Our country’s rich innovation ecosystem, diverse urban centres, renowned Canadian hospitality and unique cultural attractions have always drawn international business events to Canada. Whether it’s to meet to set policy against innovative technologies, to learn more about life-saving treatments and protocols, or to reward top producers for achieving corporate goals, Canada has a well-earned reputation for delivering impactful, insightful and inspirational meetings and incentives. Today, we invite you to meet the innovators behind Canada’s thriving sectors.
Meet safely in Canada (when the time is right)
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. Our website has been updated to include an interactive map showing current domestic gathering restrictions by province, as well as a collection of resources for planners. Bookmark this page as your go-to resource as we prepare for a new era of business events.
Vancouver International Airport and WestJet set to launch rapid testing pilot
Last month, Vancouver Airport Authority and WestJet announced their partnership with the University of British Columbia to design and implement a new pilot to enable real-time rapid testing at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). As the teams get closer to formally starting the pilot project, we are excited by the innovative ways our sector is building public confidence in travel.
When the pilot launches, it will be conducted on a voluntary basis for a small number of passengers on select departing flights from YVR and will seek to gather data to support public health knowledge and the response to COVID-19 and help inform longer-term solutions around aviation safety and health-screening at airports.
This is yet another positive development for Canada’s travel and tourism sector and follows the announcement last month from the Government of Alberta and Government of Canada as they implemented a COVID-19 testing pilot for Canadians arriving from international destinations at Calgary International Airport. This pilot aims to safely reduce the 14-day quarantine to as little as two days for essential travellers.
While our borders remain closed to discretionary travel, both of these announcements are important steps towards increasing confidence in the travelling public, helping in the fight against COVID-19 and ensuring we are prepared for when borders do reopen.
Calgary prepares for the safe return of in-person events
Calgary, soon-to-be Western Canada’s largest convention destination, has been busy preparing to welcome back event planners and their attendees.
As part of the safe return of in-person events, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and BMO Centre at Stampede Park have achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council ® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation. The venues join an exclusive group of international leaders who have implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in their facilities. Read more about this industry-leading certification here.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) awarded Safe Travels Stamp
Toronto’s MTCC is one of many Canadian venues awarded a Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The stamp recognizes companies around the world which have adopted proper health and hygiene standardized protocols. Read more about MTCC’s enhanced safety plan, ONWARD here.
Ingenuity and commitment to safety are key in restarting business events
PDS chose expansive, open-air venues to ensure safe social distancing in this 48-person leadership retreat in Whistler.
In September, Pacific Destination Services (PDS), an award-winning destination management company headquartered in Vancouver, operating in Whistler, Victoria, and the Okanagan Wine Country, British Columbia and in Banff, Alberta, produced a 48-person, 3-day leadership retreat in Whistler. With a goal of creating an immersive experience in a socially responsible way, the team drew on their collective creative ingenuity to work within the confines of today’s physical distance and gathering limitations to produce a high value, impactful program.
PDS’ thoughtful programming included inspirational speakers, social functions at unique off-site venues and high-adrenaline activities delivered in accordance with strict health and safety protocols. Read their complete case study for tips on how to successfully incorporate local culture to captivate guests in a safe and engaging manner, when the time is right.
Meetings and events at The Fairmont Banff Springs Resort
Business events have returned to The Fairmont Banff Springs Resort, the landmark castle hotel secluded in Banff, in the Canadian Rockies. Watch this video for the measures they are taking to prioritize the health and wellbeing of their guests.
Banff | Lake Louise, with its soaring mountains, picturesque, turquoise lakes, endless outdoor adventures, world-class skiing in winter and equally enjoyable golf in summer, has long been regarded as one of Canada’s most iconic incentive destinations. Learn more about what Banff can offer for meetings and incentives, here.
