Montreal’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

On Sunday, March 18, EC Montreal students will participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade takes place at noon on de Maisonneuve Street.  It will start on Bleury Street, which is just a few blocks away from the La Marq Residence.  The parade will travel down de Maisonneuve to Fort Street. Everyone is encouraged to wear green!  Mother Nature seems to be cooperating this year – it is supposed to be a sunny and mild day. The parade will have floats from different associations and radio stations as well as pipers, dancers and other entertainers.  The new mayor will be there and so will the Irish delegates and court. If you are looking for something to do in Montreal this weekend, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is an annual tradition that cannot be missed! There is a lot of drinking on this day, so please, be careful, be safe and don’t overdo it! Follow the link if you would like to know more about our English as a foreign language in Montreal programmes!

EC Montreal Attends Languages Canada’s 10th Annual Conference!

Earlier this week, the EC Canadian Centre Directors attended the 10th annual Languages Canada conference.  The theme of the conference was “Reflection, Celebration and Vision”. We had a chance to meet with all the other language providers in both the public and private sector across Canada as well as attend workshops on career development, technology in the classroom, educational training and homestay.  In addition, members of the government trade commissioners as well as the IRCC were there to give us information on visa processing times, trends in the industry as well as the future of language training in Canada. It was a very positive conference as things are looking really great for Canada.  They are calling it the Trudeau effect!  As we have a very popular Prime Minister and he has already made it easier for some international students to enter Canada, he has really put Canada in the spotlight.  This, in addition to other global factors, as placed Canada in the top position as most desirable destination. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with the EC Centre Directors from Toronto and Vancouver.  We shared our best practices and ideas for making EC the best possible organization for both our students and our employees.  We had the opportunity to visit the EC Toronto school and were so impressed with their beautiful 30+ school.  It is just recently renovated with a retro theme concept. The conference was held in Canada’s largest city, Toronto – a city we often travel to with our students on weekend excursions.  We all enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and of course the impressive views of the city! At EC Montreal, we are committed to offering our students a positive and rewarding experience and attending such conferences is key! When you choose to study English … Read more

EC Montreal’s Centre Director Celebrates 20 Years at the School!

Elisa Gazzola is EC Montreal’s Centre Director.  She began working at the school on February 18, 1998 as an academic assistant.  Throughout the past 20 years, Elisa has moved up the ladder of success within the organization.  She worked as the Accommodation Coordinator, one of her favorite positions, for 4 years.  She loves to talk so she would spend so much time getting to know the homestay hosts and meeting with students to ensure that they were happy with their accommodation. Elisa is a very passionate individual!  She shows enthusiasm in every aspect of her job as the leader of the EC Montreal team.  Her energy is contagious!  She is always thinking of new ways to make the student experience even better! EC Montreal has seen many successes thanks to Elisa’s leadership.  She is extremely results oriented and creating a family environment for both her staff and the students is her priority.  What other manager goes out of her way to plan birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers and bachelor parties for their colleagues?  She has grieved with us when we are sad and has celebrated our achievements and happy occasions. Elisa never misses an opportunity to praise her team.  She notices all of our small achievements and makes sure that she communicates them to all of EC!  She takes the time at the end of each month to send a recap of each month, highlighting our every success! Elisa also encourages us to be better people.  She initiates so many fundraisers like our annual bake sale, the CTV spirit of giving campaign, the Canadian Refugee centre, International Women’s Day and the national Pink Shirt Day. Elisa tries very hard to create an EC community at the school.  For this reason, she encourages us to provide our students with a … Read more

Montreal’s Annual Maple Festival is Coming Back Soon!

