Montréal is a festival city, known for a packed annual schedule of over 100 festivals encompassing crowd-pleasing programs of music, sports, comedy, circus, film, and fireworks. Planning a meeting that coincides with a Montréal festival is a great idea.
Here are a few ways to capture the city’s festival spirit.
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, and wintertime games and group activities. There’s also Nuit Blanche, in which the city and its attractions stay open all night long — a wonderful 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 stunning architectural venue, 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 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. 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 Amy Schumer, John Cleese, Hasan Minhaj, and Jerry Seinfeld have all left the city in stitches, and JFL is widely recognized as a steppingstone for any major comic.
Make it your own: Your attendees will love JFL’s corporate offers. There’s comedy all year long at venues like the Comedy Nest and the Montréal Comedy Club. Alternatively, 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 the show is 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.
Everyone to the table
Set the stage: Montréal’s annual restaurant event, MTLàTABLE, is the perfect opportunity to sample some of the city’s best cuisine (and often at greatly reduced rates). Typically held in the autumn, groups can dine at a different restaurant each night and truly sample the region’s harvest.
Make it your own: Whether or not you’re in town for MTLàTABLE, food can be the theme of any Montréal gathering. Learn more about the intricacies of Montréal’s culinary scene through a guided Montréal food tour. Or roll up your sleeves and get the team cooking together with a Montréal cooking class.
Transforming meetings into art
Set the stage: Each year in June, the city becomes an entire canvas for urban artists. MURAL Festival is Montréal’s urban art festival. Sure, it includes the painting of larger-than-life murals, but it also features urban music, street-level exhibitions, and artist talks. Guided tours are available.
Make it your own: Montréal is one of the world’s capitals of creativity, and at any point of the year groups can visit one of multiple visual art museums or galleries, including Canada’s largest fine art institution: the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. Groups can do a mural scavenger hunt, or organize a special event with Art Public Montréal to discover the city’s incredible public art.
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