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Montreal cuts funding to nightlife organization despite big plans to revitalize downtown area


A Montreal organization that works to promote nightlife in the city held a demonstration Monday night after the city opted against renewing its funding for the year.

MTL 24/24 is a non-profit that develops projects, offers services, organizes educational activities and funds research on Montreal's nightlife, among other activities.

The organization says staff learned last Thursday that Valérie Plante's administration was cutting their funding.

"This comes two days after announcing the creation of a 24-hour zone and investments of $1 billion over 10 years to revitalize downtown," the news release reads.

Advocates joined the protest in front of City Hall beginning at 5 p.m. 

The City of Montreal announced last December that it plans to create a 24-hour nightlife district and make changes to its noise bylaw.

This includes a 24-hour event in February.

City of Montreal spokesperson Catherine Cadotte says officials will continue to support nightlife and consider it "an undeniable economic driver."

"The city is working with a number of partners in the community to make its nightlife policy a success, and informed MTL 24/24 several months ago that funding for 2024 will be determined following the tabling of the policy, which will take place in the next few weeks, according to the priorities identified during the consultation," said Cadotte. "In the meantime, our administration is actively working on the deployment of an ambitious nightlife strategy and will continue to support events on its territory."

MTL 24/24 says that cutting its funding will result in the organization laying off three full-time employees and ending contracts with dozens of freelancers in addition to cancelling a planned Montreal Night Summit in May.

"Political and administrative representatives from more than a dozen cities around the world were expected to join us in Montreal for this landmark event, which established our city as a leader at the global forefront of nightlife governance," the organization said. "This decision shows contempt for the tireless work and energy we all invested over the past three years. By failing to earmark money for nightlife in her 2024 budget, Madame Plante demonstrates that the nighttime economy is not a priority for her administration... except during election periods."

The city says it has earmarked funds for its nightlife policy and that "Montreal nightlife will continue to flourish and nightlife events will continue to take place." 

With files from CTV News Montreal's Olivia O'Malley Top Stories

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