Wikimania 2011/Bids/Montréal

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Wikimania 2011 candidate cities:
Haifa (Q) - Montréal (Q) - New York City(Q) - Toronto (Q)

Wikimania Montréal Logo

Downtown Montréal by night

Location[edit]

About Montréal[edit]

A view of downtown Montréal viewed from the Mont-Royal
The Olympic Stadium, primary site of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games

Montreal (French: Montréal) (pronounced [mɔ̃ʁeˈal] in French, /ˌmʌntriˈɑːl/ in English) is the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Québec. Montréal was incorporated as a city in 1832 and, by 1860, became the largest city in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada.

Montréal is easy to get to from most major destinations: over 200 U.S. and international flights touch down at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport each day, arriving from over 70 international and 25 Canadian cities. Montréal's compact, safe, clean downtown is a short ride from the airport.

Montréal, at the intersection of Anglophone and Francophone cultures, is ideally situated to hold proceedings in both French and English. The inhabitants of Montréal are predominantly bilingual (French and English), especially in the service industry, and resources to hold the entire conference in both languages are readily available. Within Greater Montréal, with a population of 3.6 million, 53% of the inhabitants are bilingual and 20% use a third language in addition to French and English.

About Québec[edit]

Québec ([kəˈbɛk] or [kwɨˈbɛk] in English; [keˈbɛk] in French) is a province in east-central Canada. As the site of the original settlements of New France, Québec has retained a strong European and French flavour and tradition. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking identity, and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level.

About Canada[edit]

Canada (pronounced /ˈkænədə/) occupies most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. The total population is about 32 million. It is the world's second largest country by total area and its common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world. Canada is the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Venue[edit]

The Palais des Congrès of Montréal

Ideally located at the intersection of Montréal's Downtown commercial and financial district, the scenic Old Montréal and Old Port, as well as Montréal's Chinatown, the Palais is within walking distance of most entertainment and tourist attractions.

The Palais des Congrès de Montréal has customizable rooms for small and large venues, with a couple of hotels nearby, and the Place d'Armes subway station is directly connected to it, making access simple and easy. More than 4 000 hotel rooms are directly connected to it, with economical lodging available within walking distance.

Google Streetview of the building, on the side where the conference spaces and the dining area are.

Spaces marked A-E are possible room configurations.
The yellow area is set aside for the plenary talks, and the other area can be divided to need between longing area, guest green room, and staff office.

Provided for Wikimania's use, will be:

  • 5 conference rooms of flexible size and configuration:
    • Room A: 562m2, configurable from 200 seats at table rows to 550 with chairs only (or any combination thereof)
    • Room B and C: 281m2, seating 100 to 320
    • Room D and E: 140m2, seating 170 (chairs only)
    • Spaces can be reconfigured for the needs of the program
  • 280m2 lounging/R&R area
  • 140m2 of space for organization offices
  • Two 70m2 salons for VIP guests
  • A 781m2 hall
  • One panoramic 1846m2 banquet hall on the top floor with view to Montréal's downtown for lunches and (optionally) the welcome dinner. The caterer is on-site with kitchens and can serve anything from light lunches to five course haute cuisine.

Every space is completely configurable for our needs; and can be set up with any combination of division, chairs, tables and stage. They are, effectively, "blank canvass" that can be organized any way we need according to the program — the divisions listed above are probable divisions for a five-track program but can be tweaked as needed given attendance. Because of this flexibility, we intend to provide registration at the "talk" level so that the space can be allocated accordingly.

The entirety of the site will remain available throughout evening and nights (complete 24h access) for socialization, impromptu meetings and coding sessions; while no food service will be available off-hours, there will be coffee, water and vending machines with snacks available in the lounging area. The entire site has been designed to allow easy access to mobility-reduced participants, as well as aids to persons with limited visibility with ramps, elevators, large type signs, and assistants on site. Most hotel rooms in the vicinity are equally accessible and directly connected to the site with walkways that do not intersect vehicular traffic.

