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September 02, 2015
SITE Foundation Auction 2.0 Offers Unique Travel Experiences Around the Globe

SITE Foundation has launched Auction 2.0, #bidforit, a fund-raising initiative to support its mission of enhancing the awareness and effectiveness of incentive travel through research, trend analysis and educational programming. The auction is being held in association with the Foundation’s premier events, SITE Classic and SITE Nite North America. The auction opened on 1 September and bidding on the first round of auction packages closes 27 September. Additional destinations and packages will continue to be added, so bidders should check back and bid often. The auction will end on 12 October, at the conclusion of SITE NITE North America.

Auction 2.0 features a large variety of unique travel experiences to rival the best the incentive travel industry has to offer. Packages include everything from urban explorations and relaxing beach vacations to exotic adventures and action-packed cruises across the globe. Participation in Auction 2.0 is available to anyone, so invite your friends and family to participate.

“In past years, participation in the SITE Foundation auctions has been limited to those who attended the SITE Classic and/or SITE Nite. This year we are opening the auction to the public and have extended the auction dates to enable people time to explore the exciting travel packages and share the opportunity to bid with their friends and families,” said Rhea Stagner, SITE Foundation Vice-President, Fundraising and Vice-President, Supplier Relations, Maritz Travel Company.

Where in the world?
Auction packages are grouped into three geographic regions – Caribbean, Mexico and United States - so that you can easily bid on destinations and experiences that fit your unique travel style. New regions, destinations and packages will continue to be added, so check back often.

Whether you’ve been longing for a relaxing escape at a luxury beach resort, or dreamed about exploring the world on an adventurous holiday, Auction 2.0 has the perfect travel experience for you. Or, consider giving a friend, family member or much deserving co-worker the gift of travel. The auction is open to anyone. And, with BidPal’s “Buy Now” feature, you can instantly purchase the auction item and close bidding, immediately guaranteeing that you secure your desired travel experience. Packages will sell fast, so head over to to explore the packages and #bidforit.

August 26, 2015
New Hire at Tourism Vancouver

Michael Drake joins Tourism Vancouver as Director of Sales, Meetings and Conventions, International

Vancouver, Canada—Tourism Vancouver is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Drake as Director of Sales, Meetings and Conventions, International. In this senior leadership role, Michael will oversee Tourism Vancouver's efforts in International and Canadian Meetings & Conventions sales and service, and take a leadership role with the Be a Host program. Michael brings 20 years of hospitality industry experience to the role including positions at Hyatt Hotels and Fairmont Hotels. For the past seven years, Michael has been employed by Starwood Hotels in Toronto, most recently as the Associate Director of International and Association Sales. He holds a degree from McMaster University.

Michael Drake joins Tourism Vancouver at an exciting time. The city recently secured the flagship TED Conference and has other major conventions upcoming including PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference in January 2016.

Tourism Vancouver is the convention and visitor bureau of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

August 20, 2015
Connect Worldwide Canada Lands Royal Arabian Representation

Toronto, ONRoyal Arabian Tours & Royal Arabian Incentives & Conferences (a division of Royal Arabian tours) based in Dubai, has announced that CWW Canada has been awarded the contract to serve as the official representation agency in the Canadian market. 

"The team at Connect Worldwide Canada demonstrated that they have the key relationships in the MICE and luxury market and unique skill set we were looking for to ensure our business grows from Canada said Behram Kerawalla, (Senior Manager Business Development – Europe & Americas), for Royal Arabian.

"We look forward to working with Royal Arabian to deliver results from the Canadian market," commented Charmaine Singh, President, CWW Canada. "There is so much to discover and experience in the UAE ."

Royal Arabian is a leading Destination Management Company that provides the best travel solutions. The company handles all aspects of the inbound tourism business comprising Leisure Groups and FIT travel as well as a dedicated MICE division.

