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Spiria turns 15!

March 29, 2018.
To celebrate Spiria’s 15th birthday in style, Spirians gathered together for two days at the Château Montebello country inn. This unprecedented meeting of our teams from Boston, Gatineau, Montreal and Toronto was an opportunity for us to learn, get to know each other and, of course, have fun!

But let us tell you more about the location, in case you haven’t heard of it. This spectacular hotel is in Montebello, a small town in Quebec on the Ottawa River, about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal. Built in Scandinavian style by Finnish master builder Victor Nymark in 1929, it’s the largest log building in the world. It was originally built as an elite private club called the Seigniory Club, for visiting businessmen and politicians. In 1970, the building was bought by Canadian Pacific Railways and turned into a hotel, called not Overlook Hotel but rather Château Montebello. Nowadays, the hotel is owned by Chinese interests and managed by Fairmont. It is still a jewel of the Ottawa Valley.

Le Château Montebello. Photo Pierre Bona.

Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello.

For many Spirians, this meeting was a chance to get better acquainted, while for others, it was a first chance to meet in person, especially for the Toronto team, which is new to Spiria. And while we often work together on projects digitally, there’s nothing like meeting our analog selves. Our new Toronto friends had over 100 new faces to sort out, 100 new people to get to know for future collaboration!

Stéphane Rouleau at Château Montebello.

Stéphane Rouleau, CEO.

The agenda for these two days was chock-full of all manner of events planned by the organizing committee. Of course, there was a presentation by Spiria management, and a keynote on Spiria’s achievements by our CEO Stéphane Rouleau. But the highlight of the gathering was what we called the “Great Knowledge Fair”, a sort of trade exhibition where teams from the various locations presented the projects they’ve been working on, such as a framework developed for Thinking Capital, or our contribution to the development of Autodesk’s Lustre and Flame, or a mobile application for Paymi. At the fair, many of us discovered new technologies, learnt about the company’s advanced (and sometimes surprising) know-how, and gained insight on potential synergies between offices.

Spiria at Château Montebello.Spiria at Château Montebello.

Spiria at Château Montebello.Spiria at Château Montebello.

Spiria at Château Montebello.Spiria at Château Montebello.

“Great Knowledge Fair”.

But we made sure to have fun too! Spirians had a choice of activities: an initiation to curling lesson, a dogsled ride and an indoor treasure hunt. And in their spare time, Spirians took full advantage of the hotel’s awesome amenities, like its magnificent, full-length, indoor pool straight out of the 1930s.

Curling at Château Montebello.Traîneau à chiens at Château Montebello.

Finally, the gathering ended on Friday night with a gala dinner, followed by dancing with top DJs until the wee hours of the morning. Exhausted but happy, we all travelled back to our respective cities on Saturday with fond memories of an amazing, rewarding two days. Thanks and kudos to all those who worked so hard to organize the event and make the magic happen.

Spiria at Château Montebello.Spiria at Château Montebello.

And now, we’re already starting to think of our 20th birthday, with who knows how many cities! Today, there are four (Boston, Gatineau, Montreal and Toronto); who knows how many there will be in five years from now: 5, 6, 7, 8, or more? The bets are on!