Meet Ottawa’s first ever nightlife commissioner: Mathieu Grondin

Following a lengthy recruitment process, the City of Ottawa has chosen Mathieu Grondin as the city’s first-ever Nightlife Commissioner.

The position is supposed to build on Ottawa’s night scene while establishing the nation’s capital as a nightlife destination of choice for residents, visitors, investors, and businesses.

This idea has been tested in several cities around the world, like Washington and London.

In a press release, the city said Grondin, who was born and raised in Montreal, will work with key nightlife sectors and stakeholders to implement the Ottawa’s Nightlife Economy Action Plan.

“I am excited to take on the new role of Ottawa’s Nightlife Commissioner,” Grondin said in a press release. “Ottawa is a world class city with a nightlife economy framework that is leading the way among Canadian municipalities.”

One on his first tasks will be to establish a Nightlife Ambassador Council comprised of industry and community leaders, with an aim to improve communication and collaboration between the city, nightlife businesses and stakeholders.

The ByWard Market at night. (CityNews/files)
The ByWard Market at night. (CityNews/files)

Since 2017, Grondin has worked as the founder and director general of MTL 24/24, a non-profit organization that advocates for improved nightlife in Montreal.

During his career, he has led the publication of two studies that informed the ongoing development of the City of Montreal’s nightlife policy, has been a featured presenter at several international conferences, and in 2021, launched MTL au Sommet de la Nuit, a global forum dedicated to nighttime governance.

The annual event attracted more than 600 people, including speakers from more than 30 cities worldwide, between 2021 and 2023.

“I look forward to being a champion of the Nightlife Economy Action Plan and supporting a nightlife culture that is exciting, inclusive, safe, and well-managed for all,” Grondin said.

Ottawa has approximately 4,600 nightlife-related business, which employ more than 38,000 workers. An estimated $1.5 billion is spent annually on nightlife activities in Ottawa, which is about 30 per cent of the daytime consumer spend.

Approximately 84 per cent of nightlife spending comes from Ottawa residents and 16 per cent from visitors.

“I look forward to seeing Mathieu embrace his role as the ambassador and facilitator of the city’s nightlife economy,” Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, said.

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