The Palais des congrés de Montréal reports that it has hosted 16 national, regional and international aerospace events, which have brought in $34.4 million in tourism revenues for Montréal and Québec. The events attracted 18,500 delegates, which translated into 38,500 room nights.
“We have every intention of continuing to encourage the holding of major international meetings related to key sectors of our city’s economy, such as aerospace,” said Ramond Larivée, president and CEO, Palais des congrés de Montréal. “By working closely to confirm these conventions, the Palais des congrés and the decision-makers who lead this important economic sector, enable Montréal to continue to be one of the major aerospace capitals in the world.”
In 2011, the Palais des congrés assembled a committee comprised of key players in the Montreal aerospace industry. Its mandate was to help the city maintain its status as a leading host of aerospace events and to provide the support required to organize international aerospace events.
The committee’s achievements include organizing and hosting large-scale conferences like the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Turbo Expo, which has been held in Montreal twice. “Holding the ASME Turbo Expo at the Palais des congrés de Montréal in 2007 and more recently in 2015 was a wonderful experience,” said Piero Colonna, a professor at Delft University, The Netherlands, and chair of the ASME International Gas Turbine board. “Montréal and its convention centre are a premier and natural venue for such events, and even more so for those related to the aerospace industry.”
The Palais has recently earmarked a $45,000 fund to help the aerospace committee members and members of the local aerospace community create business ties with international convention decision-makers. “It is imperative that we consolidate our strategic backing by winning the support of influencers so we may position Montréal as ‘the’ host city for prestigious international events. The economic and intellectual benefits are huge, and we need to nurture this very active sector of our city,” said Professor Hany Moustapha, director of the AÉROÉTS school of aerospace engineering, emeritus ambassador and co-chair of the aerospace committee.
The taskforce is co-chaired by Suzanne M. Benoit, CEO of Aéro Montréal (the province’s aerospace cluster), who will be joined on March 21, by Professor Wagdi Habashi, director of the McGill Department of Mechanical Engineering’s CFD Lab. The following companies, universities and agencies are also represented on the committee:
- Bell Helicopter
- Pratt & Whitney Canada
- MDA Corporation
- National Research Council of Canada
- Siemens Canada
- Consortium for Research and Innovation Aerospace in Québec
- Thales Canada
- McGill University
- Concordia University