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The Palais des congrès de Montréal honours 18 Ambassadors who generated $73M for the economy

Vlad Poptamas



Mr. Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, at the 2018 Recognition Award Gala where 18 Ambassadors have been honoured. (Palais des congrès de Montréal)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

During their Recognition Award Gala of November 8, the Palais des congrès de Montréal marked the invaluable collaboration of 18 Ambassadors who helped bring 12 international conferences to Montréal. These major events represent over $73 million in economic benefits for Montréal and Québec, and will draw more than 32,000 delegates to the city. “Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in the Americas, an honour vastly attributable to our Ambassadors and their commitment to advocating for their city and their scientific fields all over the world,” mentioned Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The Recognition Award Gala recognizes the undeniable contribution and leadership of these Ambassadors, but also the role played by our industry partners, especially Tourisme Montréal and the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal,” he added.

“For over 30 years, the Club’s Ambassadors have helped to make Montréal the city that hosts the greatest number of international events in North America. They include dedicated individuals who, through their efforts to attract thousands of convention delegates to Montréal, are enabling Québec to take advantage of a striking showcase among international clienteles”, noted Minister of Tourism Caroline Proulx.

The Recognition Award Gala shines the spotlight on the exceptional work of these dynamic and influential women and men who, on top of their regular careers, actively involve themselves in the process of attracting international conferences to Montréal, and the Palais. This year, 16 new well-known figures joined the Ambassadors Club, while two existing members confirmed their Emeritus Ambassador status for delivering a second international conference in the case of Professor Fabrice Labeau, and a third conference for Professor Hany Moustapha, who is also the Club’s President. “Since 1985, the passion that drives the 327 members of the Club has helped attract nearly 250 major events, which have contributed $1.1 billion to the city’s and province’s economy, plus significant intellectual wealth,” said an enthusiastic Professor Hany Moustapha, President of the Ambassadors Club.

Ambassadors APPOINTED IN 2018

  • Professor Shirley Lehnert and Professor Jan Seuntjens
    17th International Congress on Radiation Research – ICRR 2023, September 2023
  • Professor James J. Clark
    18th International Conference on Computer Vision – ICCV 2021, October 2021
  • Professor Joelle Pineau and Professor Doina Precup
    30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence – IJCAI 2021, July 2021
  • Professor Yola Moride
    33rd International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management, August 2017
  • Professor Wahab Almuhtadi and Mr. Ibrahim J. Gedeon
    42nd IEEE International Conference on Communications – ICC 2021, June 2021
  • Professor Denis deBlois and Professor Lyne Lalonde
    7th FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress, May 2020
  • Professor Ali Hafez
    9th International Congress on Glaucoma Surgery – ICGS 2018, September 2018
  • Professor Hany Moustapha, Emeritus Ambassador
    Global Power & Propulsion Society Conference, GPPS 2018, May 2018
  • Professor Karim Benyekhlef and Professor Fabien Gélinas
    21st Annual General Meeting – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN66, November 2019
  • Professor Fabrice Labeau, Emeritus Ambassador
    IEEE SENSORS 2019 – The 18th IEEE Conference on Sensors, October 2019
  • Mr. Dominic Bruneau
    World Robot Olympiad – WRO 2020, November 2020
  • Dr. Susan Kahn and Dr. Marc Rodger
    XXXI ISTH Congress with 69th Annual SSC Meeting – International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, June 2023

During the evening, tribute was also paid to three winners of the Fonds de recherche du Québec Relève étoile award for emerging researchers. They are Catherine Bélanger, Maude Brunet and Kha Han Lisa Dang. This competition makes it possible to recognize the excellent research being conducted by young researchers and to foster research careers within Québec universities.

Also, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail saluted the work of Franck Sgard and Jérémie Voix, recipients of the very first IRSST – Ambassadors Club award, for bringing the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration – ICSV26 to Montréal.

Hosted by Pierre Chastenay, the evening also showcased the culinary talents of Capital Catering and the city’s seven major hotels: the Delta Hotel by Marriot Montréal, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Marriott Château Champlain, Westin Montréal, Sheraton Centre Montréal, InterContinental Montréal and Hyatt Regency Montréal. Produced by the Palais des congrès, the 2018 Recognition Award Gala was made possible thanks to some outstanding support, especially from Freeman Audio Visual Canada:

“A Canadian leader in high-tech innovation, Freeman Audio Visual Canada is proud to once again this year be the major sponsor of this remarkable event saluting the significant role the Ambassadors play,” mentioned Bernard Carignan, Regional Director – Eastern Region.

The Palais’ production partner, Idées au cube, also had a hand in the evening’s success:

“Idées au cube was proud to lend its creativity and knowhow to this prominent event. This year, we challenged ourselves to showcase the architectural elements of the Palais as a way of staging the content in a lively and inventive manner, and ultimately create an exceptional event,” explained Nathalie Gélinas, Producer.

