Not your average conference. Not your average city.
In any given year, Montréal draws visitors from all over the world to partake in its inimitable mix of energy and laid-back bonhomie. From a deep-rooted love affair with food and drink that elevates the most basic fare to epicurean delight, to an ever-present beat of self-expression that weaves through the local arts, music, theatre and design scenes, the city thrums with a steady rhythm of pleasure and creativity. A City of Saints that pays equal reverence to the cult of amusement, Montréal houses a thousand diversions under one cultural roof, and the welcome mat is always out.
That’s any given year, and this is no ordinary year. In 2017, the city is celebrating its 375th birthday, and the rest of the world is invited to the party. In a town that pays high tribute to the art of enjoyment and the science of celebration, it’s a party you simply won’t want to miss.
And the milestones don’t stop at the 375th anniversary. This year, Montréalers are also celebrating Canada’s 150 years as a nation; a look back at 50 years since hosting the 1967 World’s Fair, Expo67; the 50th anniversary of the richly-celebrated Canadian Grand Prix, and much more.
Given this year’s much-anticipated program and electric atmosphere, the 2017 edition of the Relevent Sponsorship Marketing Conference promises to be unforgettable. The Relevent Conference is as unique as the city that hosts it, with a truly original mix of fun, function and future-facing exploration. Unlike the standard conference template, this two-day event is a lively collection of talks, workshops and in-depth interviews that value active exchanges over passive information-gathering. Sponsorship experts, industry leaders and creative visionaries from all walks come together to share, learn and inspire one another. There’s a magic kind of alchemy that occurs when so many engaged, motivated individuals gather in one place—this year, you can experience that magic both at the conference and in the city itself.
There are few venues more perfectly suited to hosting the Relevent conference than the Auberge Saint-Gabriel in Old Montréal, so this year’s attendees can once again look forward to the exceptional service and treatment that is their expertise. Originally built in 1688 by a French soldier, the Auberge (meaning “inn” or “lodge” in French) is recognized as North America’s original inn, and was the first of its kind to receive a liquor license in 1754. Over the following centuries, the building reflected various signs of the times in Québec culture, housing the press that printed famed eighteenth-century Québec newspaper Le Patriote at one point, and hosting a fur trading post where the cellar nightclub now exists at another.
At the turn of the century, the Auberge was restored to its original role, and today is thriving as an elegant and inviting restaurant, a true Montréal go-to for locally sourced and exquisitely executed Québec-inspired cuisine. Under the culinary guidance of Swedish-born Executive Chef, Ola Claesson, the menu is a mouth-watering tribute to both tradition and innovation, with classic local flavours mixing easily with judicious Thai touches. In a word, the food is a treat, whether you’re a local returning to savour a favourite dish or a visitor happy to taste some of Montréal’s finest.
The Auberge owes much of its present-day success to the artful stewardship of co-owners Marc Bolay, Québecois performer Garou, and Cirque du Soleil cofounder Guy Laliberté. When looking at the year of events and celebrations ahead, Bolay mentioned that the trio is “excited to see Montréal coming to life in such great style,” hoping everyone who passes through will “enjoy everything this great city has to offer.”
Stylish, warm, welcoming: that the venue shares so much in common with the city itself makes it once again the perfect arena for this year’s Relevent Conference.
From the International Jazz Festival to Just for Laughs and Igloofest, Montréal essentially offers a year-long festival of festivals. Locals mix with visitors to enjoy an all-season whirlwind of events, with literally something for everyone, or everything for anyone, depending on how ambitious you are.
A growing favourite is MURAL, a festival that transforms Saint-Laurent Boulevard into an open-air showcase of urban art in all forms. Street artists, muralists, musicians and performers from around the world come together to turn the streets of Montréal into a living canvas, complete with block parties, food, drink and the kind of revelry that Montréal does so well. For the 2017 edition, “the festival is featuring about 20 artists and more than 80 creative works,” says Davi Tohinnou, Director of Communication and digital PR for MURAL.
The festival literally paints the town, with artwork appearing from the Quartier des Spectacles, Montréal’s entertainment district, to the Mile-End neighbourhood and beyond. The festival energy feeds off the creation and appreciation that flows between artists and attendees. People come from far and wide to admire art in action, stopping by to shop at the MURAL Art Fair (FAM) at nearby Bonsecours Market on Saint-Paul Street.
Conference visitors have plenty to look forward to in November, too—Tohinnou suggests checking out the awe-inspiring photorealist style of Swiss muralist Onur, whose mural will be featured on René-Lévesque Street, not far from the Auberge Saint-Gabriel. Better yet, take a guided tour of all the artworks: “This year, we’re expanding. Guided tours were available in previous years, but only during the festival itself. For 2017 we’ve created partnerships with tour guides for the whole year,” explains Tohinnou. It’s a great way to see the city and experience Montréal’s broad appetite for art.
No visit to Montréal would be complete without a sample of the city’s renowned indie music scene, and the Relevent Conference is more than happy to oblige. Every year the entertainment line-up includes live music, such as the riveting performances by Montréal’s own electro-pop duo Milk and Bone in 2015 and alt-pop duo Heart Streets that was enjoyed last year. For this edition, the conference will once again draw from the well of homegrown talent, putting together a program that includes performances by Elliot Maginot and more.
With so many attractions, both at the 2017 Relevent Sponsorship Conference and in the city at large, it’s the perfect year to make Montréal a must-see destination. Not to be missed, never to be forgotten: we’re ready to celebrate the past, rejoice in the present and influence the future. And you’re invited.
For more information and to book your place today, come see us at releventconference.com