Despite discussions around a 24-hour nightlife zone in Montreal, city officials have reportedly cut funding to nightlife organisation MTL 24/24.
Co-founder Mathieu Grondin discovered annual funding had been cut via “two-line email,” reports the Montreal Gazette. As a result of the cuts, MTL 24/24 say it has been forced to lay off employees, terminate contracts with freelancers and cancel its yearly Montreal Night Summit.
The nightlife summit, which MTL describes as an opportunity to "reclaim nightlife from the economic, social and cultural disaster caused by the COVID-19 virus", typically brings together nightlife experts and policymakers to “share best practices" — but will not be going ahead this year.
Last Monday, protesters gathered on the lawn of Montreal City Hall over the budget cuts.
In a translated posted to Instagram, the organisation wrote: “The Plante administration is dropping the ball on nightlife. Dollars invested in nightlife in 2024? Zero. Funding for MTL 24/24? Revoked. Official nightlife policy? Promised 7 years ago (and still MIA). Our only choice? Bring the party to City Hall”
Julien Hénault-Ratelle, the opposition Ensemble Montréal spokesperson for economic development said “We’ve been asking for this policy for years, and even though there isn’t any policy yet, the city is cutting the funding of MTL 24/24, which is a central organization for developing and promoting nightlife. It’s really disappointing."
When queried by Grondin on this decision, Luc Rabouin, the executive committee vice-president reportedly responded “Montreal doesn’t fund organizations, but rather events, and the event that Grondin’s organization submitted for approval didn’t meet the necessary criteria.”
RA reports that on January 24, the city requested MTL 24/24 to refile its funding application — with City of Montreal press secretary Catherine Cadotte telling the publication that “despite the budget cuts, the city remains committed to supporting nightlife.”
The local government is still in discussions around the possibility creating a 24-hour nightlife zone in Montreal’s downtown and Quartier Latin districts, with a 24-hour trial event set to ahead in February.
Last year, MTL 24/24 hosted its a 36-hour NON-STOP party - the "first of its kind" in Canada. Co-founder of MTL 24/24, Mathieu Grondin told Mixmag following the event that gentrification, inflation, loss of space and lack of affordability were presenting barriers to the nightlife industry in the city.
Last year’s summit, titled “The Infinite Space of the Night,” focused on the importance of preserving and protecting these cultural sites.
Mixmag has contacted representatives for MTL 24/24 for comment.
Belle Richardson is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter