Shoni Market: more than a market, more than a neighbourhood - the taste of downtown

September 14, 2022 4mn
The 2nd edition of Shoni Market took place in Montreal, Canada

The 2nd edition of Shoni Market took place from September 8th to 11th on Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal, Canada. Initiated by the SDC Montréal centre-ville, this event aimed to transform Shaughnessy Village, already bubbling with life, into a veritable cultural and culinary playground.

“Downtown Montreal is experiencing a dramatic resurgence in foot traffic that is approaching pre-pandemic levels. We need to maintain this momentum in the coming months. That’s why we’re working hard to offer a unique and memorable downtown experience with festive and unifying events like Shoni Market, which shines a light on this neighbourhood, a true symbol of the city’s diversity and vibrancy,” says Glenn Castanheira, general manager of Montréal centre-ville.

@Jonathan Duval

A brand new addition to the summer 2021 circuit, Shoni Market was an immediate success despite the pandemic, introducing thousands of visitors to a vibrant living environment and winning two Time Out awards, including for the Best New Event of the Year.

This year, Shoni Market had around 200,000 visitors and some thirty stands that introduced people to a hodge-podge of flavours from across Asia and the world, including those of Petit Poisson Dumpling, Mama Bangkok, Osmow’s and Chef Lee.

The event aimed to enhance the urban and social experience of this booming sector. In fact, Shaughnessy Village is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Montreal. In addition to the culinary component, the festival featured free and eclectic programming
punctuated by live art, musical performances, artists from various backgrounds and several epic, memorable moments, including the long-awaited Corgi walk.

@ Thierry du Bois

Shoni Market transformed the Shaughnessy neighbourhood into a veritable open-air art gallery! Murals inspired by the neighbourhood’s energy and history, and signed by artists Thaïla Khampo and Maylee Keo covered the walls.

For the duration of the festival, a giant boombox transformed into a stage and a dance floor hosted a unique lineup of Kpop dancing, international DJs and artists from diverse musical backgrounds.

In addition to Sainte-Catherine Street, which is the backbone of the district, Shaughnessy Village also has several higher education establishments – including Concordia University – a unique architectural heritage, a commercial offering that reflects downtown’s identity, hidden and charming little streets and easy access to Mount Royal, all of which contribute to a feeling of human scale amidst a sea of skyscrapers. At its core, Shoni Market aims to feed this fundamentally human dynamic around Shaughnessy Village.

“Unlike most large downtowns in North America which depend on a single sector of activity, Shaughnessy Village perfectly embodies the plurality of downtown, both a business centre and a centre of knowledge where Montreal’s heritage coexists with a mix of cultures and generations. Shoni Market is a reflection of that vibrant environment,” says Glenn Castanheira.