About Royal Arabian:
Royal Arabian offers élite services in the industry with a wide range of products and services and a vast network of amenities available across the tourism and hospitality arena. Royal Arabian delivers holidays with beautiful memories that come with constant care and attention to each and every need of our customers.

Our mission is to be the most admired premium brand in providing destination management services across UAE by meeting and exceeding the expectations of our guests. We strive to achieve a harmonious balance between business, environmental and social responsibilities.  

Royal Arabian is known for developing innovative and competitive products, and constantly elevating our internal processes with the latest technology. This simplifies our work flow and allows us to serve our valued clients around the world. We value customer satisfaction, strong team spirit, integrity, humility, openness, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, mutual respect and willingness to continuously adapt ourselves to new situations. We hold ourselves accountable to our customers, suppliers, partners and employees by honouring our commitments, providing results and striving for the highest quality.

About Connect Worldwide
Connect Worldwide was founded in 2002 to fulfill the growing need of travel companies around the world to market their brands in new and innovative ways. Connect Worldwide Canada is a recognized leader in providing strategic sales, marketing, and public relations, in market expertise for travel companies and destinations.

August 19, 2015
Skyline International announces (CAD) $10 million investment in iconic Deerhurst Resort

Toronto, ON—Skyline International is committing a (CAD) $10 million investment to the iconic Deerhurst Resort. The earmarked funds will be invested over two years, targeting a complete renovation of all Skyline-owned guest rooms, bathrooms and corridors, as well as significant upgrades to the Legacy Hall, Compass Lobby Bar, Maple Pub, Fitness Centre, and improvements to the lakeside waterfront.

"Deerhurst is an iconic brand that has been around for over 100 years and will be around for the next 100 years," says Skyline International CEO Michael Sneyd. "We understand what this brand means to Muskoka and we want to raise people's expectations of what a visit to Deerhurst can entail."

"Everything we have targeted with this (CAD) $10 million investment is a result of feedback we have been getting from our top client group," adds Sneyd. "We have been working on this for a while."

This direct investment in Deerhurst Resort, which traces its roots back to 1896 when Charles Waterhouse opened a small summer resort along Peninsula Lake, is part of a (CAD) $500 million overall master plan for Deerhurst, which includes a brand new village centre with a main street that overlooks Peninsula Lake and the Deerhurst Lakeside Golf Course.

As the overall master plan continues to progress through the planning process, the first and last waterfront condominium opportunity at Deerhurst, Lakeside Lodge, has already launched, offering purchasers units that start from the (CAD) $200s.

"Deerhurst may be located in cottage-country, but it isn't simply a cottage retreat. It's a community that promotes activity. There is so much potential for outdoor adventure that goes beyond the dock or golf course. With Lakeside Lodge, we wanted to create an ownership experience capturing all sides of life in Muskoka," says Raymond Zar, COO of Skyline International.

About Skyline International Development Inc.
A leading Toronto-based developer of hospitality properties and resort communities, Skyline owns over two million sq. ft. of real estate, has over 2,600 acres with development rights for almost 7,000 residential units and nearly 1,300 rooms in its holdings, employing more than 1,500 staff. Its unique asset mix includes part ownership of Toronto's iconic Omni King Edward Hotel, as well as ownership of, under the Skyline Hotels & Resorts brand, the city's contemporary boutique Pantages Hotel and Spa. Skyline's resort assets include landmark Deerhurst Resort with 45,000 sq. ft. of meeting space lakeside in Muskoka and Horseshoe Resort, home to Toronto's closest ski area and an adventure park. The company is also creating residential communities at Deerhurst, Horseshoe and, at the historic lakefront of Port McNicoll, Ontario, a restored gateway to the 30,000 Islands, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. In early 2014, Skyline became a public company trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as (TASE: SKLN). For more information, please visit:

August 13, 2015
Johanne Bélanger Named President and CEO of Tourism Toronto

Toronto, ON—Tourism Toronto announced today that Johanne Bélanger has been appointed President and CEO, effective September 1, 2015.