Together with GDI, the Palais des congrès once again proudly gave the flowers from the event a second life by donating them to the residents of the Centre d’hébergement Manoir-de-l’Âge-d’Or. An original way to spread happiness while fostering the social aspect of the Palais’ longstanding sustainability plan!

For complete details on the event, go to



Travel managers forecast strongest year-by-year growth in a decade

Vlad Poptamas



45 % of travel managers expect more travel in 2019 according to the AirPlus Market Insights - Source: AirPlus International
Reading Time: 2 minutes


The number of business trips, and the cost of those trips, is set to rise in 2019, according to the 14th annual International Travel Management Study from AirPlus International. Almost half (45 percent) of the 777 corporate travel managers surveyed by AirPlus in 24 countries expect their company to travel more in the year ahead. That figure is up from 35 percent in 2018 and the highest since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.

Only 10 percent of travel managers believe their company will travel less, while 44 percent expect no change. India is the country where the highest number of travel managers (83 percent) forecast more trips in 2019. In contrast, 33 percent of Russian travel managers, more than any other country, predict less travel.

Travel managers are economic optimists

Almost half (46 percent) of travel managers expect the global economy to affect business travel positively in 2019. That is well up on last year (27 percent) and the highest figure in the six years the study has asked this question. Only 16 percent of travel managers expect the economy to affect business travel negatively, down from 20 percent in 2018.

The optimism among travel managers may seem surprising given several risks threatening to slow the global economy in 2019, including Brexit, slower growth in the Chinese economy and international trade disputes. But at the time of writing, the International Monetary Fund’s 2019 forecast for global GDP growth is 3.7 percent (slower than 2018 but still a relatively high figure), and business travel volume and GDP have long been shown to correlate.

Expect business travel to cost more in 2019

The almost inevitable consequence of more travel is more cost, and sure enough 51 percent of travel managers expect their company to increase its travel spend in 2019 — up from 41 percent in 2018.

“Our travel managers’ prediction of increased corporate travel highlights the importance that business travel has gained over the years. Regardless of any possibly positive or negative effects of the global economy, travel managers consider business travel to be necessary and essential in order to gain new business and meet corporate challenges,” says AirPlus Marketing Director Yaël Klein. “But more travel also means companies need to pay increased attention to controlling their rising spend. Luckily, there are many excellent tools and techniques to help track and manage travel spend. 2019 is definitely the year to put this good travel management practice in place, or review them if you already have a strong managed program.”

Action points recommended by AirPlus to control budgets include:

  • Make sure you have a good corporate payment solution providing the best possible travel spend data.
  • Review your policy to identify fresh potential savings.
  • Re-visit your supplier deals. If you have more spend, you also have more spending power.
  • Communicate. Tell your travelers that costs are increasing and keep them focused on spending wisely.
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Renewed support from the community: $1,763,200 raised for the 16th edition of the Guignolée du Dr Julien

Vlad Poptamas



Photo source:
Reading Time: 2 minutes


The community once again showed its support for the 16th Guignolée du Dr Julien which ended this week. A total of $1,763,200 was raised benefiting the Fondation du Dr Julien’s three centres of expertise: the Assistance d’enfants en difficulté (AED) centre in the Hochelaga neighbourhood, the Garage à musique (GAM) in the Maisonneuve neighbourhood, and the Centre de services préventifs à l’enfance (CSPE) in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood.

This amount represents approximately 40% of the funds required to offer free quality care and professional services to children and their families living in vulnerable environments where our centres are located.

“Once again this year, we are deeply touched and grateful for the unwavering support and generosity of the community. On behalf of the Fondation’s three centres of expertise and training, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us and continues to do so. The ongoing support of the community is a crucial element that allows us to care for and empower these children and youths whose development has been compromised by difficult life circumstances,” said Dr. Gilles Julien, Clinical Director, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fondation du Dr Julien.

The Fondation team would like to give special thanks to the many volunteers who took part in this 16th edition of the Guignolée du Dr Julien, and all its partners: the co-founders Ève Christian (also godmother of the event) and Caroline Lafrance, the godfather of the event, Christian Bégin; Santa Claus, Louis Émond; the team from Samedi et rien d’autre, which was hosted for the 13th consecutive year by Joël Le Bigot and broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Première; Jean-Charles Lajoie for hosting the traditional children’s street hockey game for the 10th time; TELUS for its help with the call centre; and the Jean Coutu Group for its ongoing support with the downloadable Fondation du Dr Julien sticker pack. The Fondation would also like to thank 91.9 Sports and the RNC Media network for its support throughout Quebec.

