Sainte-Catherine Street West a huge holiday success

Montréal, March 16th, 2022 – XP_MTL is proud to present a positive summary of Odyssée 2021, which was held in downtown Montréal from December 2021 to February 2022, in partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge, Montréal Centre-Ville, the Ville de Montréal and the Government of Canada.

Launched in the midst of the pandemic, Odyssée has since become a Montréal tradition with its giant installations designed to bring colour and fun to the city centre. The theme this year was “Where tales and legends come to life” and the event was visited more than 800,000 times, making it one of downtown Montréal’s winter highlights. Images of it were widely shared on social media, helping cast the city centre in a positive light during the pandemic. This latest edition featured giant installations, street entertainment, luminous works as well as the now-famous Nutcracker toy soldiers standing guard at Sainte-Catherine Street West.

Odyssée not only offered people the chance to enjoy a unique and magical winter experience, but it put downtown businesses and their festive holiday décor in the spotlight. The event gave a much-needed boost to shopping and local businesses on Sainte-Catherine Street West, as the city centre has been hit hard by the decrease in shoppers and spending.

Given the promising spin-offs it has generated, Odyssée will be back next year with even more installations. We thank our partners for taking innovative and creative risks as they revisited holiday themes while honouring wintertime traditions.

A peek at Odyssée’s successful 3rd edition 

Highlights (1) :

  • Odyssée was visited more than 800,000 times
  • Visitors spent more than $200 on average in downtown businesses, choosing to spend nearly one-third of their holiday budget here, which jumped to $735 on average according to the latest RBC poll on Canadian holiday spending.
  • Tourists took part as well, representing 14% of visitors who spent an average of $357 per visit despite COVID-19 pandemic restrictions
  • Odyssée enjoyed immense popularity among the public, with a media reach of over 37.7 million, giving downtown Montréal greater visibility.

“We are proud that the 2021 edition of Odyssée posted such excellent results and was such a huge success. Odyssée has become one of downtown Montréal’s signature winter events and has cemented its role as a key economic driver. The event took a unique and creative approach to stimulating the city core, and we are convinced that it will continue to offer visitors a truly meaningful experience.”

– Jean-François Daviau, President and Cofounder, XP_MTL

Thanks to the Odyssée des Fêtes, organized by XP_MTL, Montrealers saw our downtown sparkle once again. Many of you came to do your shopping on our iconic Sainte-Catherine Street, which is as unique as it is human scale. I invite everyone to continue enjoying the dynamic ambiance of Sainte-Catherine Street West and continue supporting our business owners and restaurants who will still need our help after the pandemic.”

– Valérie Plante, Mayor, Ville de Montréal

“Our government continues to be here for tourism businesses and organizations. Through our support, XP_MTL, an organization of strategic importance for the metropolis, will pursue its mission to revitalize and showcase downtown Montréal. Our assistance represents an important step in efforts to recover and attract tourists from Canada and around the world to our country.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED

“The Canadian tourism sector continues to be one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting the sector through these challenging times, keeping safety as the top priority while ensuring businesses get support to quickly recover and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements and be ready to welcome back guests. It also feeds into a broader strategy to help the sector withstand the pandemic, recover, and eventually grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and our government is committed to working with key players such as XP_MTL to ensure they are ready to bounce back fully. As the Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs, but also as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, I am proud of what has been presented as part of this year’s Odyssée, including Cree artist Jason Carter’s work The Myth of the Bear. Through concrete measures, our government is planning an inclusive economic recovery, which is precisely how we will move forward together again with greater strength and resilience.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs, but also as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

« As a partner in this great Odyssée des Fêtes, we are pleased to have participated in the downtown’s animation with revisited winter activities to accommodate the particular context, allowing a gradual, safe and attractive return for all. The Montreal community was able to enjoy unique experiences around our properties, thanks to the work and resilience of the partners and their teams.”

Julie Bourgon, Head of Retail, Canada at Ivanhoé Cambridge

Partners who helped make downtown Montréal shine

XP_MTL is thrilled to be able to count on the support of major partners, including the Ville de Montréal, the Gouvernement du Québec and the Government of Canada in providing downtown Montréal with entertainment and installations and creating a positive visitor experience. With the support of an ecosystem of stakeholders, XP_MTL has been working to relaunch a downtown that has had to pivot quickly to adapt to lifestyle changes and new challenges.

About XP_MTL 

XP_MTL is an non-profit organization whose mission is to offer a festive indoor and outdoor event program, supported by a strong online presence, to help develop downtown Montréal’s economic, cultural, social and tourism offer and provide the city centre with greater visibility. XP_MTL focusses on the quality of the EXPERIENCE offered to people living, working, studying or having fun in the downtown core by showcasing major lifestyle trends, including fashion, design, music, beauty and shopping. Last year, XP_MTL presented more than 170 activities and collaborated with more than 700 local artists and artisans.

(1) Evaluated by the research firm L’observateur as part of a foot traffic study, the data from the Odyssée recap came from an in situ and web survey. The sample included 500 respondents, for a maximum sample margin error of 4.5%, 19 out of 20 times, in accordance with methodology used by Tourisme Québec.

Source: XP_MTL

Media relations: Éric Senécal,, 514-885-5376

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