Montreal Salon Audio, Year One

Because my train from Albany, NY arrived ahead of schedule, there was just enough daylight for me to photograph Montreal's Bonaventure Hotel—formerly the Hilton Bonaventure—which, from Friday March 18 through Sunday March 20, is the site of the brand new Montreal Salon Audio. As some of you will recall (see our recent story), Montreal's heretofore long-running Salon Son et Image was "deferred" by its organizers, on account of too few manufacturers and dealers willing to sign up as exhibitors at the once-iconic show. But then the show's previous organizers, Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay, stepped in and put together this new Montreal show—and the new not-for-profit organization behind it—in less time than it takes most of us to plan a trip to the grocery store.

I checked in to the Bonaventure at around 7pm. And, yeah, I was a little put off by the remodeling now in progress. "That would explain the reasonable rates," I thought to myself, at more or less the same time that I wondered why the Bonaventure Hotel, with whom I made my reservations all the way back in February, didn't say anything on their website about construction, or the fact that their delightful lounge—once the meeting place of audio-industry cognoscenti from around the globe—is presently closed for business, corralled by sheetrock walls worthy of Basil Fawlty's Mister O'Reilly.

But never mind. The rooms remain delightful. The hotel staff is brilliant. I found a table at the Bonaventure restaurant, and immediately ran into cellist Vincent Belanger, and Audio Note's Dave Cope, and VPI's Mat Weisfeld, and Franco Moggia of TED Magazine. And on my way to the restaurant I bumped into a very busy Michel Plante, who probably won't find much time to sleep tonight. (Indeed, from the time I saw him to the time I finished my meal, Plante and his indefatigable assistant had erected countless signs and posters.)

As it turns out, fully 65 exhibitors have signed up for this show—which is more than three times even the most generous estimates I've heard of the pre-deferral number. And admission is free.

Come. If you're less than a day's drive or train ride away, come to Montreal and visit Montreal Salon Audio. I think this will be a show to remember, for more reasons than one.

Zadumas's picture

I was a great show, even with less exhibitors. Great demos, new equipments, great hosts, Michel and Sarah outdone Chesters by a thousand miles in less than two weeks, hope it will be repeated for many years to come.

I forgot, Sarah, great brownies.

ppgr's picture

This year was the best ever!

corrective_unconscious's picture

Doesn't even a day trip to Canada now require a US Passport and a jaunt through Customs each way? I realize most readers will have a Passport, but what is the border bureaucracy like these days?