréalers will have the opportunity to see their city from a different angle.
Setting the stage for design!
Îlot vert – a coworking space
Aire Commune, the team behind the popular Mile End outdoor coworking space, now brings you Îlot vert, an innovatively designed area meant for swapping ideas and working collaboratively. Have a big client meeting or planning a brainstorming session with the team? This productivity oasis has everything you need, including a custom made swing table with power outlets and a lounge area!
Where: Place Riopelle Hall
Contemporary lounge furniture
Inviting the public to take a moment to kick back and spend some quality time in good company – that’s what this furniture is tasked with. Designed by Machine, who are also the brains behind the Palais’ new lounge area, each small coloured compartment can be easily moved and reconfigured within this vast space to create relaxing meeting areas for groups or a chillout pod for one.
Where: Viger Hall
Stimulating ping-pong tables
Come challenge your friends and colleagues to some ping-pong on these glowing yellow tables that’ll make you feel like a kid again! These extra touches custom created by Labodeco will be sure to add some bounce to coffee breaks.
Where: Place Riopelle Hall / Jeanne-Mance Passageway
Interactive installations that trigger... interaction
Pedal-powered charging stations
Work out while making sure your phone never dies, thanks to pedal-powered charging stations designed by the Montréal firm DIX au carré that will replenish your mobile devices’ batteries!
Where: Viger Hall
Public pianos with a Montréal touch
Whether for listening to fellow passing musicians or displaying your own musical talent, you’ll strike the right note with the public pianos of the Palais. Personalized by local artists, such as La Charbonne, Cyndie Belhumeur and Maylee Keo, they will definitely add ambiance to our venue.
Where: In different areas of the shopping mall
Inspiring self-serve libraries
Montréal is a city of knowledge and the Palais, a trading floor of ideas and discoveries. Based on the tried-and-true system of bringing in a book and swapping it for another, our two self-serve libraries tailor built for the Palais by Labodeco will reflect the reading pleasures of visitors from all over the world.
Where: Place-d’Armes metro station exit / Place Riopelle Hall
You can consult the lineup at: https://congresmtl.com/printemps/