| Fall in Canada is a glorious season - the heat of summer has been replaced by cooler temps and bright sunny days, our landscapes are transformed by a colourful tapestry of changing leaves, and our cities and resorts are typically bustling with international delegates attending global business events. While this year our downtown corridors are hushed and our convention centres and hotels are quiet, our partners are busy behind the scenes putting enhanced sanitation and safety protocols in place so that we are fully ready to welcome international events back to Canada when the time is right.
We know we will meet in person again, but until then, Team Canada will be online, at the other end of the phone, or a simple email connection away.
Executive Director, Business Events
Communicating enhanced safety protocols
Each province and territory within Canada has their own unique restrictions and requirements for the safe restart of business events when the time is right. Here are some recent examples of how Canadian business events operators, convention centres and destinations are planning to safely welcome back business events when travel and meeting restrictions allow.
You can find a range of resources for planners and industry intelligence on the Destination Canada Business Events COVID‑19 resources page here.
Business Events Montréal is making it easy for event professionals to understand the new landscape of planning meetings and conventions in Montréal, (the number one city in the Americas for international events says the Union of International Associations). The 720° Safety Protocol (a 360° view of the delegate journey, twice) includes details about the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL), safety standards at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, sanitary procedures at hotels, the latest measures adopted on public gatherings, and more.
Macleod Hall at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre set for socially distanced events. Photo: Tourism Calgary
The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre demonstrated their safe meeting protocols during a recent site inspection by the Daughters of the Nile. The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre’s Macleod Hall was set up in a comfortable, yet socially distanced layout, proving that room sets during the pandemic can be designed as inviting rather than sterile environments. Read more.
West Ballroom, Vancouver Convention Centre set for socially distanced event. Photo: Vancouver Convention Centre.
The Vancouver Convention Centre has collaborated with a diverse group of partners – health authorities, clients, venues and more – to explore what safe events look like, and how they can be hosted in their adaptable and controlled environments. Read more.
Argyle Atrium at the Halifax Convention Centre re-opened September 2020. Photo: Halifax Convention Centre.
Beginning August 21, 2020, facilities in Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo Region, Niagara Falls) can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s enhanced safety plan, ONWARD, provides guidelines that prioritize physical distancing, PPE, traffic flow management and more. Protocols for Ottawa’s Shaw Convention Centre are here, while adaptive response protocols for Niagara Falls’ Scotiabank Convention Centre can be found here.
The Fairmont Banff Springs, complete with a testimonial from the Alberta Roadbuilders Conference, demonstrate how groups can “meet well” within their resort.
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), released enhanced health and safety protocols through the Safe Stay initiative to help hotels adapt to new COVID‑19 standards.
Montréal tops for 3rd year in a row
St. Lawrence River and historic Old Port of Montréal. Photo: Tourisme Montréal/Loïc Romer
In July, Montréal was named top host city in the Americas for international events by the International Meetings Statistics Report for 2019. The city earned the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive year. The report, released by the Union of International Associations, takes into account a massive 465,000+ events organized in nearly 11,500 cities by more than 25,000 international organizations. Read more.
Understanding how business events fuel economic growth
Watch the video to hear Destination Canada’s Chantal Sturk-Nadeau’s and Virginie De Visscher’s insights into how business events can help create economic recovery and resiliency post-pandemic.
Tapping into local expertise across Canada’s priority sectors not only helps attract meetings but it drives economic growth. In part one of a three part series with SKIFT, meet the microbiologist helping to attract business events to the Canadian prairies. Read more.
PCMA Convene recently included an eight page Canada spread featuring partners Québec City Business Destination, Cantrav, Pacific Destination Services, and others, in their September issue. Read more.
Do you plan events in the agribusiness sector? You’ll want to read how Canada’s agribusiness event hubs (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Québec City and Charlottetown) are attracting global events. Read the article here.
For those who plan events in the tech sector, you’ll want to read why the drive for innovation and resilience in Canada's industry hubs make them ideal destinations for tech-focused events. Read more.
Speaking of tech - did you know Kelowna, just a one-hour flight from Vancouver, is a hotbed of tech ingenuity? The city’s famous mountain, lake and vineyard lifestyle is attracting gaming, animation and cybersecurity tech firms to relocate and create here, which creates a natural draw for business events. Read more.
Tourism Calgary launches new meetings and conventions website
The energy capital of Canada, Calgary launches new meetings & convention portal. Photo: Tourism Calgary
The new site, www.visitcalgary.com/meetings offers a dynamic, digital resource to kick-start the meeting or event planning journey in Calgary. Featuring customizable venue and supplier databases, vast event planning and activation tools, compelling stories about Calgary and much more.
Planning events with sustainability in mind?
Historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Photo: Québec City Business Destination
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, in picturesque Québec City, becomes the first historic hotel in Canada to achieve carbon neutrality thanks to a partnership with Université Laval. Read more.
Canadian update on COVID‑19 response
The Government of Canada has a coordinated national response - in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and international partners—to minimize the health, economic, and social impacts of this rapidly evolving public health issue. You can view the rate of infection in Canada, compared with Destination Canada’s key markets.
The world needs more Canada
Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh, Bala, Ontario. Photo: Brand Canada.
Canada is made up of friendly faces, iconic places and rich cultures worth celebrating every day, and although you can’t travel here at the moment, that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little of Canada to you, virtually. Find inspiration for your next adventure, incentive or meeting enhancer, listen to the Canada Calling podcast, or download our virtual Zoom backgrounds for your own online events. Read more.
Stay connected to Team Canada
While many of our destination, hotel and DMC partners are currently furloughed due to the pandemic response, our full team remains intact and ready to help answer any questions you may have related to hosting business events in Canada. Feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll connect you to available partners. Of course we’d be happy to talk to you about future opportunities, too! Here’s how you can reach us.
Director of Sales, Business Events
Destination Canada's Business Events team is charged with growing Canada’s share of international business events by promoting the country’s unique meeting, convention, and incentive event possibilities. The Business Events team is the first point of contact for planners seeking inspiration, impartial insights, introductions and bid assistance for global events.