L’île du savoir (L’IDS) was created in 2001 as part of a broad mission launched by the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) of Montréal with the financial support of the Government of Quebec to promote science and technology to young people on the Island of Montréal.
While designing projects for teachers, L’IDS invited businesses and organizations that promote science and education to help shape a new generation of Montréalers by showcasing local knowledge, dynamism and creativity. The Eurêka! Festival is the result of that initiative.
Supported by Concertation Montréal, L’IDS took charge of the Festival in June 2015. It has been the official producer since 2016, assisted by select partners, including the Montréal Science Centre until 2020, and Espace pour la vie and the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau since 2022.
As the organization behind the Eurêka! Festival, L’IDS contributes to making Montréal a city of knowledge and innovation by interesting young people (and their parents) in science and technology, and in careers in these fields. With its partners from teaching and research institutions, scientific culture organizations and the business community, it produces a festival that celebrates Montréal’s wealth of scientific activity.
The Eurêka! Festival is involved in its community in a number of ways.
1. SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACCESSIBILITY
As the democratization of science and technology is an essential element of the Festival’s mission, we believe that it is important to maintain free entry to the event. This ensures that families in precarious circumstances can participate, year after year. Each year, schools in underprivileged areas are invite as a priority to the Festival day dedicated to schoolchildren, giving approximately 50% of their students an opportunity to benefit from activities and shows that capture their interest.
2. EQUITY AND DIVERSITY
Although women have made a significant contribution to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), few pursue a career in these areas. According to Statistics Canada, women earn 34% of diplomas in these fields but comprise only 23% of the people who work in them. The Eurêka! Festival highlights the achievements of women through its programming and by appointing them as ambassadors. The presence of strong female role models stimulates an interest in science, and shows girls that they can succeed. We want to inspire tomorrow’s female engineers and programmers to pursue careers in high-paying, fast-growing STEM fields.
Having a representation of people from various backgrounds, reflecting Montréal’s diversity, is also important to L’IDS, our partners, our ambassadors and our Board of Directors.
3. PARITY ON THE BOARD
While women are generally under-represented on boards of directors (only 19.2% are women according to Statistics Canada), they have equal representation on our board. The presence of women on the Île de savoir board and teams is of paramount importance to the organization.
4. RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT
The mission of the Eurêka! Festival is closely tied to social issues and to sensitizing current and future generations to science and technology.
In its programming and its organization, the Festival emphasizes ecologically responsible practices, respect for nature and ecosystems, reducing the effects of our activities on the environment, and maximizing their positive impact on society.
5. TERRITORIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT
To quote Tourisme Montréal, L’île du savoir recognizes that its festival and its activities are located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodian of the lands and waters on which the Festival is held. Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples.
Respecting the links with the past, the present and the future, L’IDS, like Tourisme Montréal, recognizes our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montréal community.