The Palais des congrès de Montréal and McGill University’s James Clark bring a major AI conference to the city

Thanks to the hard work and determination of James J. Clark, a professor at the McGill Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of its Centre for Intelligent Machines, and of Marc-André Gemme, a member of the Palais des congrès de Montréal’s business development team, 6,000 delegates will be converging in Montréal in October 2021 for the IEEE Computer Society’s International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV). This major international conference, which is expected to translate into 16,800 room nights for the city’s hotels, will generate an estimated $12.7 million in tourism revenues for Montréal and Québec. This large-scale high-tech event is the 3rd artificial intelligence (AI) conference the Palais des congrès has announced in the last 3 months, news that confirms the city’s expertise and global standing in the field of AI.

Proud of the outcome after more than a year of hard work, Professor Clark said: “Winning the bid speaks to the importance of making clear the added value of hosting this major international event in Montréal. I’d like to thank Marc-André Gemme who played an active role in bringing this conference to our city, by talking to and persuading many of the people who participated in the voting and selection process. I look forward to working with the members of the Palais team these next 4 years on putting together a high-quality conference. Montréal is known for its advanced technological expertise, and this represents an opportunity for the city to showcase its active AI industry and excellent research centres.” Professor Clark will continue to enjoy the support of the Palais des congrès de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal, as well as that of the local organizing committee, for matters related to the planning, promotion and hosting of the conference.

A committee packed with luminaries
What tilted the balance in Montréal’s favour is without a doubt the quality of the organizing committee put together by Professor Clark, whose presence helped clinch the bid. This shows the importance of having a rich scientific program for a conference in a field as specialized as computer vision.

“Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, and artificial intelligence features in numerous major conventions focused on the future. We have the privilege of hosting these world experts and playing an active role in bringing them together in the heart of our city, which will translate into significant intellectual benefits for the city and the province,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. This bid was made possible thanks to the support of numerous partners, including funding from Tourisme Montréal.

City emerging as an AI and ICT hub
With its world-renowned speakers, luminaries and advanced research centres, Montréal has become fertile ground and the quintessential setting for developing a topnotch scientific and professional program for ICCV delegates. In fact, the city enjoys the support of four major universities and is home to numerous centres specializing in fundamental and applied research in computer vision and machine learning, and is shaping the next generation of engineers and scientists in the field. These include the McGill University Centre for Intelligent Machines, an inter-departmental group formed in 1985 to facilitate and promote research on intelligent systems. The city can also count on the reputable expertise of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and the Institute for Data Valorization (Ivado), both associated with Université de Montréal, the Laboratory for Imagery, Vision and Artificial Intelligence (LIVIA) of the ÉTS school of engineering, Concordia University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence (CENPARMI), and the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM).

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, according to the rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support, in order to foster the international reputation of industries that are continually evolving.