Conference & Meetings World Issue 91 - Page 34

Hosts’ host. ISSUE 91 27/10/2017 12:34 The cultural offer includes museums of Fine Arts and Contemporary Art and the Notre Dame Basilica, and while many of the city’s museums can host receptions and galas, the quirkier ones include ‘Never Apart’, an art gallery and rooftop space in the Mile-Ex neighbourhood, which has an archive of 10,000 vinyl records. If it is views you’re after, the Place Ville Marie, a 47-storey, cruciform office tower, offers event space, while Alt-rock venue Les Foufounes Electriques regularly hosts a variety events. Organisers with an eco agenda may wish to consider Montreal Biosphere. And, in terms of newer venues, the city offers Montreal Port Cruise Terminal, meeting spaces at Hotel Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and Au Sommet Place Ville Marie’s 360 Observation Deck. Wider Québec Québec has 22 regions all told and is Canada’s largest province. Its business tourism leaders recently showcased, in London and Paris, Québec’s signature experiences, many connected to outdoor experiences and spectacular Nature. The national parks, forests, mountains, rivers and lakes and wildlife species including black bears, moose, grey wolves, harp seals, blue whales and snowy owls can all be integrated into conference and incentives programmes. Québec also offers ice canoeing and alpine skiing in the winter months, and vineyard touring and cranberry harvesting in the autumn. Québec is also where the snowmobile was invented. Festivals are big business and building nicely on the legacy from major events such as the Expo 67 World Fair and the 1976 Winter Olympics. Cuisine is another major draw, with Québec poutine and maple products, as well as seafood to the fore. There are a host of microbreweries, winemakers, cheesemakers and chocolatiers. For those with Francophone delegates, the province is extra attractive. Québec is the cradle of French civilisation in North America and boasts over 400 years of history connected with French and British regimes, as well as First Nation history before that. For those with longer itineraries, Québec is a gateway to a rich selection of road trips, including taking the Chemin du Roy, and exploring the Route du Fleuve and Route des Navigateurs, or visit one of the 22 vineyards along Route des Vins. As Canada pushes forward its indigenous traditions, how about experiencing a real meeting ‘Pow Wow’ including traditional dance? St John’s Newfoundland Over on the eastern seaboard, a destination to consider is St John’s Newfoundland. The location cuts down flying time for European delegates when compared with the west coast. St John’s is five hours from Gatwick and Heathrow, with direct non-stop flights. St John’s Convention Centre in the heart of downtown is a newly expanded facility with 4,366sqm of meeting space. Post plenum, why not hop aboard a tour boat from the St John’s harbour a two-minute walk from the Convention Centre. View majestic icebergs drifting past the coast or go whale watching. The East Coast Trail starts downtown and follows 300km of ocean side hiking trails. And in old St John’s the Geo Centre is a $12m building with 500 linear feet of exposed rock walls and six geothermal wells, each over 500 feet deep. Heat from the deep rocks heats the venue in winter. Of course, we haven’t even touched on Toronto, Ottawa and many other big MICE players in Canada, such is the scale of the country. MICE adventure to be continued.