As we look forward to a time when we can welcome international events back to Canada, we are committed to helping our industry and clients move forward with resilience. To dream, to plan and, when the time comes, to meet again with purpose.
Canada has a well-earned reputation for delivering impactful, insightful and inspirational meetings and incentives. In this issue of our Destination Canada’s Business Events News, we are excited to share a few examples of how Canadian innovation and our unique, destinations paired together will create meaningful meetings that are needed to re-start the global economy.
We know we will meet in person again, but until then, here’s the top ten reasons to choose Canada for your next business event.
Each province and territory within Canada have their own requirements for the safe restart of business events as restrictions allow. Our website has been updated to include an interactive map showing gathering restrictions by province, as well as a collection of resources for meeting planners. Bookmark this page as your go-to resource as we prepare for a new era of business events.
Incentive spotlight – Canada’s coastal retreat
Looking for an eco-resort that encompasses adventure, culinary delights and breathtaking scenery? Canada has you covered on both the west and the east coasts. Ready to welcome back incentive groups when restrictions are eased.
The Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island, British Columbia will have your group experiencing the very best of the West Coast. Guests can partake in a pacific clambake on a private beach after an afternoon exploring Tofino’s artistic enclave. The sun, sand and rainforest provide the perfect backdrop to 5-star accommodations, coastal cuisine and authentic experiences for you group.
The Fox Harb’r Resort in Nova Scotia is home to character, cuisine, luxury and charm. Incentive groups can enjoy the water with a guided sea kayaking tour or stand-up paddle boarding lessons. Post aquatic adventure, there’s no better place to enjoy an Atlantic lobster dinner than the private open-air terrace on Lighthouse Point. This retreat offers the perfect blend of Atlantic Canada’s hospitality and exceptional upscale experiences in a spectacular oceanside setting.
Read more about these luxurious, delicious and memorable incentive experiences in our Canadian Signature Incentive Experience Collection E-Book.
With world-class expertise across a spectrum of industries, Canadian tech hubs are a natural draw for conferences across a wide range of sub-sectors. When combined with Canada’s vast landscapes, dynamic culinary experience, diverse cities and unique opportunities to explore ground-breaking ideas make it easy to understand why organizations around the world are choosing Canadian locations to host their global tech events.
Showcased within a newly refreshed brochure and webpage, our Business Events team launched the Technology Sector Profile for Canada. This profile highlights Canadian trailblazers and innovators across a host of emerging technologies who are positively impacting the future of work, healthcare, culture and society while shaping Canada’s tech hubs as a natural fit for global tech conferences. Read more.
For more information on hosting your next tech conference or AGM in Canada–connect with Natalia Filemonowicz, Business Development Manager, Technology Sector.
What will the future look like for incentive travel?
As part of Destination Canada Business Events’ involvement in SITE Global Conference 2021, Canada was represented within two panel sessions contributing to discussions around the business case for incentive travel. Key conference takeaways included how health and safety is the number one factor for all programs to increase traveller confidence, as well as impacting buyer sourcing and program design. Jennifer Attersall, Director, Incentive Travel, virtually moderated a panel of industry experts discussing how we define and transform future incentive experiences. You can watch Jennifer’s session here:
Hybrid City Alliance
Launched in December 2020, the Hybird City Alliance has brought together eight like-minded destinations, Ottawa and Edmonton being the first Canadian cities, to offer international meeting planners a simple, streamlined, and transparent approach to engaging with multiple locations for hybrid and multi-city events.
Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism said, “The Alliance is founded on the principles of inclusiveness, collaboration and competence as the member cities encourage, promote and facilitate the delivery of hybrid and multi-city events. With a dozen cities participating from across the globe, we can offer seamless options for meeting planners.”
“Explore Edmonton is delighted to be one of the new members joining the Hybrid City Alliance and the second city in Canada. We look forward to supporting this collaborative community and our clients as they look to the future of global events.” Anna Look Director, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) at Explore Edmonton
Learn more about this unique initiative.
Young leaders looking ahead
The One Young World 2024 Summit has officially announced Montreal as their host city and Canada is honored to act as the meeting place for some of the brightest young talent from multiple countries and sectors who are working to accelerate social impact. The Palais in Montreal will set the stage for thousands of young leaders to connect, with the mission of creating a better world with more responsible and effective leadership. Learn more.
Spotlight on Canada from coast to coast to coast
Destination Greater Victoria has achieved a Carbon Neutral designation from leading climate advisory services company . It is the first major destination marketing organization or convention and visitors’ bureau in North America to reach this milestone. This official designation follows previous work by Destination Greater Victoria to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more.