Ms. Bélanger was President of Freeman Audio Visual Canada for the past 10 years and, throughout her career, has been a globally recognized leader in exhibitions and events. She also served as Chair of Tourism Toronto's Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014 and has been a member of the Board since 2009. In 2014 she was inducted into the Meetings and Incentive Travel Hall of Fame and has also served as President of the Board of Directors for InfoComm International, the trade association representing the professional audio visual and information communications industries worldwide. In 2014, Ms. Bélanger received the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award.

"Johanne is a dynamic leader and brings a combination of global experience and a partnership-focused approach," said Heather McCrory, Chair of Tourism Toronto's Board of Directors. "With a strong team in place and a continued emphasis on generating sustained growth from key international markets, we are delighted to have Johanne step in to guide the organization through its next phase."

"It's been a privilege to be part of Tourism Toronto's Board leadership and I'm truly excited to move into a more hands-on role in such a rapidly evolving industry," said Ms. Bélanger. "We are building on a successful foundation and now have the opportunity to connect the tourism business to more partners and related sectors of the economy and drive growth in the years ahead."

The Toronto region is the most-visited destination in Canada, welcoming 14.3 million overnight visitors last year. Toronto set new tourism records last year including the most international visits ever at 1.42 million, and saw growth from the important U.S. market for the fourth consecutive year with 2.3 million Americans visiting the destination. The tourism and hospitality sector employs 315,000 people across the region.

"Our destination is riding a wave of momentum and moving up the must-see list for travelers around the world. We have an opportunity now to capitalize on that wave and further entrench the Toronto region as a place to visit, to meet and then to come back and visit again," said Ms. Bélanger.

About Tourism Toronto
Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,100 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. For more information please visit

August 13, 2015
Freeman Audio Visual Appoints David Campbell as EVP & COO of Canadian Division

Toronto, ONFreeman Audio Visual is pleased to announce the appointment of David Campbell as executive vice president and chief operating officer of its Canadian division, effective immediately. David brings to the organization a wealth of experience, having spent nearly 30 years in strategic leadership roles, including seven as vice president and general manager of a large audio visual firm.

“Never resting on its laurels, Freeman is a dynamic enterprise that nurtures and embraces the entrepreneurial spirit,” said Campbell. “My approach to business strongly aligns with the core values of the company, and I look forward to working with this incredible team to further build upon its history of success and leadership in Canada.”

As the Canadian audio visual division’s most senior executive, Campbell is responsible for developing strategies, driving continuous growth, maintaining operational excellence, and ensuring customer and employee satisfaction. He will set the company’s short- and long-range goals related to sales, operations, financial performance and quality.

“We feel very fortunate to have found someone of David’s caliber to fill this multifaceted position,” said Ken Sanders, president of Freeman Audio Visual. “With his comprehensive business background and enthusiasm for our sector, I am confident David will thrive and empower others to succeed in our progressive and service-driven company culture.”

About Freeman Audio Visual
As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit

About Freeman
Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 87-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit

August 13, 2015
Tourisme Montréal Launches Its New Advertising Campaign, We Did It

Montréal—Tourisme Montréal’s new advertising campaign for the meetings and conventions market showcases real Montréal success stories with the tagline, “We Did It”. The campaign, created by award-winning agency lg2, will launch in August in targeted trade publications, featuring an original creative approach that focuses on how the CVB fosters synergy among industry stakeholders to offer personalized solutions to meeting professionals. 

“This campaign uses bold graphic design to emphasize the importance of working hand in hand with our partners and our vibrant local community to create value for meeting professionals and delegates who come to our city,” says Michel Bourdon, Tourisme Montréal’s Vice President of Sales, Convention Services and Hospitality.  

The campaign is comprised of print ads and web banners along with social media and email marketing initiatives that redirect to a landing page on Tourisme Montréal’s Meetings and Conventions Blog. Once there, visitors can discover more success stories from Tourisme Montréal and its partners, view testimonials from clients and connect with a sales representative for their region.  

