The future of Expo Quebec is far from assured

(Quebec) Quebec show has attracted 187 000 visitors and generated $ 160,000 in profit this summer. It is slightly better than in 2014, worst year in recent history. Mayor Régis Labeaume, was satisfied to have “turned the boat around”, but the future of the great feast is far from assured, however.

The short press release issued Thursday, four days after the end of the event, reported an increase in ridership of 9.4% this year.

It in turn allows to measure the magnitude of the downturn experienced in the previous edition. In fact, the latest statistics are in circulation were forecasting 227 803 entries for 2014, a floor, no doubt, but never validated by the City. However, the official figures provided Thursday, we learn that only 171 000 tickets had been sold, representing a dramatic decrease of 45 % compared to 2013.

The City of Quebec revealed that a profit of $ 160,000 have been made in 2015, while the two previous editions were in deficit. The hole was $ 1.1 million in 2013 and $ 700,000 in 2014.

Exasperated to see Expo Québec losing popularity and its finances deteriorate, the city administration has reviewed the fee schedule and the programming this year. The mayor of Quebec city, and his lieutenant in the folder, the municipal councillor and president of ExpoCité Vincent Dufresne, spoke of the “return to the base game” after an attempt to rejuvenate the public with activities for the “extreme”.

According to exhibitors and showmen encountered during the festivities, this is the great scene that served as a locomotive, and attracted the visitors this time. Outside of entertainment, the visitors became more rare and less willing to spend, they reported.

Objective “humble”

On Thursday, the mayor Labeaume has officially declared that the mandate of recovery had been accomplished “with flying colors”, but in front of the journalists he has not hidden his questions. “We have asked about Expo, we wonder is it that the formula is good, is what we must change the formula. But at least, we reached our goal; a goal, “humble”, he admitted.

The politician has also found that traditional activities were losing popularity. “The games of old, who played all over the world with the doggies, I am less sure that it enjoys today,” he illustrated.

Mr. Labeaume said he had confidence that there would be “something, a sort of Expo Québec”, but it is unable to draw the contours for the moment. In the meantime, the current programming could serve as a “transition” for a few years. “There was no emergency. The emergency, it was to cease deficits, it is set. Now, we’re thinking.”

Vincent Dufresne is on the same wavelength. “I have been saying since day 1 of the 2015 edition, it is always to question in relation to festivals. It’s like in business, as in anything, we must look to know where it is, that is what the people want”, he argues, proud of the “listening part” of the public during the preparation of the event and the financial and written in black ink.

Traffic at Expo Québec
2011 370 000

2012 351 000

2013 309 000

2014 171 000

2015 187 000

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