Montréal. A lively, cosmopolitan destination known simply as “La Belle Ville” (The Beautiful City). A cornucopia of art, music, festivals, nightlife, photogenic parks, world-class dining and stacked plates of late-night poutine that finance the summer homes of many local cardiologists.
But what makes this city so truly amazing, and how does it relate to you personally?
One word – style.
This city has a style unto itself. A vibe, character, personality and swagger that makes it unique among all of its sister cities in North America. Sitting a mere 40 miles from the U.S. border and situated in a majority English-speaking country, it would be easy for the city to abandon its French roots and be completely submerged into the larger Anglophone world. And it was encouraged to do so, not so subtly, for the past 400 years.
But year after year, decade after decade, century after century, its character remains as steadfast and unique as ever.
The Joie De Vivre. The pecks on both cheeks. The fromageries. The Francofolies music festival. The fashion. The…how shall we say…permissive…laws towards various types of entertainment. And all within spitting distance of a culture of hot dogs and flannel. And it’s this character, this bold, distinctive persona, intertwined with the city’s large, historic Anglophone community as well, that attracts visitors from all over the world and makes it one of the premier tourist destinations in the Western Hemisphere.
In our own lives, we’re constantly being told to suppress our inner Montréal. To sit down, shut up, follow the leader and scrub any traces of individuality we dare to assert. This is especially true in the corporate world. And we think that by playing along, we’re protecting ourselves and ensuring a brighter future. In reality, what we’re really doing is suppressing the mad, creative, waiting-to-be-unleashed genius that can take the world by storm.
In the process, we deny the world our talents, and deny ourselves our own destiny.
To be sure, Montréal, like any city or individual, has its flaws. But in the end, the city errs on the side of who it really is at its core, and that’s what makes it loved, admired and visited by people from around the globe. And by unleashing your inner Montréal, you too can show the world, proudly and boldly, who and what you really are, what you have to offer, and bravely display your own Joie De Vivre.
Geoff Woliner is the Founder and CEO of Winning Wit, LLC, a company which helps organizations write and deliver comedic roasts, individuals write and deliver memorable speeches for weddings and other events, and hosts workshops that teach people how to turn dry content into exciting learning. Winning Wit has been featured on WTOP Radio and in several wedding & event publications as the leader in humorous event speechwriting.
Geoff is also a travel writer and helps visitors see the beauty of Montréal from the convenience of their mobile devices.