Check out the latest video from Tourism Vancouver and be inspired by the destination’s natural beauty, innovation, safe spaces and spectacular views. Vancouver can’t wait to welcome you back!
Learn about Whistler from a local perspective with their new blog, The Whistler Insider. This resource gives insight into outdoor adventures, festivals and events, village life, arts and culture and ‘The Local’s List,’ which features top activities each month.
Tourism Kelowna is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission and Accelerate Okanagan to share stories of innovation and entrepreneurship. Tourism Kelowna’s Director of Business & Destination Development, Jennifer Horsnell said, “These stories demonstrate our added value proposition for meeting planners in the manufacturing aerospace, viticulture, agriculture and digital tech space as we work to attract business events, investment and talent attraction to the region.” Watch OKGo Campaign launch.
In their latest video, Explore Edmonton shares their experience of becoming an NHL hub city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rogers Place arena, the public plaza and JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District were home to hundreds of NHL players, coaches and staff. With a priority on health and safety, the NHL season was able to happen successfully and was broadcast to millions of people around the world. NHL Hub City video. To learn more about how Edmonton can provide a safe, logistically sound and memorable experience book your Edmonton virtual site tour.
Construction on Calgary’s BMO Centre at Stampede Park is set to commence this spring. Upon completion in mid-2024, the BMO Centre will be the largest convention centre in Western Canada and be at the heart of downtown Calgary’s new Culture + Entertainment District. Read more.
Calgary’s second convention space, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, has introduced two virtual and hybrid event studios. Their Business Development Directors are certified Digital Event Strategists and are ready to help clients navigate hybrid events. Read more.
Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) virtually opened the world-class $65 million Qaumajuq Inuit art centre (pronounced Kow-ma-yourk or How-ma-yourk) in March. The building’s name means, “It is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut and features the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. Designed by US architect Michael Maltzan, it was created to reflect the landscape of the North and features the world’s first visible art vault of its kind, three stories high and filled with thousands of carvings. More than a museum, it’s a new, vital space where Inuit voices take centre stage and will provide a world-class venue to inspire delegates for an offsite event or to add to their pre or post conference experience.
Qaumajuq and Winnipeg were listed in Conde Nast Traveler's 21 Best Places to Go in 2021.
Take a peek into Ottawa’s Shaw Centre with Ottawa Tourism’s latest initiative–Virtually Ottawa. In addition to exploring the award-winning convention centre, you can view Ottawa’s landscape through the panoramic city tour from the Trillium Ballroom and visit the centre to discover locally inspired experiences. This is a full 360˚ interactive environment–navigate around the site with you mouse and click on the flashing icons for information and activities (including yoga & a mixology course). Take a virtual walk now!
Waterloo’s “In the room” series takes a look at some of the city’s top R&D spaces and tech organizations. What’s left? A beautiful collection of 360˚ videos highlighting some of the outside spaces that are so important in defining the Waterloo community.
Here’s an immersive look at five outdoor spaces in Waterloo. Read more.
Like no other destination, Québec City’s bright research and business communities propel the Canadian city to the forefront of innovative industries such as life sciences and agriculture. Québec City is rooted in the knowledge economy drawing on science, expertise, and innovation to carve out a niche in exclusive driving sectors. Learn more.
A new landmark attraction that will be opening July 1 of this year, the Niagara Parks Power Station in Niagara Falls will be offered as a tour before and/or after dinner and built into a customized VIP experience with private transportation. While a culinary component will not be included until phase two (July 2022), catering for private events is possible.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts sets the stage for your next meeting or event! To learn more about how the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and their partnership with Encore can assist and enhance your hybrid and virtual meetings, check out their latest video.
InVoyage interviewed Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director, Business Events on Destination Canada’s in-depth roadmap for Business Events that identifies where Canada can best meet international client needs through engaging incentive experiences and meaningful business events. Read more.
M & C magazine recently published ‘Canada is Making Waves in Ocean Sciences' on Canada's leadership in the perfect ecosystem for hosting any future event in the blue economy space. It’s the final article in a series with NorthStar Meeting Group highlighting Canada's economic strengths in key industries that make it an ideal destination for executives and conference organizers of corporate events of all sizes. Read the series.
Our Executive Director, Business Events, Chantal Sturk-Nadeau spoke to Meetings International about our sector strategy, the importance of strong relationships and how business events are a catalyst to economic growth. Read more.
CESSE’s Looking Forward: Destination Canada promotes Canada's knowledge capital to attract future business events, when restrictions are eased. Read more.
Prevue Meetings + Incentives with insights into how Destination Canada’s Business Events is supporting planners and what the future holds. Read more.
Conference & Meetings World warms up to Canadian winter ski incentives with the country’s top winter retreat destinations. 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'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.