In addition, audio pickup in all rooms is retransmitted by FM for pickup by standard hearing assistance gear (that is also available for free at the site).

Logistics[edit]

The Palais provides to us, free of charge, a conference organizing lead and team to handle logistics, setup and deployment. Strong with over a quarter century of major convention and exposition organization, their well-oiled organization is at our disposal to ensure that the event goes over smoothly. They will handle coordination between suppliers and teams, our staff, and caterers, allowing the Wikimania team to concentrate on attendees, guests and the program itself.

The Palais has (and will make available) facilities for accreditation, check-in and on-site guidance and signage, and provides security services. On-site is a small shopping mall where restaurants and supplies can be found, and it is directly connected to both nearby hotels and Montréal's public transit system (via bus stops and a subway station).

Specifically, the Palais representative will insure that every supplier is ready (handling communication and coordination), that gear is moved and in place, that all services are provided in a timely fashion, that supplies and power is available as needed. They take over all aspects of conference organization except guests and speakers, giving us a single point of contact for everything.

Catering[edit]

Meals and snacks will be provided by the Palais caterer, who have kitchens on-site. The welcome banquet and warm lunches will be served in the panoramic dining room of the top floor of the convention center will offer traditional Québec fare with available vegetarian and kosher alternatives. Snacks will be provided for breaks on the fifth floor (where the conference takes place) during breaks, and a selection of vending machines will be put at the disposition of attendees in the lounging areas for off-hours snacks and beverages.

Technical support[edit]

One of the strengths of partnering with a professional convention organization team is the very high quality of the technical infrastructure and support that will be put at our disposal. Every conference room will have proper stage lighting for the presenting team, a projection screen for their presentation and live video and audio recording in HD by professional cameramen and audio techs. In addition, simultaneous translation for every talk is provided, with free wireless headsets for attendees. This will allow the publishing of proceedings of the entire conference to be made available in blu-ray quality and both languages for those who did not have the chance to attend.

In addition, both plenary events (the Keynote and the closing conference with the Board Q&A) will have "wall of video" stage, allowing for both presentation of slides and retransmission of the speaker on big screens allowing everyone a good view, and both events will be webcast live.

Free WiFi will be provided throughout the entire site for attendees at all times, and the lounging area will be well covered with ample power and network connections of attendees' laptops.

The technical support item on the budget covers the entire audiovisual and technical support team, including staff for:

For each conference area for all three days:
  • Stage setup and lighting
  • Projection screen and gear for either presentation material or AV pickup as applicable
  • HD camera with cameraman attending
  • Audio pickup (podium and flying mike for Q&A) and mixing, with tech attending at mixer board
  • Simultaneous translation booth and gear for up to three languages (including RF headsets for attendees)
  • AV recording (all audio tracks included) with masters provided at the end of each day
  • Setup and teardown of the room
Plenary presentations (opening and keynote, and closing):
  • All as provided in conference areas, plus
  • A second projection screen and gear to keep the presenter on screen throughout
  • Radio mikes for audience participation during Q&A
Technical bid also includes power drops and distribution everywhere, and networking infrastructure (wired and wireless).

Accommodation[edit]

Google map of venue and hotel locations

For the budget traveler, Montreal offers youth hostels with dorms or private rooms as well as budget bed and breakfasts. The densest collection of budget hotels are in the Latin Quarter, in the streets East of Berri-UQAM metro and the long distance bus station. The Old Town has a couple of quality hostels, which are more expensive. Montreal is home to four major universities and numerous smaller schools. Students routinely sublet apartments in the summer months.

Mid-range options include Downtown chain hotels to "gites", guest houses that range from a single room in an apartment to elegant historic homes with three to five rooms. Gites are usually found in the more residential neighborhoods like the Plateau.

On the upper-end, four and five-star luxury and boutique hotels are mostly concentrated in the Old City and Downtown.

