Each year, Montreal is forged further and further into the forefront of creative commerce with much thanks to the annual C2MTL business conference. A three day immersive conference that is way outside the box and is sure to set both halves of your brain in motion when thinking about business. Curated by international creative agency Sid Lee, in collaboration with founding partner Cirque du Soleil and content partner Fast Company, C2MTL merges the brightest and most influential minds from around the world and across industries.

Attendees enter a wildly creative environment which sets off light bulbs to inspire new ideas and solutions. In short, for businessman and creatives it’s like a parallel universe on crack. And of course, no event of this caliber could end without some sort of blowout. Something where the power and scale of the mammoth conference is paralleled in the form of a party. That’s where we get C2MTL’s Illumination grand finale closing party. On the closing night doors opened to the greater Montreal community, allowing locals to get a taste of the conference and rub elbows with it’s attendees. It was one of those events where if you weren’t there, you probably had a feeling as though you should have been. That is quite an incredible sentiment to stir up in a city. It’s like they present so many networking platforms and connect so many dots for so many professionals that once the sun goes down they are so pumped full of accomplishment that they can party their faces off guilt-free. Illumination was a full sensory experience. The Festival International de jazz de Montréal treated the audience to a 25 person battle of the bands for live musical entertainment. Devoted Habs fans got to watch the game on a big screen to witness their final loss of the season against the Rangers and were then ushered into the main room to dance off their depression.

Local DJs Shaydakiss and A-Rock opened up for the iconic James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem who was an extremely appropriate headliner for the event. His set was spirited and tasteful and included excellent remixes of classic songs like “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon. The partying went non-stop until 3am when the lights went on a sweaty diverse crowd ranging from business suits, casuals, locals and tourists of all ages.

C2MTL 2014 was a success on many levels. With politics and economy driving so many people to Toronto I think it helped remind Montreal professionals why they are here, to shine a light on the incredible successes of this city and affirm it’s reputation as the countries creative capitol. All done with an excellent balance of work and play which defines the city so well.

Top 5 quotes from C2MTL guest speakers:

“To my two-year-old niece a magazine is nothing more than a broken iPad. Expect more technological disruptions in the near future.” Noreena Hertz, Thought Leader and Author

“A great brand, company, city or community is a story that never stops unfolding.” Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com,

“In social business we don’t believe in copyright, we turn it around and make copyleft.” Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Chairman, Yunus Centre

“Can we talk about the “H” word? There’s a Michael Jackson hologram in the show, which is both awesome and strange.” George Stroumboulopoulos to Welby Altidor, Creative Director of the Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil

“The visual web isn’t just a place for two-minute distractions, but a beautiful place to connect with the world & our own creativity.” Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, Google