Annual Meeting Montreal, QC 2024

May 15-17 – Registration Opening Soon

Theme:  Economic Transformation: Tapping into Water for Sustainable Prosperity – As the world changes, our local economies must change too. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin represents the world’s third-largest economy and is uniquely positioned to emerge stronger from this period of transition.

To get there, we must chart a path to long-term success by understanding how to sustainably tap into our freshwater resources and the environment in a responsible manner and avoid the mistakes of the past to enhance our residents’ quality of life now and for generations to come. We also need to incorporate climate action by local governments and the private sector into economic development strategies.

Our members selected beautiful Montréal as the location of our next annual conference, where we will gather under the theme of Economic Transformation and discuss these important topics.

Our 2024 annual conference will look at the building blocks of a sustainable freshwater economy and offer an opportunity for you to share ideas for successful local development strategies that attract innovative green businesses and elevate your local sustainability champions.

Join us as we begin to build the roadmap to sustainable prosperity!


Registration will open soon. Book early and you could save 25% off the regular rate, while maximizing your 2023 budget and saving for 2024.

About Our Annual Conference

Each year, more than 150 attendees – including members of the Cities Initiative and industry and government leaders – gather around a key topic of interest to the basin and our communities.

The world is changing, and local economies must change too. As communities struggle with preparing for climate change, achieving emissions reductions goals and improving sustainable water management, there are opportunities to leverage these challenges into sustainable development. Now is the time to push the envelope to secure our region’s prosperity.

At this conference, we will look at how we can harness our advantage as a region built around the largest reserve of fresh water in the world to drive clean and durable economic transformation in this vital trade corridor. We will also examine how to leverage municipal and corporate climate action to attract new investment opportunities to the basin and assure the health of our freshwater for future generations and sustainable prosperity.

Topics that will be covered at the conference include:

  • Transforming our region to advance a green economic corridor
  • Transforming our waterfronts to unlock new opportunities
  • Transforming our energy grids to power our future
  • Transforming our mobility to improve how we get people and goods moving.
  • Transforming water innovation to better manager this vital resource
Preliminary Agenda at a Glance

More details to follow


8:30 am             Member Meeting

1:00 pm             Conference Opening and Welcome

2:00 pm             Day 1 Sessions (plenaries & breakouts)

5:30 pm             Day 1 Closing

7:00 pm             Cities Initiative Networking Dinner Reception


8:00 am             Breakfast

8:30 am             Day 2 Morning Sessions (plenaries & breakouts)

12:30 pm           Keynote Luncheon

2:45 pm             Day 2 Afternoon Sessions (plenaries & breakouts)

5:00 pm             Day 2 Closing

6:30 pm             Cities Initiative Annual Awards Dinner


8:00 am             Breakfast

8:30 am             Day 3 Sessions (plenaries & breakouts)

1:00 pm             Annual conference closing

2:00 pm             Educational tours

5:00 pm             Event concludes

Hotel Accommodations

Marriott Montréal Château Champlain – The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative has secured a discounted rate of CA$319 per night plus all applicable taxes. Click here to book online or by calling Marriott Château Champlain at 514-878-9000 (local) or at 1-800-200-5909 (toll-free for Canada and USA). Reservations must be received on or before April 22, 2024.

Marriott Montréal Château Champlain
1050 Rue De la Gauchetière O | Montréal, QC H3B 4C9
Check-in:  4:00pm | Check-out:  12:00pm | Smoke Free Property
On-Site Parking – Daily: $29
Off-Site Parking – 1000 de la Gauchetière ouest (Indigo Parking) 0.1 KM
Valet – Daily: $45
View Hotel

Partnership Opportunities

Partner with the Cities Initiative to make our 2024 annual conference our best yet. Through your contribution, you will also support our mission to advance the environmental, economic and social health of communities across the basin.  You can contribute according to the suggested levels outlined below so that it best corresponds to your budget and objectives.


  • Connect with 250+ mayors and 1,000+ contacts in local government; federal, state and provincial agencies; nonprofits and industries across the basin
  • Access thought leaders and industry champions in green and water-based industries
  • Gain visibility with an audience of 150+ municipal and industry leaders, freshwater champions and government officials through marketing and speaking opportunities at the conference and beyond
  • Work with our team to host side events and coordinate bilateral meetings with attendees
  • Demonstrate your commitment to sustainable development and protecting our freshwater resources for the benefit of future generations

View Annual Conference Partnership Guide

Our Host City

Waterfront in downtown Montreal at twilight.

A striking union of European and North American cultures, Montréal seduces visitors with a wonderful pairing of history, beautiful architecture and exquisite fine dining and entertainment.

The island of Montréal was originally a diplomatic trading area for regional First Nations: the Atikamekw to the north, the Anishinaabe (Algonquin) to the west and the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk), part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, to the south.

During the 16th century, the first French settlers arrived at the shores of this island, followed by the English, the Scottish and the Irish. Today, more than 3.6 million people representing over 120 distinct ethnic communities have come to call Montréal home.

The world’s second largest francophone city after Paris, Montréal is a cosmopolitan centre with proud roots in the past and an enthusiastic embrace of the future.

Whether strolling in the Old Port, around the city’s many distinct neighbourhoods or up Mount Royal, where the city derives its name, there is no shortage of things to do during your stay in Montréal.

Come discover all that the Francophone Metropolis of the Americas has to offer!  Visit the Montréal Tourism website.