Other community social pediatrics centres certified by the Fondation du Dr Julien or in the process of being certified also held their own guignolées on December 15, raising a total of $996,595. The funds collected by each centre will be used to provide care and services to children in their community, in addition to the services already offered in each region.

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NYC Home Surplus Builds as Overpriced Inventory Lingers on Market

Vlad Poptamas



Reading Time: 3 minutes


The sales market’s turbulent year ends with inventory close to peak levels citywide, according to the Q4 2018 StreetEasy Market Reports

Last quarter, the number of homes for sale grew at double-digit rates in all five boroughs for the first time ever. In Manhattan, sales inventory rose 15.4 percent year over year, the fastest annual rate of growth in the fourth quarter since the financial crisis. As a result, fourth-quarter inventory was at its highest level since 2010, according to the Q4 StreetEasy Market Reportsi. Brooklyn and Queens also saw significant annual increases in inventory, up 22.0 percent and 30.8 percent, respectively.

Although the listing of new for-sale homes slowed in the fourth quarter from the record highs reached earlier in the year, total inventory rose as overpriced homes lingered on the market. Homes that were fairly priced, however, sold in a similar timeframe as in 2017. Units that went into contract in Manhattan during the fourth quarter of 2018 spent a median of 86 days on the market, an increase of nine days from the previous year. In Brooklyn, homes took a median of 68 days to sell, down two days from the same period a year earlier. In Queens, homes spent 78 days on the market, just two days longer than in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The glut of unrealistically priced homes in the city has been a main driver of the slow-moving market that ended 2018 – causing more and more homes to pile up before the new year and heightening competition among sellers,” said StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long. “Heading into 2019, sellers who are unwilling to budge on price are going to face an unforgiving market. Many sellers will have to make difficult pricing decisions in early 2019, particularly with another wave of inventory set to hit the market as the home-buying season heats up in the spring.”

See below for additional sales and rental market trends across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Manhattan

  • Prices dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter. The StreetEasy Manhattan Price Indexii dropped 3.0 percent to $1,132,214, its lowest level since 2015.
  • The Upper West Side saw the lowest number of recorded sales since the financial crisis. There were 405 recorded salesiii in the Upper West Sideiv in the fourth quarter of 2018 – a 23.7 percent annual drop.
  • More than a quarter of homes had their price cut. The share of homes with a price cut in Manhattan increased by 4.9 percentage points year over year, reaching 26.8 percent. The median price cut amount remained unchanged, at 5.7 percent of the home’s total price.
  • Rents rose in all submarkets. The StreetEasy Manhattan Rent Indexv increased 2.4 percent annually, reaching $3,207. Rents rose the most in Upper Manhattanvi, up 2.4 percent to an all-time high of $2,380.
  • The share of units offering rental concessions dropped. In the fourth quarter of 2018, 14.9 percent of rentals in Manhattan offered a concessionvii, down 7.3 percentage points from last year — the largest annual drop since 2010.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Brooklyn

  • Prices rose after dipping briefly in the third quarter. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Price Index increased 2.6 percent annually to $711,578. Prices in South Brooklyn[viii] rose the most, reaching $724,055, an increase of 5.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Recorded sales fell to 2012 levels. The number of recorded sales in Brooklyn dropped 18.8 percent annually, matching levels last seen in 2012.
  • Homes came off the market two days faster. The median number of days on market dipped to 68 in Brooklyn, down two days from last year. Brooklyn was the only borough where median days on market dipped.
  • Rents continued to climb. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Rent Index increased 1.5 percent to $2,584. Rents rose the most in Northwest Brooklyn, increasing 3.3 percent annually to $3,058.
  • Only 1 in 10 rentals offered concessions. Concessions were harder to find in Brooklyn, with the share of units offering concessions down 8.7 percentage points from a year prior.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Queens

  • Prices continued to rise. The StreetEasy Queens Price Index increased 5.0 percent to $520,312. Home prices rose in every Queens submarket, led by growth in Central Queens[ix], where prices rose 6.9 percent to $539,006.
  • There were more than 1,000 more homes on the market than in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total sales inventory increased 30.8 percent in Queens. Sales inventory jumped the most in Long Island City, on the heels of the Amazon HQ2 announcement — up 45.2 percent annually.
  • More Queens sellers offered price cuts. The share of homes with a price cut rose 5.6 percentage points year-over-year to 19.3 percent in the borough. The median price cut amount remained unchanged at 4.5 percent.
  • Rents reached an all-time high. The StreetEasy Queens Rent Index increased 2.6 percent annually, reaching $2,164.
  • Landlords advertised concessions on fewer units. The share of rentals advertising concessions fell to 9.6 percent in Queens – down 5.6 percentage points annually.

The complete StreetEasy Market Reports for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, with additional neighborhood data and graphics, can be viewed at Definitions of StreetEasy’s metrics and monthly data from each report can be downloaded at

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