The Longines Global Champions Tour event that was scheduled to be held in Montreal on September 19-22, 2019, was cancelled after the non-profit organization Le Tour des Champions de Montréal (TCM) stated they were withdrawing from the event because “The winning conditions to ensure the success of the Global Champions Tour Montreal could not be met in a timely basis.” Luckily, ticket holders were issued refunds; others involved in the doomed event were not so lucky.
When the Board of Directors, consisting in part of president Francois Duffar and others who have since distanced themselves from the organizing committee, filed for bankruptcy on July 30th, 2019, with PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. as insolvency trustee, a long list of creditors was put forward. Thirty-three companies totalling $1,564,060.60 in amassed debt made the roster. The list below includes the companies with expeditures of over $10,000:
$785,000.00 – Global Champions Tour BV
$333,427.50 – Canadian Pacific (sponsor)
$215,620.00 – Ministry of Municipal Affairs
$ 66,487.74 – Westin Montreal
$ 28,743.75 – BFL Canada (VIP Table)
$ 28,743.75 – Power Corp. of Canada (VIP Table)
$ 24,449.25 – Commandites Plus (event promoter training; president Alain Cousineau is a co-founder of the Just For Laughs Festival)
$ 20,563.58 – Ticket Pro
$ 12,288.00 – Bicom (Public Relations & Marketing)
$ 10,347.75 – Annexe Communications Inc. (media, event planning)
Horse Sport (also a creditor due to unpaid advertising space promoting the LGCT Montreal) requested additional information, specifically a breakdown of the expenses and how they were incurred (sponsorship dollars, planning, products or services, etc.) for an event that never happened. Joris Roest, attorney for the Global Champions Tour, who topped the list, replied, “Please note that GCT is not in a position to answer your question as it is bound by a very strict Confidentiality clause under the agreement for the organization of the Tour des Champions de Montréal.” Requests for comment sent to the Mayor of Montreal’s office, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Westin Montreal, and several others went unanswered.
While most of the larger corporations can fairly easily absorb such losses, there is concern that some of the smaller vendors may not recover so quickly – or at all. And perhaps the biggest tragedy arising from this fiasco, which once again involved a failed equestrian sport venture in the province of Quebec (think back to the aborted Bromont WEG), is that corporations and individuals will now be reluctant, or outright decline, to cough up support for another equine venture. The old adage ‘once bitten, twice shy’ certainly applies to this lose-lose situation for the Canadian equestrian industry.