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Quebecers love a heat wave… and they’ve been rare this summer

MasterCard’s 2008 Quebec Priceless Index reveals that Quebecers are prepared to loosen their purse strings to make summer heat waves more bearable

MONTREAL, August 4, 2008 – Quebecers have revealed in MasterCard’s 2008 Quebec Priceless Index that they prefer heat waves to snowstorms. In fact, 55 per cent of those polled prefer sweating in the summer heat while 37 per cent would rather shovel a mountain of snow.

These facts and many more are revealed by the MasterCard 2008 Quebec Priceless Index, a study that probes Quebecers on what they consider “priceless”. This year’s Index looked at what is priceless to Quebecers during a heat wave.

Ready for the summer’s heat and humidity
When it comes to the weather, Quebecers are prepared for any possibility and are all too familiar with the extremes of the seasons. During a heat wave, snow clearing contracts and snow blowers are far from their minds as they dream of a refreshing pool. Almost a quarter (23%) of Quebecers own a pool and over half (53%) have air conditioning in their home. Heat can influence the decisions of consumers: 13 per cent of those surveyed who did not have a pool indicated that they would seriously consider getting one if there was a heat wave, and 23 per cent said they would probably install air conditioning.

“Even if the weather was not on our side in July, summer time in Quebec offers many priceless moments,” explains Patrick de Bellefeuille, a Météomédia anchor. “Heat waves are both enjoyed and dreaded. Quebecers have a whole arsenal of ways for dealing with them. Our province is packed with great places to cool off, either in indoors or outdoors, or in rural or urban settings. It is not too late to enjoy them.”

For the three quarters of Quebecers who do not have a pool, many admit to enjoying pools that belong to family members (27%), the municipality (17%), a friend (15%) or a neighbour (3%) during a heat wave.

What are the Quebecers’ priceless picks for cooling off during a heat wave?
People who are not keen on swimming cool off in other ways, such as putting in extra hours at an air conditioned office. More than half of Quebecers (56%) can take advantage of air conditioning at work. Others enjoy the cool air provided at the movies and at the mall. In fact, trips to the cinema and shopping centres are what a quarter of those surveyed like to do during heat waves, right after trips to the lake or the river (32%).

It’s no big surprise that 17 per cent of men cool off with a beer during heat waves. Of course water was the big winner among refreshments: 60 per cent of those surveyed prefer it during a heat wave, compared to ice cream (10%), fruit (8%) and frozen treats (8%).

To stay cool at night, many Quebecers (44%) simply let the air conditioning do the work. Among those who don’t have this luxury, 44 per cent turn the fan on full blast, 40 per cent sleep with the windows open in the hopes of a breeze, 23 per cent jump in the shower or the pool before turning in and 18 per cent lie low in the cool of the basement.

Discover some of Quebec’s top cool picks
In April 2007, MasterCard Canada unveiled a new concept exclusive to Quebec – an interactive platform of content generated solely by Internet users. This interactive tool allows people to share their “priceless” experiences enjoyed in Quebec, which helps to introduce others to the treasures of the Belle Province.

The web site allows visitors to view, listen to and read the unique experiences of people who share memorable moments, grouped by theme, from entertainment to great food, the outdoors to heritage, across Quebec. It’s the ideal tool for finding the perfect lake or ice cream parlour that serves homemade treats to cool off during these last few dog days of summer.

About the survey
The survey was conducted electronically among 500 Quebecers aged 18 and over, from June 10 to 15, 2008, by Leger Marketing on behalf of MasterCard Canada. Given the size of the sample, the results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.38 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide.  As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants.  Through its family of brands, including MasterCard® , Maestro® and Cirrus® , MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  For more information go to

For more information or to schedule an interview with Patrick de Bellefeuille, please contact:

Miriam Lauzon
514-739-1188, ext. 235

Sébastien Boudreau
514-739-1188, ext. 228