The Palais des congrès de Montréal Thinks Big to Promote Québec to Business Travellers

Montréal, August 1st, 2023 – The Palais des congrès de Montréal, working in collaboration with the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec as part of its mandate from the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec to promote the province under the Bonjour Québec brand, has rolled out a brand new networking space with a St. Lawrence theme … along with a big surprise!

Last March, the Palais and Alliance joined in a partnership to provide convention-goers with informal spaces that embody signature Québec experiences. Following the recent opening of a space that captures the cozy ambience of ski resorts and in the lead-up to the next fall’s opening of a space dedicated to nature adventures, it’s the St. Lawrence’s turn to take centre stage. Paying homage to one of the province’s main tourist icons, the new space offers a unique immersive experience for Palais visitors, who will be able to relax, chat and network in the shadow of a majestic humpback whale measuring nearly 10 metres long and floating in a soothing aquatic setting.

Playful and practical sensory experiences

Created and realized by the Vannoote Design studio, under the direction and with the collaboration of Palais teams, this maritime enclave ensconced in the heart of the building is an extraordinary installation and a novel sensory immersive experience. With a 3.5-metre tail span and meticulously painted in realistic style, the Palais des congrès whale has all the characteristics of a three-year-old female (except for its weight, which is a few dozen tonnes off!). No fewer than 22 separate pieces were digitally sculpted by Montréal-based USIMM before being combined into six large sections, painted and finally assembled and installed at the Palais des congrès.

The space takes visitors below the waters of the St. Lawrence, where a school of fish and a canoe float above shell-shaped sofas and pebble cushions. The sound and visual scape is the brainchild of TKNL, official audiovisual partner of the Palais. Moving aquatic scenes are projected over the soothing lull of lapping waves and singing whales, spellbinding visitors and transporting them to an oasis of tranquility. As night falls, the decor is transformed by the fairy-tale glow of luminescent plants from Aglaé, a member of the Palais Events Lab. The result is a peaceful, energy-giving space, to balance out the exuberance and excitement of a conference, for a short break or even longer.

Also designed to showcase the riches of this iconic waterway for Palais visitors, the space features information panels on the history, geography and wildlife of the St. Lawrence, revealing its vital importance to Québec’s ecosystem and economy. Palais clients will of course be able to hold networking events in the space, complete with a themed menu featuring dishes of Québec-sourced marine products concocted by the Capital Traiteur team. It’s a fun and mouth-watering way to bridge the gap between business and leisure tourism


“Our government is working closely with its partners to attract world-class business events to Quebec. In this context, what a wonderful idea to showcase the St. Lawrence River, one of our star attractions! Promoting the very best that Québec has to offer is an excellent way to encourage delegates to come back or extend their stay. This kind of innovative initiative helps attract more visitors and increase tourism-related economic spin-offs. Congratulations to the teams who brought us this unique space!” – Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region.

“The spectacular installation of a life-size whale on our premises demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deliver unique and memorable experiences to our visitors! We’re delighted not only to respond to their need for informal places to meet and talk, but also to give them a novel space that will reinforce the province’s reputation as a prime tourist destination.” – Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO, Palais des congrès de Montréal  

“This partnership is another great example of boldness and creativity. We want to continue to let business travellers experience Québec differently and to stimulate all their senses. We want to pique their curiosity and make them want to extend their stay or come back to Québec to turn this immersive experience into reality. This unique approach to showcasing Québec’s iconic attractions and experiences is a wonderful illustration of the tourism industry’s ability to innovate and to ensure that the Bonjour Québec brand is strong, dynamic and distinctive all over the world.” –Martin Soucy, President and CEO of the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec