MONTREAL – The iconic Montreal Science Centre, in the heart of the Old Port, is more than just a museum.
It hosts around 300 events every year, including weddings.
Vanessa Maggio and Gianni Giancaspro had planned their dream wedding at the centre with 185 guests expected to attend.
The elaborate event was scheduled for June 11.
That is until a few days ago, when Maggio received a phone call that changed everything.
“They kind of just called and said oh hi, we have some bad news – your wedding has been cancelled,” said Maggio. “I was absolutely shocked – I actually fell to the ground and I didn’t even believe what they were telling me.”
On Friday, over 200 Old Port employees walked off the job because of stalled negotiations – forcing the Imax Theatre, Port d’Escale Marina, Clock Tower Beach and the Science Centre to close indefinitely – leaving couples like Maggio and Giancaspro stuck in the middle.
“We feel a bit like hostages, stuck in this dispute between the government and the union and we don’t really feel like we have anything to do with this,” said Maggio.
The 25 and 26-year-old said the Science Centre should be refunding their rental fee, something it has yet to do.
But there are still many other costs associated with the wedding, like caterers for example, that the centre won’t be covering.
So now, the couple is desperate to find another place to get married.
They’re also hoping for help.
The couple said the centre promised to work with them to find a new venue, but insists they haven’t heard from anyone since the cancellation.
“It doesn’t seem like they’re prioritizing us at all,” said Maggio. “They haven’t even picked up a phone or done anything to make us feel reassured.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Laforge, spokesperson for the Old Port, explained the couple should be receiving a phone call from them soon.
“I’m confident they’ll be hearing from someone today,” he said. “Yes, today – absolutely.”
Laforge said a team is working alongside the couple, searching for a new venue.
“We’re sending emails, we’re trying to find new places for their wedding,” he said. “They are in good hands at the Science Centre.”
The couple disagrees.
Now, they have no choice but to find another venue – with or without the help of the centre.