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Press release: A coalition from the business, tourism and cultural sectors backs the Bassin Peel Entertainment Complex project

Press release

A coalition from the business, tourism and cultural sectors
backs the Bassin Peel Entertainment Complex project

Montréal, October 12, 2005 – Several stakeholders from the business, tourism and cultural sectors gathered today in Montréal for an initiative by Tourisme Montréal and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal to officially launch a non-partisan Coalition to support the Bassin Peel Entertainment Complex project, unveiled by Loto-Québec and the Cirque du Soleil in June.

The goal of this coalition, co-chaired by Tourisme Montréal President and CEO Charles Lapointe and Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal President and CEO Isabelle Hudon, is to bring together the main stakeholders who back the project and coordinate their efforts to underscore the advantages and positive spinoffs of the entire project in order to ensure it is carried out.

The Coalition currently embraces the following members:

  • Tourisme Montréal
  • The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal
  • Aéroports de Montréal
  • Air Canada
  • Crescent Street Merchants Association
  • Chambre de commerce et d'industrie du Sud-Ouest de Montréal
  • Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec
  • Destination Centre-Ville
  • Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
  • Hotel Association of Greater Montréal
  • Major Montréal events :
    • Équipe Spectra (Festival international du jazz de Montréal, Francofolies, Festival international de films de Montréal, Montréal Highlights Festival, The Grand Masquerade)
    • Just for Laughs Group
    • Tennis Canada ( Rogers Cup)
  • Québec Hoteliers Association
  • Regroupement des hôteliers du Vieux-Montréal
  • Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal
  • Société des attractions touristiques du Québec (SATQ)
  • Société du Havre de Montréal
  • Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal.
  • Transat A.T. inc.

More partners are expected to join as a result of meetings slated for the coming weeks.

“This project is much bigger than merely relocating the Casino de Montréal,” notes Charles Lapointe. “The Bassin Peel Entertainment Complex will be a powerful engine of economic development for the tourism and cultural industries, one unequalled anywhere in the world. It's the kind of dynamic project that Montréal hasn't seen in a very long time, and will create a new axis of tourist interest and establish an essential link between Old Montréal, the Old Port , the Cité du multimedia, and Montréal's downtown. By drawing on the Cirque du Soleil's creativeness, skill, and international reputation, we are assured that this project will bring in a larger, more varied clientele than the Casino currently does. Moreover, this project meets several vital requirements for Montréal's competitive development internationally. There is currently a crying need in Montréal for a major commercial exhibition centre capable of hosting trade fairs and expositions requiring 500,000 sq ft of surface. At this time, no such infrastructure exists in Montréal. This puts us at a great disadvantage, since we are unable to attract major international trade shows, and the shows we now have suffer from lack of space, which prevents them from growing. There is also a need for a theatre space with a capacity of 2,500 or more to present major productions.”

“The Bassin Peel Entertainment Complex will represent the largest recreational tourism project and one of the biggest construction projects in Montréal in the past decade,” adds Isabelle Hudon. “It is financed in full by Loto-Québec and the private sector, is located in an entirely enclosed area, does not affect any residents, will make it possible to decontaminate industrial soil, and will not generate any new government debt. In social terms, Loto-Québec has understood that there can be no sustainable development if there is no balance between social cohesion and economic development. It has adopted an approach that is respectful of the community, and it has already opened talks with it in order to limit drawbacks and promote employment. In fact, this project is “structuring” in the full sense of the word, since it represents the cornerstone of the project to revitalize the Du Havre sector and will generate development projects through to 2025. Whether in terms of design, innovation, implementation of new technologies, or creativeness in general, the project brings out the best in us and in what Montréal has to offer the world. It is a project that will repay the city in wealth and collective pride, and one that Montréal cannot afford to pass up.”

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to offer an integrated suite of specialized services to individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes in order to support them in realizing their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private economic development organization in Québec.

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization made up of 850 members from the Montréal tourism industry. Its mission is to provide leadership in a concerted promotional effort to position Montréal as a destination on the pleasure and business travel markets, and to steer development of Montréal's tourism products in response to a constantly changing market.


Statement of principles (PDF)

Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015

Tourisme Montréal
Patrice Attanasio, Morin Public Relations
Tel.: (514) 289-8688
Cellular: (514) 501-5717


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