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Our history

The Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) was founded in 1968 by the Government of Québec. Growing from its original focus on culinary arts and food service, the ITHQ later specialized and expanded its scope to become one of the top hotel management schools in the world.

  • The Baccalauréat appliqué en gestion de l’accueil et de l’hôtellerie | Applied Bachelor in Hospitality and Hotel Management is launched, the first program for which the ITHQ independently offers a university degree.
  • The first edition of the Most Talented Leaders Hospitality Challenge (MTLHC) is held, an international hotel management competition led entirely by ITHQ students.
  • The ITHQ signs an agreement with the Marriott International group, the world’s largest hotel chain. 
  • The ITHQ signs an agreement with the Qingdao Vocational and Technical College of Hotel Management in China.
  • Passion Entrepreneur is launched, a new entrepreneurship support service in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant services sectors.  
  • ITHQ graduate and instructor Samuel Sirois wins the national selection of the Bocuse d’or, the world’s most prestigious culinary competition.  
  • The ITHQ program Gestion d’un établissement de restauration is now offered in Jonquière, Valleyfield, Charlevoix and Sorel-Tracy.
  • The ITHQ celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • Bill 150 is adopted in the National Assembly: the ITHQ is no longer subject to the Public Service Act and can now independently grant university degrees. 
  • Camp culinaire ITHQ for children aged 10 to 15.
  • The GastronomiQC Lab is launched, the joint research unit in gastronomic sciences of the ITHQ and Université Laval.   
  • ExperiSens is launched, a college centre for the transfer of technology in the field of multi-sensory customer experience. 
  • The ITHQ refreshes its brand image and unveils its new colours.
  • Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson visits.
  • The ITHQ signs an agreement with the Club Med hotel group. 
  • The ITHQ is given a mandate by the National Assembly of Québec to manage and develop the Assembly’s restaurant operations.
  • At the request of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), the ITHQ creates recipes for residents in long-term care who come from different cultural communities.

The ITHQ starts a cooperation project with the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) to help train Cuba’s workforce and develop its national cuisine.

  • The Honourable Liza Frulla, P.C., C.M., O.Q., is appointed General Director of the ITHQ.
  • Les Ateliers SAQ par ITHQ are launched, which are training sessions for the general public that combine the art of cuisine with the world of wine and spirits.
  • The ITHQ’s consulting and research centre is divided into two distinct entities:
    • the hospitality consulting centre, which offers professional development courses and consulting services to businesses and
    • the research centre, which pursues its mission of applied research in gastronomy.

The ITHQ signs an agreement with the Sandals Resorts group.

  • The famous French three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire and French physical chemist Hervé This visit the ITHQ.
  • The ITHQ signs an agreement with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
  • The ITHQ wins the Prix d’excellence de l’administration publique (Award of Excellence in Public Administration) in the Rayonnement international (International Achievement) category for its performance during the visit by Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on July 2, 2011.
  • Sofitel Worldwide selects the ITHQ as the only Canadian establishment to take part in its Accor School of Excellence program.
  • The ITHQ is selected to receive Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, during their stay in Québec. The royal couple take part in a culinary workshop and enjoy a meal of local Québec products. This event gives the ITHQ unprecedented international visibility.
  • Famous Catalan chef Ferran Adrià visits the ITHQ.
  • Inauguration of the Françoise-Kayler room in memory of the famed food critic. 
  • The 42 rooms of the Hôtel de l’ITHQ are renovated at a cost of $1.4 million.
  • The ITHQ becomes the first Québec establishment accredited by London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) to offer the exclusive WSET® intermediate training program and associated diploma.
  • The ITHQ is accepted as a member of the Leading Hotel Schools of the World (now the Hotel Schools of Distinction), an international recognition in hotel management training.
  • The ITHQ launches its Hautes Études en gestion hôtelière internationale (HEGHI) | Advanced Studies in International Hotel Management (ASIHM) program. This unique program in North America trains elite managers for the global hotel industry.
  • In partnership with Éduc’alcool, the ITHQ creates the online Service in Action program for servers at licensed establishments in Québec.
  • A cooperative agreement is signed between the ITHQ’s research centre and the Lausanne Hospitality Research Centre in Switzerland. 

The ITHQ signs an agreement with the Relais & Châteaux association to support the training of the next generation of highly skilled and elite hotel and restaurant professionals in Québec and around the world.

  • The ITHQ’s Centre multifonctionnel de recherche en alimentation (food research centre) becomes the Centre d’expertise et de recherche (centre for expertise and research) in collaboration with industry partners.
  • The Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) makes its hygiene and food safety program mandatory, and the ITHQ is the first institution in Québec to offer this on-line training to workers in the restaurant and food industry.

As it is located in what is considered one of Montréal’s least attractive buildings, the ITHQ undergoes renovations and inaugurates its fully renovated space. The following year, the ITHQ receives the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for the innovative building concept developed in Europe, but used for the first time in Québec.

  • The ITHQ launches an innovative line of ITHQ Signature programs with enriched course content and a work-study format.
  • Inauguration of the Sœur-Angèle-Rizzardo room, a culinary arts workshop located on the 3rd floor, as a reminder of Sister Angèle’s exceptional contribution to the ITHQ’s outreach in Québec.
  • The Fondation de l’ITHQ is established.
  • The ITHQ receives the Ordre du Mérite hôtelier medal from the Association des hôteliers du Québec.

The Société des alcools du Québec finances the creation of a sommelier training laboratory.

The Centre multifonctionnel de recherche en alimentation (food research centre) is founded to better meet the industry’s needs for applied research in gastronomy.

The ITHQ signs an agreement with Hydro-Québec to improve the energy efficiency of its systems and test next-generation cooking equipment.

The ITHQ partners with the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to offer a new bachelor’s degree program in Gestion du tourisme et de l’hôtellerie. The ITHQ becomes the only school in the country to offer high school, CEGEP, and university programs.  

The Government of Québec passes an act making the ITHQ a public corporation administered by representatives from the tourism, hospitality and restaurant services industries.

The ITHQ moves into its newly built current premises on rue Saint-Denis, in the heart of Montréal’s tourism district.

A major fire destroys the ITHQ building, forcing it to temporarily relocate to 550, rue Poupart, in the building left vacant by the École nationale de police du Québec, which had moved to a new location in Nicolet.

Following a proposal by Mr. Gabriel Loubier, Minister of Tourism, Fish and Game, the Government of Québec founds the ITHQ to develop the province’s tourism and hospitality industry. The ITHQ replaces the École des métiers commerciaux and moves into the latter’s offices at the corner of rue Saint-Denis and rue Sainte-Catherine in Montréal. Mr. Paul-Émile Lévesque is appointed as its first General Director.

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