“As a convention and visitors bureau, it is our role to mobilize the local tourism industry. But now, we are going beyond that: By connecting our clients with leaders from our economic sectors, creative industries and academic and research communities, we are not only ensuring that our clients have outstanding meetings, but we are also contributing to the advancement of knowledge, creating business opportunities and building lasting impressions for delegates. And that has great value for our clients and our city,” says Yves Lalumière, CEO of Tourisme Montréal. 

About Tourisme Montréal 
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the “Montréal” destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information, please visit www.tourismeMontré

August 11, 2015
Direct Energy Centre is Re-Named Enercare Centre

Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre is now named “Enercare Centre” (formerly Direct Energy Centre)

Following the acquisition of Direct Energy’s Ontario Home Services business by Enercare Inc., The Board of Governors of Exhibition Place successfully concluded a multi-year naming rights sponsorship agreement to re-name the venue Enercare Centre.  The Direct Energy Centre will be re-named Enercare Centre effective immediately.  This naming rights agreement is effective through May 31, 2026. 

The $7.5 million (CDN) agreement includes title sponsorship of the centre, creation of a new logo, exterior signage and a public space in the Galleria of the building to showcase Enercare Inc.’s products and services to the public.  Details of the arrangement and the Enercare Centre’s re-branding launch will be made public in September 2015 during a special event.

“We are pleased to announce that our facility will be referred to as Enercare Centre, effective immediately,” said Exhibition Place Chair Mark Grimes.  “This relationship with Enercare Inc. is vital in maintaining our status as North America’s best exhibition and convention centre.”  

Dianne Young, CEO of Exhibition Place said, “We are proud to partner with Enercare Inc., a highly-respected Canadian company with its head office in Toronto.  They share our strong community focus and our mandate for environmental conservation and preservation.” 

John Macdonald, President and CEO of Enercare Inc., said, “We are pleased to become the naming rights partner for Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place.  The opportunity is unique and offers some highly compelling benefits that will enhance our business.  We look forward to working with the team at Exhibition Place as we move to the next stage of activating the sponsorship relationship”. 

About Exhibition Place:
Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment venue, attracting over 5.3 million visitors a year. The 192-acre site is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario’s economy, particularly with respect to conventions, sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism. Located at Exhibition Place is the award-winning Enercare Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre (LEED Gold), and the Allstream Centre (LEED Silver) conference venue. Exhibition Place recently was a major sports and international broadcast venue (as CIBC Pan Am Park) during the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American games, the world’s third largest multi-sport Games. Enercare Centre will be host to the 2016 NBA All Star Game Jam Session fan fest in February 2016. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart; which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading edge green technologies and practices across the site.

About Enercare Inc.": Enercare Inc. is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and currently has an investment grade credit rating.  Enercare is one of Canada's largest home and commercial services companies with more than 900 employees. Enercare provides water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC rental products, protection plans and related services to approximately 1.1 million customers. Enercare also owns EnerCare Connections Inc., a leading sub-meter provider, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.

August 11, 2015
Inaugural Event Planner Training Being Offered by Industry Experts

Toronto—CanSPEP is launching its foundational training for entry-level independent event planners program Event Business Blueprint: Getting Your Event Planning Business Started on the Right Foot in Toronto this summer.

Event Business Blueprint is a one-day program designed for anyone who is considering starting, or has recently launched, an event planning business.  Subject matter experts will lead interactive sessions in business planning, establishing an entrepreneurial mindset, getting organized, finances, accounting systems, marketing, choosing the right technology, and operating ethically.

When:            Monday, August 17, 2015 from 7:30am to 6:00pm  

Where:           Kingsway room, InterContinental Toronto Centre, 225 Front Street West, Toronto 

Event details and speaker information are online at 

This event is open to planners and suppliers who may register online.