A few days ago, I had the pleasure of spending some time in Quebec City and was surprised to discover a unique venue for special and corporate events. I grew up in Montreal so I knew that The National Assembly is the seat of Government, from which the 125 elected representatives govern the Province of Quebec. I didn't realize that this elegant building has a number of venues that would be of interest to event planners.
The National Assembly celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011. It was designed by the architect Eugene-Etienne Tache and built between 1877 and 1886. The design was inspired by the expansion of the Louvre in Paris. The central tower of the Parliament is dedicated to the famous French explorer Jacques Cartier.
The National Assembly has four venues that can be used for special events: Restaurant Le Parlementaire, the lobby, the library and the chamber that was formerly used for the Senate (the upper chamber) in Parliament. (Canadian Provincial Parliaments no longer have Senates.) Flexible room configurations and a full range of audio-visual equipment options are available.
Quebec National Assembly Chamber
Quebec National Assembly Former Senate Chamber
Omer Marchand and Georges-Emile Tanguay designed Le Parlementaire, the prestigious dining room of the National Assembly, in the Beaux-Arts style that was popular in the late 19th century. It has high ceilings, rich ornamentation and majestic columns.
The china and cutlery incorporate the Fleur de Lys from the Quebec flag.
Le Parlementaire, is open to the public daily for breakfast and lunch. There are themed brunches on Sunday. Le Parlementaire accepts reservations for small group dining for groups of 30 or more and it can be reserved for private dining, galas and receptions. The flexible configuration makes it possible to accommodate 200-225 guests for dining and 275 for a cocktail party or reception. I dined at Le Parlementaire as part of a group.
A selection of menus that showcase Quebec cuisine and produce is available. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from the maitre d'hotel that the gourmet lunch that the group had just enjoyed was only $20 Canadian, plus taxes and service. There was soup, a choice of salmon with shrimp or chicken, and dessert.
Receptions can also be held in the lobby of the National Assembly when Parliament is not in session. The combined capacity of Le Parlementaire and the lobby is 475 for a reception. The library of the National Assembly with its stunning marble columns and exquisite stained-glass window can accommodate receptions for up to 150 guests.
The decor of the National Assembly is splendid. A guided tour of the National Assembly in English or French can be incorporated into your event. The tour is very interesting and it provides a highly informative glimpse into the history of Quebec.
Between June 24th and Labour Day, outdoor tours are also available. Groups will learn about the unique 19th century architectural features of the building, the gardens, fountains and statues.
To make a reservation, you will be required to provide a list of your guests (along with their dates of birth) so that security checks can be completed. Guests will pass through security upon entering the building.
From Montreal you can take the train or bus and be in Quebec City in a few hours. You can also take a cruise on the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec City and spend the night at a hotel or return on the same day. Whether you're in Quebec or looking for a unique day trip from Montreal, an afternoon at the Quebec National Assembly will be an interesting experience for your group.
Photo Credits: Canada Incentive Travel, Executive Oasis International, T a k