Does Bill 96 affect meetings and events in Québec City?

Québec City winter
Emmanuel Coveney

Québec City is a cultural capital of the world, where French, English and First Nations heritages meld to create a one-of-a-kind host city for any conference, convention and business meeting.

The city, as well as the Province of Québec, are predominantly French-speaking, despite it being nestled in North America, which is primarily English-speaking. In order to protect Québec French language and culture, the province recently enacted Bill 96, called the Act Respecting French. It came into force in June 2022; the bill amends several parts of legislation, including the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101).

What is Québec’s Bill 96?


Bill 96 requires that businesses of 25 employees and more prioritize the French language for all written and spoken communications. The bill obliges Québec businesses to respect the right of their staff to work in their native language.

What does Bill 96 mean for the event and tourism industry?


There has been much misinformation and disinformation spread about the impact of Québec’s Bill 96 on the event and tourism industry. As a result, event organizers and clients in the Canadian market are expressing reservations about Bill 96. We’ve decided to demystify what Bill 96 means for event planners as they consider Québec City for their upcoming business meeting, convention or conference.

Above all, it is important to note that the convention and business events industry will not be affected by this legislation. Bill 96 does not alter the content and language of events and does not impose any changes on services offered to participants and visitors in convention centres, hotels, restaurants and other event venues

According to Québec’s Ministry of Tourism, the bill simply ensures that Quebecers can work and receive services in French. It will not prevent merchants from offering services in English to visitors and delegates. Event attendees from all linguistic communities, including English speakers, are and will always be welcome in all Québec cities.

Top considerations for planners organizing an event in Québec City


Here are some things to factor in as an event planner in Québec City:

  • Tourists and event attendees may be answered in French first. Just because a worker starts speaking in French doesn’t mean they won’t revert to English once they understand they are serving an English-speaking visitor.
  • Most employees in tourist areas speak French, English and, in many cases, Spanish, which adds both a touch of exoticness and a lot of peace of mind for travellers.
  • Because Canada has both French and English as official languages, signage for a Canadian event inside a venue or room must be in both languages. For American or international events, signage may be in any language.
  • Outdoor signage must be bilingual. French must be displayed first.
  • French interpreters are not required for conferences, business meetings and conventions held in English.


Québec City, as well as all the province’s other cities and towns, are extremely warm and friendly. Every event planner and attendee who has spent time in Québec City is amazed at the welcome they receive. Just like hosting an event in Rome, or Paris, Tokyo or Buenos Aires, visiting a culturally diverse city, with different languages, is actually enticing and the perfect backdrop for a highly successful event. The Province of Québec simply wants to preserve its French heritage for future generations. Embrace the difference!

Régis Fleury

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