March is maple season in the province of Quebec. As the snow and ice start to melt, the sap flows from the trees. This yearly event becomes a celebrated tradition here and EC Montreal is no exception! We embrace the season and love to show it off to our students. In March, our students should expect to see maple festivals and sugar shack outings. In addition, we will be introducing our students to an annual maple food festival called Verdun’s Cabane Panache Et Bois Rond. This festival takes place in the neighborhood of Verdun on Wellington Street between the streets De L’Eglise and Rielle, close to metro De L’Eglise. It’s so much more than just a sugar shack, it’s also the biggest urban lumberjack party in the city celebrating everything from maple taffy, square dancing, woodcutting and of course, food and music! But that’s not all, there will be lumberjack competitions, food stands, whiskey drinkeries, ax throwing, wood sculpting, a barbershop and even a miniature farm. It all takes place from March 22-25, and here’s the complete schedule: Thursday, March 22, 2018: 5 pm to 9 pm Friday, March 23, 2018: 5 pm to 10 pm Saturday, March 24, 2018: 11 am to 7 pm Sunday, March 25, 2018: 11 am to 5 pm There’s never a more awesome celebration of food and Quebec culture than during the sugaring off season. It’s amazing to have a traditional Quebecoise sugar shack experience in the heart of Montreal. Life is sweet at EC Montreal! Follow the link if you want to study in our French or English as a foreign language in Montreal programmes!

The Annual Butterflies Go Free Exhibit is Back Next Week!

A must-see attraction in Montreal is the Botanical Gardens.  It is one of the largest Botanical Gardens in the world.  Every Spring, the insectarium hosts a wonderful exhibit called the Butterflies Go Free where you can discover butterflies’ habitat and learn how to create your own beautiful, inviting butterfly garden. As you step inside the Reception Centre at the Botanical Gardens, you’ll be greeted by a kinetic sculpture by artist Andrea Williamson, a piece bridging human activities and the well-being and vitality of the other species that share our planet. A chair is covered with tiny motorized butterflies whose wings are programmed to flap in correlation with the city’s monitored air pollution levels. The healthier the air, the more active the butterflies. Don’t miss it! Once you reach the Main Exhibition Greenhouse, you’re sure to be dazzled by the thousands of colourful, shimmering butterflies flitting about. The 21st edition of Butterflies Go Free is spotlighting butterflies’ relationship with their habitat. Join the Insectarium’s science educators and learn how to create inviting surroundings for butterflies and recreate the magic of Butterflies Go Free in your own garden. It’s a great way to better share our habitat with local butterflies and to “better dwell on our planet,” together! The annual Butterflies Go Free exhibit takes place from February 22 to April 29.  Look for this activity on the April calendar of events! The announcement of this exhibit is a sign that Spring is right around the corner! Join our French or English as a foreign language in Montreal programme.

EC Montreal’s Annual Chocolate Festival!

Today is Valentine’s day and love and romance are in the air at EC Montreal!  Every Wednesday, EC Montreal offers its students a free social activity.  These events give our students an opportunity to interact with one another, practice their language skills and make friends. Today’s activity was very sweet to say the least!  We held our annual Chocolate festival.  We had tables filled with cupcakes, cakes, chocolates and cookies but the centre attraction was the chocolate fountain! The fountain had chocolate flowing and we had fruit and marshmallows available for dipping!  When the students got out of class and set their eyes on the chocolate fountain, it was love at first sight! It was so nice to see the students gathered around the fountain getting to know each other and hopefully, some making a love connection, just in time for Valentine’s Day! The students were also gathered around to show their love to their favorite soccer team.  Read Madrid was playing Paris Saint Germain in the Champion’s League tournament. Life is sweet at EC Montreal! Come join our English as a foreign language in Montreal programmes and fall in love with all the savours and flavours we have to offer!

EC Montreal’s Welcome Karaoke Activity!

Every Tuesday, EC Montreal welcomes its new students with a welcome party.   It is a perfect opportunity for our new students to meet our current students and it gives our students a chance to welcome the new students to EC! Our student ambassadors play a really important role in helping the new students make friends and adjust to their new environment.  Our activity leaders, Lina, Gonzalo and Nathalie, also make sure to really promote our social events to help get our students out and about and interacting with one another.  It is so important to create this sense of an EC community and to ensure our students have a memorable EC experience! Our welcome parties include Karaoke nights, bowling, poutine dinners and pub nights, however, Karaoke is by far the most popular!  Students love to hit the stage and sing their favorite songs with their friends!  We always encourage our students to sing like nobody’s listening!  It’s the only way to do it! It is always so nice to see the new students participating and starting their language adventure on such a positive note! We look forward to the Taste of Poutine activity next Tuesday! Welcome, once again, to our new students from all over the world! Join our French or English as a foreign language in Montreal programmes!

