Well Americans, get ready for some noise. Montreal is amping up the volume for its 375th anniversary and the city has event after event planned for the entire year. But don’t worry, you’re totally invited to come.
The newest marketing campaign from Tourisme Montreal proudly celebrates Montreal’s status as a noisy neighbor.
“Dear neighbours from Toronto and New York, we're turning 375 in 2017 so we'll be celebrating all year! We're going to make a lot of noise. Sorry! We live right next door so of course, you're welcome to come and join us. Your neighbour, Montréal.”
"In 2017, we'll be showing off Montréal's vivaciousness,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Now 375 years strong, the city has a unique personality that promises to be particularly lively all year long. This is a great opportunity to showcase the city internationally. The effects of this reputation-building campaign will not only be felt in 2017 but for many years to come.”
The campaign rolls out in Toronto later this month and then expands to New York in early 2017 as a Montreal ambassador invites Americans to come and party like only Montréal knows how.
Not convinced Montreal knows how to party?
Ponder this. When the USA was knee-deep in prohibition (as was most of Canada) and only a few brave business owners operated secret speakeasies, many American’s headed up to Montreal to keep the party going. Quebec, you see, remained a “wet” province. For more than a decade, Montreal was the only major metropolitan center in North America where you could legally imbibe.
Many of America’s greatest artists and musicians headed north to keep the party going. And the city’s jazz scene blossomed. Alcohol eventually returned to the rest of North America, but in Montreal, the party never stopped. Today, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world.
Incidentally, if you’re interested in the history of jazz in Montreal, here’s a great web series from CBC Radio that you won’t want to miss.
But while Montreal is certainly known for its incredible jazz scene, the city also has some of the world’s finest hotels, shopping and an exciting culinary scene that fuses the best European, American and Canadian cuisine.
The city is home to a burgeoning inland port, that’s welcoming such major cruise lines as Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard and Viking Cruise to name just a few.
Many of these cruise ships pass under the iconic Jacques Cartier Bridge, which spans the St. Lawrence River. In 2017, even the bridge is upping its profile, when it gets brilliantly lit up with LED lights. It’s going to be kindof like what happened in San Francisco when they opened the new Bay Bridge, only super-sized.
And don’t forget Montreal’s summer fireworks festival which shoots off over the bridge every Wednesday and Saturday in July. Officially it is called L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, but that’s a mouthful, so feel free to call it the fireworks festival or pyrotechnic festival, everyone will know what you mean.
Each week, some of the leading pyrotechnic firms in the world design their own spectacles accompanied by diverse musical soundtracks. Last year, the opening night featured the Royal 22nd Regiment performing soundtracks from animated movies and video games.
Music is a recurring theme throughout the entire year. Another big-ticket item is the world premiere of the opera version of Pink Floyd’s the Wall. That’s right, Roger Water’s legendary work is getting a makeover for the opera stage. Interestingly, it was after a concert at Montreal's Olympic Stadium in 1977 that Waters got the idea to create a psychological drama inspired by his own life. The song started as a concept album in 1979 and then became a film 1982 and will debut as an opera in March 2017.
Yes, things are going to get loud. In total, more than 175 activities planned across the city all year long.
So, quit complaining about all the noise and just join the party already.