Some hotels and University residences have offered group rates for Wikimania. All rooms are for two occupants, and can be shared (we will provide registration options for shared rooms). All hotels are less than two minutes' walk from the Palais des Congres (and connected through an underground passageway), and provide common rooms. The residences of the Université du Québec à Montréal are about 10 minutes' walk from the convention center.

All venues provide free Internet access for participants and a meeting area available 24/7 for late chats and collaboration.

Hotel group rates
Hotel Stars Rooms Available Price per night
Hôtel InterContinental Montréal 4 200 CAD 189 (approx. USD 178 / € 129 / £ 114)
Holiday Inn Select Montréal Centre-Ville 3 200 CAD 159 (approx. USD 150 / € 109 / £ 96)
Embassy Suites Montréal 4 150 CAD 189 (approx. USD 178 / € 129 / £ 114)
Hôtel Dauphin Montréal Downtown 3 50 CAD 149 (approx. USD 141 / € 102 / £ 90)
Le Westin Montréal 4 50 CAD 199 (approx. USD 188 / € 136 / £ 120)
UQAM residences 200 CAD 75 (approx. USD 71 / € 52 / £ 45)

Right now, we are in further discussion with these and other accommodations for the possibility of savings by provided "all-inclusive" deals at registration time allowing us to commit to firmer blocs of rooms. For instance, one current hypothesis would cover four nights at a four star hotel with breakfasts and registration to Wikimania (that includes one dinner and three lunches) for CAD 400 (approx. USD 376 / € 272 / £ 240) in double occupancy or CAD 760 (approx. USD 715 / € 517 / £ 456) for single.

Transportation[edit]

Getting to Montréal[edit]

Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport [3] (IATA: YUL) is about half an hour west of the city center on highway 20. The airport is served by all major Canadian and U.S. airlines and is a major hub for Air Canada, Air Transat, and WestJet. There are multiple daily trans-Atlantic flights to and from (amongst others) London, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Athens, Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, Munich, Moscow, Cairo, and Casablanca.

Amtrak also provides a direct link from New York City to Gare Centrale on the Adirondack. There are departures for Montréal daily and departures to New York daily.

Selected return airfares to Montreal
Prices are quoted for the equivalent last week of July 2010 and may differ for 2011.
From Airfare Airline Stopover Travel time
New York CAD 376 (approx. USD 354 / € 256 / £ 226) Delta Air Lines - 1h53
Los Angeles CAD 585 (approx. USD 550 / € 398 / £ 351) Delta Air Lines Minneapolis 7h40
Toronto CAD 180 (approx. USD 170 / € 123 / £ 108) WestJet - 1h10
Vancouver CAD 957 (approx. USD 900 / € 651 / £ 575) WestJet and Air Canada - 4h39
Mexico CAD 650 (approx. USD 611 / € 443 / £ 390) Mexicana - 7h41
Rio de Janeiro CAD 1,275 (approx. USD 1,199 / € 868 / £ 765) Continental Airlines Houston 19h45
London CAD 985 (approx. USD 926 / € 670 / £ 591) Air Canada and British Airways - 7h20
Paris CAD 1,010 (approx. USD 950 / € 687 / £ 606) CorsairFly - 7h45
Brussels CAD 978 (approx. USD 920 / € 666 / £ 587) Air Transat - 7h40
Geneva CAD 1,011 (approx. USD 951 / € 688 / £ 607) British Airways London 10h40
Berlin CAD 1,262 (approx. USD 1,187 / € 859 / £ 758) British Airways London 11h30
Athens CAD 1,216 (approx. USD 1,144 / € 827 / £ 730) SwissAir Zurich 15h30
Moscow CAD 1,278 (approx. USD 1,202 / € 870 / £ 767) Air France Paris 13h15
Tokyo CAD 2,134 (approx. USD 2,006 / € 1,452 / £ 1,281) Air Canada Vancouver 15h41
Hong Kong CAD 2,040 (approx. USD 1,918 / € 1,388 / £ 1,224) Air Canada Toronto 17h35
Sydney CAD 2,513 (approx. USD 2,363 / € 1,709 / £ 1,508) American Airlines Los Angeles 21h05

