New Collectif des Festivals Montréalais officially launched!

Isabelle Hudon to chair its Board of Directors

MONTREAL, May 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The creation of the Collectif des Festivals Montréalais (CFM) was unveiled today. This organization brings together eleven festivals and events that are held in whole or in part throughout the city from July 15 to August 8.

The Collectif's goal is to significantly contribute to establishing Montreal as a world class tourist destination and a North American hub for festivals in the years to come, thus providing visitors with a uniquely authentic experience that brings together professional quality, a warm welcome and top-notch infrastructures - the whole in a perspective of sustainable economic development and collective enrichment. Such a critical mass of our festivals' and events' industrial cluster will contribute to attracting new customers from abroad, and to significantly increase tourism revenues.

Isabelle Hudon, who held the position of President of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal from 2004 to 2008, was named Chairman of the Board of the Collectif, whose members include Divers/Cité, the Fantasia International Film Festival, the Festival international Nuits d'Afrique, the Just For Laughs Festival, the Meg Montreal Festival, the Festival Mode et design de Montréal, l'International des feux Loto-Québec, Montréal Complètement Cirque, Osheaga Music & Arts Festival, Présence Autochtone and Zoofest. In 2009, these events attracted nearly six million spectators and contributed to the creation of more than 2,500 jobs.

"I agreed to take on this challenge because of my unconditional love for Montreal and its major development potential from a cultural standpoint, but also because only too rarely do we get to witness a group of competitors join forces to improve everyone's individual performance. The idea of a vision meant to promote Montreal as THE destination for anyone looking for a festival circuit that is both entertaining and diverse spoke to me", Isabelle Hudon said.

As we have all observed, the current model for the development of major events in Montreal, which was implemented over the past twelve years, has proved a major success. Indeed, an independent industry was created, which positioned Montreal as the "City of Festivals" and a world class cultural metropolis. Over the past decade, major Montreal events have significantly contributed to the tourist, economic and cultural development of the city as well as Quebec and Canada, in no small part due to the creation of a national and international platform for our creators to show their work, to new jobs created in a leading sector, to direct and indirect benefits on the economy and to increased revenues for our governments.

While the current model certainly al owed high caliber and world-renowned cultural businesses to thrive, we can't help but observe that these businesses operate in isolation. That's why it became essential to put in place the next winning development strategy, with a collaborative and common approach, so as to respond to ever growing international competition from such cities as Edimburg, Austin and Toronto.

The CFM is a three-year pilot project aimed at positioning Montreal in the long term as the tourist, cultural and entertainment industry destination of choice in North America. Indeed, the non-profit organization that is the Collectif is looking to draw not only tourists who will discover and enjoy these eleven complementary and diverse events, but also decision makers, producers, agents, etc., in other words people who travel the world in search of the next big event or star.

In order to achieve this goal, the Collectif will, by the end of 2010, implement a development plan for tourism, for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Talks are already under way about a common promotion and marketing strategy on an international level. In addition, the Collectif will pave the way for other forms of long-term collaborations.

The Collectif des Festivals Montréalais would like to thank its partners, namely the ministère du Tourisme du Québec, the City of Montreal and Tourisme Montréal, without whom such an ambitious common project would not have been possible.

SOURCE COLLECTIF DE FESTIVALS MONTREALAIS (CFM)

For further information: For further information: Marie Routhier, (514) 270-5005, (514) 573-0607, info@marie-routhier.com

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COLLECTIF DE FESTIVALS MONTREALAIS (CFM)

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