Quebec Standard

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Montreal’s festival season is back, but staff shortages could impede the fun

Quebec

Key takeaways: 

  • Montreal’s downtown business organization said the city might become a victim of its victory.
  • The following month’s edition will be the first complete edition since 2019.

For the first time since 2019, Montrealers are gearing up for a summer of festivals with very few COVID-19 limitations. Still, there are problems from festival organizers and business owners that labor shortages could slash into the fun.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival, MURAL Fest, and the Grand Prix are only some of next month’s attractions. Still, the city’s downtown business association said there are rumblings the town might become a target of its win. 

“We’ve all heard concerning the labor shortage, and it’s a real danger for events in Montreal, for venues, indeed all businesses,” said Glenn Castanheira, their executive director. 

“The real threat is if we get too many people to come back downtown and we cannot host them enough,” he said.

Also read: Leylah Fernandez eliminated in the French Open quarter-finals

For the first time since 2019, Montrealers are gearing up for a summer of festivals with very few COVID-19 limitations. Still, there are problems from festival organizers and business owners that labor shortages could slash into the fun

“If we don’t have sufficient people in hotels to keep those rooms clean, keep our restaurants open, and keep our festivals running, that might be a bad experience for those tourists.”

Paul Boileau is the L’ours Blanc souvenir store owner just near the corner from the Quartier des spectacles at Place des Arts. He’s hoping for a big summer with the return of the Jazz Festival but says staffing has been a problem.

His sales went down 95 percent over the outbreak. He’s hoping business to pick up, but now he’s stuck with just half as many workers as he would ideally have.

“It’s very, very, very difficult,” he said, saying businesses in the tourist industry compete to offer higher salaries to workers.¬†

Source – cbc.ca

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