There are a number of ways to get to downtown Montreal from the airport: taxi for a fixed price of CAD 38 (approx. USD 36 / € 26 / £ 23); Aérobus shuttle for CAD 16 (approx. USD 16 / € 11 / £ 10), VIA Rail AirConnect from the airport terminal to downtown by shuttle and train for CAD 11 (approx. USD 11 / € 8 / £ 7), AMT commuter train from Dorval Station for CAD 4.25 (approx. USD 4 / € 3 / £ 3), and public bus number 747 (STM) for CAD 2.75 (approx. USD 3 / € 2 / £ 2).

The Montreal region is also served by Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York, on the U.S. side of the border, about one hour away by car. Domestic U.S. flights to Plattsburgh can be cheaper than international flights to Canada.

Notice to American travelers[edit]

To enter Canada, you are required to provide a valid ID and proof of citizenship. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires that all travelers going back to the United States provide official ID's such as passport, enhanced driver's license, passport card, or military card.

Visa Information[edit]

Visa requirements for entry into Canada.

Residents of countries marked in green can enter Canada without a visa.

Residents from most countries of Europe can visit Canada without a visa. Residents of other countries can apply for a visitor's visa, which takes a month to process in most cases, at the cost of CAD 75 (approx. USD 71 / € 52 / £ 45). The Citizenship and Immigration Canada website details the process and the requirements.

Local travel[edit]

The city of Montréal is well-covered by an extensive network of public transportation and roads. Public transportation in Montréal is covered by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), which operates the buses and subway trains. For those who live in the suburbs, a greater organization called the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) manages and operates overland trains. There is a train link between the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport and one train station w:Lucien-L'Allier (AMT).

Bixi public rental bicycles are available throughout the city.

For those who prefer to have a bicycle, Montreal has a public bike rental system (BIXI) with extremely reasonable prices, which will benefit those who prefer to avoid rush hour public transit.

Montréal is connected to Toronto and the eastern provinces by Via Rail and Coach Canada. Amtrak provides the link between New York City and Montréal by train, which arrives at the Central Station.

The tickets for the subway are sold through automated kiosks or by person. You can get a OPUS RFID card for simplified public transit, or a tourist pass for 3–4 days.

The subway is open from 5:30 AM daily and closes between 12:35AM to 01:30 AM.

Tourism[edit]

Currency[edit]

The currency used in Montréal is the Canadian Dollar. There are currency changing offices everywhere, but some stores even allow payment in US dollars.

Cost of living[edit]

Montreal has a wide variety of hotel prices that changes on depending on the events that are scheduled. The Formula One race kicks up the hotel prices in early June and starts the touristic season. It lasts until late august. Prices vary from 49$ up to 800$ and more. The most expensive rooms are at the W hotel, Saint-James, Saint-Paul and Queen Elizabeth. The most famous room in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel is room 1742 which is rated at 799$ for a single night only. It's the famous John Lennon Suite and that's where he did his bed in for peace.

Climate[edit]

Montreal's summer are warm, and at times humid, with average high temperatures of 24 - 26°C (75 - 79°F) and lows of 13 - 15°C (55 - 60°F).

Entertainment[edit]

The Montréal Casino

Montréal has a Six Flags amusement park situated on Île Sainte-Hélène called La Ronde, the second-largest amusement park in Canada. It is accessible via car or public transportation (bus routes 167 or 169). On the same island there is a water park, and a casino, if you'd like to try your luck. Montréal also has a well-developed tourist industry and multicultural population, if you'd like to walk, see the sights, or eat!

