Historical background

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Historical background

The Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) was founded in 1968 by the Government of Quebec. Growing from its original focus on culinary arts and food service, the ITHQ later specialized and expanded its scope to become a leading hotel school whose reputation reaches well beyond the province of Quebec. After starting a process in 2005 to internationalize its programs, the ITHQ is now one of the top hotel management schools in the world.


Launch of the Applied Bachelor in Hospitality and Hotel Management, the first program for which the ITHQ will independently offer a university degree. 

First edition of the Most Talented Leaders Hospitality Challenge (MTLHC), 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.

Launch of “Passion Entrepreneur,” a new entrepreneurship support service in tourism, hospitality and food service.  

ITHQ graduate and instructor Samuel Sirois wins the Canadian national selection of the Bocuse d'or, the world's most prestigious culinary competition.  

The ITHQ Restaurant Management program 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. 

Launch of the new ITHQ Culinary Camp for children aged 10 to 15.

Launch of the GastronomiQC Lab, the joint research unit in gastronomic sciences of the ITHQ and Université Laval.   

Launch of ExperiSens, a college-level technology transfer centre in the multi-sensory customer experience.  


The ITHQ refreshes its brand image and unveils its new colours.

Visit from Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson.

The ITHQ signs an agreement with Club Med. 

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.

Launch of SAQ Workshops by ITHQ, which are training sessions for the general public that combine the art of cuisine with the world of wine and spirits.

The ITHQ’s Centre d’expertise et de recherche (centre for expertise and research) is divided into two entities: a hospitality consulting centre, which provides skills development courses for professionals and consulting services for businesses, and a research centre for applied research in gastronomy.


The ITHQ signs an agreement with Sandals Resorts. 


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 on July 2, 2011, by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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 Quebec. The royal couple take part in a culinary workshop and enjoy a meal of local Quebec 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 Quebec 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/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 Quebec.

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 Quebec 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 Quebec to offer this online training to workers in the restaurant and food industry.


As it is located in what is considered one of Montreal’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 Quebec.


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 Quebec.


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 tourism and hospitality management. The ITHQ becomes the only school in the country to offer secondary, CEGEP, and university programs.


The Government of Quebec passes an act making the ITHQ a public corporation administered by representatives from the tourism, hotel, and food service industries.


The ITHQ moves into its current premises on Saint-Denis Street, in the heart of Montreal’s tourism district.


A major fire destroys the ITHQ building, forcing it to temporarily relocate to 550 Poupart Street 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 Quebec founds the ITHQ to develop the province's tourism and hotel industry. The ITHQ replaces and moves into the offices of the École des métiers commerciaux at the corner of Saint-Denis and Sainte-Catherine in Montreal. Mr. Paul-Émile Lévesque is appointed as its first General Director.