Explore Canada — virtually
While in-person sites and FAMS are currently paused, DMO partners across Canada have developed a variety of innovative, online events and experiences to connect planners with our destinations, virtually.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
In October, Meetings & Conventions PEI (M&C PEI) hosted 36 planners from across North America to Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island (PEI). A centre of excellence in agribusiness and life sciences, PEI is home to the legendary Anne of Green Gables and some of the best golfing in Canada. Using online, video & VR technologies, M&C PEI showcased what makes an event on the Island so special: PEI culture, cuisine and thoughtful advance planning. Experiences included VR deep-sea fishing expeditions, sandcastle-making competitions and “how-to” culinary demonstrations of classic PEI fare.
Curious about what Charlottetown and PEI can offer your next event? Sign-up to participate in M&C PEI’s next virtual FAM, scheduled for early 2021.
Meet in Winnipeg
Tourism Winnipeg has re-engineered their FAM and site experiences. Launching in late fall, their virtual site visit is customizable for those looking to experience Winnipeg from afar. With the ability to connect you with specific partners and their spaces, the site visit is a fun snapshot of an in-person visit to Winnipeg, complete with city tour and cameos by Winnipeg personalities. Learn more, or sign-up for your own experience here.
Canada tops for incentives — get inspired for your next event
Search any number of different theme experiences from culinary to culture, from adventure to wellness in our Canadian Signature Incentive Experiences Collection.
More than a place on a map, Canada is a place to explore, connect, celebrate and reward extraordinary results with extraordinary recognition events. When the time is right, reward your team with signature Canadian incentive experiences that embrace our natural beauty, get hearts racing with adventure, celebrate Canada’s unique heritage and dynamic and diverse cultures, and go well beyond the ordinary.
Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre recognized as 2021 Centers of Excellence
Congratulations to partners Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton Expo Centre on being recognized among the 2021 EXHIBITOR Centers of Excellence. Produced by EXHIBITOR Magazine, the annual award recognizes the top 30 venues for trade shows and events in North America. Read more.
Halifax Convention Centre receives international Gold Certification
Halifax Convention Centre has achieved the Gold standard, the highest certification awarded by AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres) Quality Standards Certification. The program standards identify and audit convention centres in ten key areas, including customer service, quality of facilities and operations, employee relations, health, safety, security and emergency response, financial integrity, community relations, environmental responsibility, industry relations, and supplier relations. Read more.
A hotel ahead of its time
Celebrated as an intelligent hotel, Montréal’s Hotel Monville is located in the city’s business district and a short walk from the dining and nightlife of the Old City.
With their commitment to cutting-edge technologies, the 269-room Hotel Monville in Montréal sets the standard for contactless service with their automated check-in and robotic room service delivery.
Canada's economic strengths in key industries make it an ideal destination for executives and conference organizers of corporate events of all sizes. Discover how event organizers are leveraging Canada’s leadership in advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, life sciences, natural resources and technology sectors to create impactful events. Read Canada’s Centers of Excellence by Northstar Meetings Group.
Competing for delegate attention has never been easy. Now, with the rise of virtual events, the power of connecting with audiences in-person is becoming clear. Read more in CMW Magazine.
Canada Ranked as Third Best “Nation Brand” in Ipsos Survey and receives First Place in several important categories
Embrace the wild within - plan your next event in Canada, ranked third out of 50 countries for culture, tourism, people
Canada was ranked as the third-best “nation brand”, according to the 2020 Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index (NBI) which was released this week. Canada was also recognized with first place in three important categories including governance, people and immigration/investment. While we know we live in a beautiful country with cultures we cherish and wonderful communities and people, this ranking recognizes Canada on the global stage.
This is the second consecutive year in which Canada has ranked in third place out of 50 countries, based on factors including, exports, people, governance, culture, tourism, immigration and investment. This year’s survey noted that one of Canada’s reputational strengths lies in its people, with respondents noting a positive opinion about the welcoming nature of Canadians.
The NBI is a comprehensive study that evaluates the perceptions of 50 nations from respondents in 20 countries, conducted through 20,019 online interviews.
The world needs more 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.
Executive Director, Business Events, Destination Canada
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.