Montréal has a diverse entertainment scene. There are large venues such as Centre Bell or at the Olympic Stadium. Home to a vibrant night scene, Montréal is always alive at all times of day. The Olympic Stadium for the 1976 Olympics is still open to the public. People can ride on the gondola to go up the inclined tower and admire the view (not free).

Montréal is the host of the Festival De Jazz (Jazz Festival), Francofolies (French song festival), Juste Pour Rire (Just For Laughs) and a large number of happenings all year round; including the International des Feux Loto-Québec, the largest fireworks competition of the world taking place while Wikimania would be held.

The International des Feux Loto-Québec lights the city evenings during summer, with countries vying to win the competition with explosive enthusiasm.  
Île Sainte-Hélène is home to a large park, an amusement part and a water park (pictured).  
Summer sees the streets of downtown Montréal fill with festivals and celebrations, such as the Just for Laughs humor festival.  
The nights are alive in Montréal; whether you're looking to catch a good meal or a good show, the Quartier Latin (minutes away on foot from the conference) will fill your needs.  

Personal Safety[edit]

Montreal shares Canada's low violent crime rates, making it relatively safe.

Museums[edit]

Montréal is home to many world-class museums such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which hosts a large collection of precious works of art and a large Napoleonic collection that was given by Ben Weider. It's also the home of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal which hosts contemporary art exhibitions. For the science lovers, there's the Montreal Science Centre which is home to many science themed exhibitions and an Imax theatre. The Montreal Biosphère is home to a museum that is dedicated to water and the environment. In the Olympic complex, the former velodrome at the Olympic Stadium. The Montreal Biodome is home to many animals from all around the world. It's also home to a permanent collection of the Montreal Jazz Festival's collection of arts at the Galerie Lounge TD in the Maison du Jazz Rio Tinto Alcan. In 2010, The Galerie Lounge TD features the works of world-renowned Montreal native w:Leonard Cohen's art collection.

The Montréal Botanical gardens host a permanent Insectarium where you can see the creepy-crawlies up close and personal.  
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hosts a number of permanent and travelling collections of note, and has free admission at all times.  
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal holds a large collection of modern and classical art for the connoisseur.  

Food[edit]

Montréal is home to some world-famous restaurants. Schwartz's is famous for its smoked meat. Poutine is also offered pretty much everywhere with different flavors. One thing that makes Montreal unique with New York City is the Montreal-style bagel. Wilensky's is also a must stop for their famous sandwiches. Montréal is home to many type of restaurants. The concept are often varied and unique. Some of them offers local cuisine or regional plates with a modern twist. World cuisine is found almost everywhere.

Happenings[edit]

July in Montréal is home to many famous festivals certain to attract your attention, as well as a multitude of smaller activities and expositions.

Every summer, the core of downtown plays host to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal when more that two million people join for more than 650 concerts played over eleven days and nights, including 370 concerts staged outdoors and free of charge.

The Just for Laughs festival, the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event presents gala performances, theatre, club shows and outdoor free performances. With comedians, street performers and performances in French and English through most of the month of July.

Explosive Saturday nights are guaranteed throughout summer as the Montréal International Fireworks Competition lights up the skies with pyrotechnicians from all over the world countries display their daring talent to compete in the most prestigious event of its kind.

Team[edit]

At this time, the team is small but dedicated. In addition to the members below, organisation is handled by the Comité Wikimania Montréal a nonprofit corporation setup for the express purpose of organizing the bid and conference. While it has a bank account set up, it has made no expense to date.

The board is currently comprised of volunteer professionals with nonprofit experience and strong community ties. The plan is to make a public membership drive and elections if Montreal wins the bid; and the strong core of volunteers so created would lead naturally towards a Québec Chapter of Wikimedia.