Happy Valentine’s Day From Your EC Montreal Family!

We wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!  We want to say thank you to all our present, former and future students for choosing EC Montreal and for being a part of our lives. We are blessed to work in an industry where the world truly does come to us.  We appreciate everything our students bring to our city.  We get to learn so much about the different cultures and customs from around the world. We are also so touched by your willingness to embrace our Canadian culture and learn everything you can about our language and traditions.  We understand that it isn’t easy being away from your loved ones and we think you are all so brave to embark on this language adventure. To all of you taking a French or English as a foreign language in Montreal programme, EC would like to tell you that We Love You!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have you Been to the Biodome in Montreal?

A visit to Montreal would not be complete without spending an afternoon at the Biodome.  The Biodome is a facility located at the Olympic park that allows visitors a chance to walk through replicas of four ecosystems found in the Americas. The Tropical Forest is a replica of the South American rainforest.  There you can find tropical life with exotic birds, alligators and monkeys.  The plan life and flowers are also spectacular.  The humidity and aromas of the plants make you believe you are really in another world! The Laurentian Forest is a replica of the North American wilderness.  There you will see maple trees and animals found in our forests.  The natural crisp air will make you feel like you are walking through a Canadian nature path. The Saint Lawrence Marine Eco-system offers an incredible aquarium that has exposed glass from floor to – really no ceiling!  You can see all kinds of fish and ocean creatures as well as duck feet floating on top of the body of water.  The room has seating and it is encouraged to take the time to sit and watch all the fish swim by.  It really is magical. The Sub-Polar Region is a habitat that is divided into Arctic and Antarctic.  It is really the most popular section of the Biodome as it has the most adorable penguins on display.  There too, you can find seating.  It is wonderful to sit back and watch the penguins and all their quirky and funny gestures. As the Biodome is situated in the Olympic Park, it is recommended to couple this visit with a tour of the Olympic tower or a visit to the Botanical Gardens and Planetarium. The Olympic Park is located in the east end of the city which is typically more French.  Our … Read more

What to do During the Long Easter Break Weekend at EC Montreal!

Friday, March 30 is Good Friday, which means the school will be closed as we will be celebrating the Easter weekend.  Montreal is located in the province of Quebec which is inhabited by many French Canadians.  French Canadians as well as many of the European and Latin American immigrants make this city more catholic than other Canadian cities. Many families have Easter celebrations with traditional lamb or ham dinners.  They also organize Easter egg hunts for the children.  This is the only time of year where you will see the Sunday mass completely packed.  The Catholics believe that as long as you do your Easter duty, you are a good catholic. At EC Montreal we will be leading an Easter activity on Wednesday, March 28.  We will be decorating Easter cupcakes.  We have purchased so many cookies, cupcakes and frosting and countless toppings so students can create their own little masterpiece.  We like to give our students these opportunities to interact with one another over a fun activity.  When taking an English as a foreign language Montreal programme, students accomplish more than just taking classes.  Whatever happens outside the classroom is just as important as what happens inside the classroom. As this will be a long weekend, we thought we would give our students some suggestions on what they can do during this mini-break: Participate in EC Montreal’s 3-day trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls.  Iko tours is organizing an Easter getaway during the long weekend.  Students will have a chance to visit one of the 7 wonders of the world, the majestic falls, as well as Canada’s largest city, Toronto as well as 1000 Islands. Visit Old Montreal and go to Sunday mass at the Notre Dame Basilica.  Notre Dame is the oldest church in Canada.  It’s gothic themed … Read more