Old Montreal's New Year's Festival Got Cancelled & Organizers Are Struggling To Keep It Free
Hosting the event this year was deemed "impossible."
Instead of a joyous celebration of its history, Montréal en fêtes has cancelled its tenth-anniversary events and will not take place in 2022. The organizers chose to take the year off in order to negotiate with financial partners, according to press relations agent Felipe del Pozo.
Del Pozo shared that Montréal en fêtes' leaders are taking a break to "review the event's financing structure and rethink its economic model for the future." To fans of what's long been a free event series, this news might sound like a death knell. But Dimitri Soudas, the president of Montréal en fêtes' Board of Directors, seems to want to fight for the fête's freedom.
"Free access to all citizens has always been central to our mission, but today we have to completely review our model and our financing if we want the event to survive and stay free. I hope that we will be able to convince our partners to update their financial support according to today's costs of production," Soudas said in a press release.
The realities Soudas references are familiar to Montrealers: inflation and a lack of workers, to name two. These factors led Soudas to call the tenth edition "impossible" to realize.
Fans of Montréal en fêtes will miss out on the free activities that have been hosted in the Old Port of Montreal since 2013, including decorated areas of the neighbourhood and a "famous" New Year's party with fireworks and a musical show. The event claims to have brought over 200,000 people to the Ville-Marie borough to celebrate each year. For 2022, they'll simply have to chase their wintry fun elsewhere.