Take some inspiration from Montréal’s world famous festivals for your next meeting

published on January 7, 2020
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Montréal is a festival city, known the world over for a packed annual schedule of over 100 festivals encompassing crowd-pleasing programs of music, sports, comedy, circus, film and fireworks. And while we think planning a meeting that coincides with a Montréal festival is a great idea (and your attendees will agree!), here’s a few ways to capture the city’s festival spirit as inspiration to create an unforgettable gathering à la Montréal no matter when your event comes to town.

A sparkling winter wonderland

Set the stage: Winter is wonderful in Montréal, and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is a glittering annual highpoint beloved by visitors and locals alike every February. Wander through the Quartiers des Spectacles past gourmet food trucks, eye-popping lighting installations like Illuminart and wintertime games and group activities. There’s also La Nuit à Blanche, in which the city and its attractions stay open all night long – a great evening out for attendees.

Make it your own: To keep the spirit of Montréal’s glowing winter fests going all year long we suggest a venue with vistas aplenty overlooking the twinkling city, like Old Montréal’s Pointe-à-Callière and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, or the Espace C2 perched atop the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in the heart of downtown.

The spirit of jazz is alive and well in Montréal

Set the stage: Montréal has long been one of the most important international crossroads for jazz, and one of the Montréal’s biggest yearly musical extravaganzas transforms the city into the world’s biggest hep, happening jazz joint. With over 1,000 performances (two thirds of which are free!), the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has seen past legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis gracing the stage, and each year brings emerging talent in front of some of the biggest audiences of their careers.

Make it your own: Throughout the rest of the year, your guests will love keeping it swinging at Montréal’s speakeasies and hidden bars or one of the city’s best jazz clubs like the swinging Upstairs Jazz Bar and opulent House of Jazz.

Keep the laughs coming!

Set the stage: The largest international comedy festival in the world, Just for Laughs Festival programs over 1,600 performances (including 1,200 free outdoor shows) every year in mid to late July. Mic masters like Hannah Gadsby, John Cleese, Craig Ferguson and Jerry Seinfeld have all left the city in stitches, and JFL is a de rigeur stepping stone for any major comic.

Make it your own: Your attendees will love JFL’s coroporate offers, and there’s comedy all year long at venues like the Comedy Nest and the Montréal Comedy Club. We also think a teambuilding event with groups like Montréal Improv and the Seven Fingers Creation Collective will leave an unforgettable impression.

Light up the skies (and take to the water!)

Set the stage: Each late June and all of July, the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec brings together fireworks displays from all over the world to set the skies over Montréal alight. And while they’re visible from many vantage points across the city, we suggest the amphitheatre seating at the city’s amusement park La Ronde (including VIP options including snacks and unlimited access to the roller coasters and rides), atop the rooftop of the Palais des congrès de Montréal or aboard a Croisières AML or Bateau-Mouche cruise boat for views from the St. Lawrence River.

Make it your own: Fireworks season isn’t the only time to hit the river, with several options on offer, including Navark’s private island getaway that’s perfect for meetings unlike any other.

Read this next: Give the gift of Montréal with these locally designed souvenirs!

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