F1 event promoters to share the spotlight during Grand Prix Weekend

Click to play video: 'Competing Grand Prix events causes stir' Competing Grand Prix events causes stir
Peel and Crescent streets come alive each June to celebrate the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. This year, a new F1-sponsored event is being held at Dorchester Park to celebrate the race’s 50th anniversary. Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports – May 25, 2017

Montreal’s Grand Prix weekend is two weeks away and local organizers and merchants are already getting giddy thinking about the lucrative event.

“It is worth almost $80 million to Montreal and Quebec — it is good for all businesses,” explained restaurateur Alain Creton, a member of the Peel Street Merchants’ Association.

The longstanding parties and events on Crescent Street and Peel Street will continue as per tradition. But this year, for the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Grand Prix, F1 organizers will also hold an event in Dorchester Square.

WATCH: Montreal Grand Prix excitement takes off

Screens will show the the qualifying races on Saturday and also the Sunday race for family and fans who can’t make it to the track to see the action firsthand.

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“We want the experience to help initiate people to F1 racing and basically transform them into fans so that they want to see the real experience,” explained event partner Vincent Drolet.

The weekend will also play host to a display showcasing the history of the Grand Prix with pictures from the Gilles Villeneuve exhibit, as well as car simulators, food trucks and family-friendly activities.

The F1 event in Dorchester Square will be blocks away from the usual Peel and Crescent parties.

READ MORE: Montreal mayor says Canadian Grand Prix will go ahead in 2017

“We held the first Grand Prix festival on Crescent 18 years ago — that other groups are copying us is a sign of our success, and we’re happy about that,” Crescent Grand Prix Festival spokesperson Paul Vaillancourt said.

As tourists pour into the city for Grand Prix weekend, any hint of concern about the new festivities in Dorchester Square have been overshadowed by the event’s money-making potential.

“We offer glamour, so I don’t mind that the F1 has their thing. I will make $200,000, maybe $300,000 — I may [even] beat the record from last year,” Creton said.

Grand Prix festivities kick off June 7 and run until June 11. For more information, visit

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