Nick Areas of responsibility Skills Languages Experience
Coren Coordination, Venue
Nonprofit president
CS instructor and system administrator fr-N, en-4, es-2, de-1, ja-1 Public speaking, AV setups
Ernest Boucher Accounting, finances
Nonprofit treasurer/secretary
Accountant, Tax law, Insurance fr-N, en-3, es-2, ru-1 Nonprofit board experience
Ancien et Moderne Accomodations
Nonprofit administrator
Public relations, Tourism fr-N, en-4 VP at Tourisme Montréal
Fail Party planner Always up for a party! fr-N, en-4, es-2, asl-1, LSQ-2 Public speaking, translations and tour guide.
Khayman A little bit of all. You must ask precisely ! Translation to fr (for now) fr-N, en-2 Teacher in a cégep, creator of Projet:Cégep de Chicoutimi. I work on Wikimédia Québec too.
Antaya Webmaster, Journalism
Public relations, Master of Ceremonies
fr-N, en-4, LSQ-1, LSF-1, ASL-1 Public speaking, Media coverage and public relations. Long time contributor to French Wikipedia.
Solitarius Network and system administrator fr-N, en-4 Speaker at technical events and fairly recent contributor to French Wikipedia.

Budget and Financing[edit]

All three levels of local government (municipal, provincial and federal) have already expressed interest in giving financial support to the event, as well as visibility. The Palais des Congres has agreed to discount its usual fees greatly given the volunteer nature of Wikimania and its prestige, and has both the expertise and willingness in assisting in raising local sponsorships and support.

Preliminary ballpark estimates of costs and capacity allow for a realistic expectation of being able to host 800 to 900 attendees with a global budget under CAD 450,000 (approx. USD 423,000 / € 306,000 / £ 270,000). A provision is made for a larger number of attendees given the ease of access and proximity to the United States — in particular its East coast — allowing a larger number of editors with limited financial resources to be able to attend; in addition, the bilingual nature of the event will allow a greater proportion of French-speaking editors to attend; particular care will be taken to involve and invite editors from the entire Francophonie.


Service Description For Cost
Venue lecture halls, press room, security 3 days + banquet CAD 45,000 (approx. USD 42,300 / € 30,601 / £ 27,000)
Technical A/V, projection, simultaneous translation, webcast
electrical, Internet access
AV recording in HD, suitable for DVD mastering
3 days CAD 115,000 (approx. USD 108,100 / € 78,200 / £ 69,000)
Catering Welcome banquet, lunches and snacks 3 days + banquet CAD 75,000 (approx. USD 70,500 / € 51,001 / £ 45,000)
Closing party Party for attendees 1000 attendees CAD 60,000 (approx. USD 56,400 / € 40,800 / £ 36,000)
VIP party 50 VIPs CAD 10,000 (approx. USD 9,400 / € 6,801 / £ 6,000)
Administration logistics, transport, badges, expenses CAD 15,000 (approx. USD 14,100 / € 10,200 / £ 9,000)
Insurance Event liability CAD 7,500 (approx. USD 7,050 / € 5,100 / £ 4,500)
Guests transportation, food, hotel 20 guests/VIP CAD 44,000 (approx. USD 41,360 / € 29,921 / £ 26,400)
Swag Promotional material, proceedings, t-shirts, etc 1000 attendees CAD 20,000 (approx. USD 18,800 / € 13,601 / £ 12,000)
Outing Party for attentees at La Ronde (incl. fireworks competition) 600-800 attendees CAD 24,000 (approx. USD 22,560 / € 16,321 / £ 14,400)
Contingency In case of Charlie-Foxtrot CAD 20,000 (approx. USD 18,800 / € 13,601 / £ 12,000)
Total CAD 435,500 (approx. USD 409,370 / € 296,140 / £ 261,300)

Support[edit]

Holding Wikimania in Montréal has the support of the City of Montréal, the Montreal Tourism Board, the Governement of Québec and the Federal Governement.

You can use this userbox in your user page to indicate your support
in using this code {{Template:User Wikimania Montreal 2011/Supporter}}:

Wikimania Montreal.svg
Wikimania Montréal 2011
Je soutenais la candidature de Montréal.
I supported the bid of Montreal.


References[edit]