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April 29, 2016
CanSPEP Completes Comprehensive Membership Survey

First survey in five years outlines key association statistics

Ontario, CanadaDuring the month of March 2016, CanSPEP undertook the significant task of updating their membership statistics in their first comprehensive membership survey in five years.  This survey sought to understand our member’s years of business, spend influence, and issues that entrepreneurial event professionals are facing today. 

“We instinctively knew that our membership demographic and influence was changing, but we did not have the data to back it up.  We were THRILLED to see that after outreach to members, we saw a response rate exceeding 60%.  At a time where there were several other surveys (both internal and external) in the field, this was a fantastic achievement.” says Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM.  “The data we obtained will help us shape the future of our association, and solidify our relationships with our partners.  I am thrilled to personally announce one figure – CanSPEP’s annual spend influence has grown – we are at over $58 million accounting for only 60% of our membership.  It’s a number that can only grow from here.” 

What else has the data produced?

  • CanSPEP’s membership is rejuvenated: 57.54% of CanSPEP members have retained their membership for under five years to date;
  • CanSPEP has an established skill set within the membership: 74.24% of members have been in operation for more than five years;
  • Our members are busy!  66.67% of respondents plan 7 or more meetings per year;
  • Many you will not find elsewhere: Just over one-third of our members ONLY hold memberships with CanSPEP. 

I am very impressed with the results of the survey.  We suspected that we had a seasoned membership, and the results show this to be true.” says Joe Orecchio, CanSPEP’s VP of Membership.  “There are so many good pieces of information in these results that the board will have many opportunities to improve the membership experience. CanSPEP is well positioned to provide valuable support to small business owners in the business event space.” 

About CanSPEP: The Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP) is a dynamic, diverse and innovative society of Independent Event Professionals with a leading national voice in the event industry and is the only association in Canada that offers exclusive membership to independent event planner entrepreneurs. 

Formed in 1996, the association provides forums in which members exchange ideas, develop skills through educational programs and create a public awareness around the profession of event planners.

Media Contacts:
Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM
2015-2016 President
Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP)
613-288-4539 (Association Office)
info@canspep.ca

April 28, 2016
Meeting Encore Welcomes New Regional Director

Port Hope, ON—Meeting Encore Ltd. is pleased to announce that Patrick Guidote will be joining the Meeting Encore family as Regional Director beginning Monday May 2nd.

Meeting Encore has worked hard to establish itself as a leader in the site selection industry. “We pride ourselves on building a team that has extensive industry experience. Patrick is a great addition to our team and brings with him a breadth of knowledge within the international marketplace.” states Jenn Glynn, Managing Partner.

Patrick is a seasoned, multilingual sales professional with 20+ years of hotel and international destination marketing experience. His previous experience includes sales roles at Delta Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels, and Tourism Montreal.

“We are excited that our Meeting Encore family is growing once again. We know that Patrick will be a perfect complement to our team.” says Joe Nishi, Managing Partner. “He believes in building long-term relationships on both the customer and supplier side, which is core to our team’s beliefs.”

“In today’s work environment, we are asked to do more with less. It is such a burden to bear. I love the feeling of offering my industry networks and expertise to lift that weight off my clients’ shoulders “states Patrick.

An avid traveller and cook, he enjoys running and being a baseball coach. Together with his wife of 25 years, Gayle, they have 3 wonderful teens - Simon, Gabrielle, and Sophia.

Patrick will officially join the team on Monday May 2nd. He can be reached atpguidote@meetingencore.com or phone 514-225-2239.

The entire Meeting Encore team welcomes Patrick and his family to our family and wish him great future success in his new role.

Meeting Encore Ltd. is Canada’s first and finest strategic sourcing company. They provide hotel consulting, site location services and contracting for their valued clients. They are happy to be celebrating their 26th year in business. They can be reached at 905-403-9646, contacted via their website at www.meetingencore.com and followed on Twitter at @Meeting_Encore

April 28, 2016
IACC Names Canadian and Australian Chefs Winners of Global Copper Skillet Competition

LondonSix chefs from IACC Americas, Australia Asia Pacific and European member venues competed for the Global Copper Skillet at Convene Midtown East on Tuesday, April 19.  The event served as the final stage in a three-part competition.  Canadian and Australian chefs were named as the Global Copper Skillet winners during the IACC-Americas Awards Banquet the following day, and took home the coveted Copper Skillet award.

Barrington Graham, first cook at St. Andrew’s Club and Conference Centre, Toronto, Canada, took the Senior Category Copper Skillet for his winning dish of a five-spice maple glazed duck breast and pepper crusted pork on potato hash with a tomato, olive relish and asparagus tips.

Jesse Hughes, general manager & executive chef at Vue Grand Hotel, Victoria, Australia, took the Junior Category Copper Skillet for his winning dish of of soy glazed duck breast with soba noodles, pickled salad and pork dumplings.

In the competition, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a “mystery basket” of proteins. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create, and present their creations to local area judges. 

“Each year this competition showcases the best chefs from IACC’s three chapters, and this year we saw extraordinary talent and incredible camaraderie from all six competing chefs,” said Alex Cabañas, IACC President. “I’m thrilled that this event remains as popular as ever, while underscoring the importance of culinary expertise in our member conference venues worldwide.”

For the second year in the 12-year history of the Copper Skillet competition, IACC introduced a Junior Chef category where IACC conference venue chefs under the age of 26 competed in the cook-off.

The Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference venues around the world and to highlight their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference venue experience. 

The IACC Mission Statement:  To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences. There are meetings...And then there are IACC Meetings.

The IACC Vision:  IACC is a community of passionate people and organisations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.

About IACC:  Founded in 1981, IACC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the meetings venue industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional IACC meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and the Philippines.

For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org.

April 22, 2016
SOAR Management partners with JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka to provide resort waterfront and team building services

Collingwood, ON—SOAR Management, long time providers of Team Building, Event Management, and Recreation Services, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa to provide resort guests with waterfront and team building services.

Effective May 1st, 2016 SOAR Management, well-known in Ontario as a leading provider of authentic outdoor experiences and team-building, will bring their unique programming to the shores of The Rosseau.

Located on beautiful Lake Rosseau in Ontario’s exquisite vacation destination, Muskoka Lakes, the luxury resort and conference centre is perched atop a 100-foot granite bluff just two and a half hours north of Toronto.

Families, vacationers and corporate groups return year after year to enjoy the resort’s splendid scenery, countless amenities, and intuitive guest service.

Team Building and Group programming will offer dynamic and engaging experiences to reinforce both organizational values and fun. Waterfront services will include water and shore based activities such as waterskiing, boat and jet ski rentals, lake tours, beachfront activities, and non-motorized activities including pedal boats, kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards “SUPs”, and a floating water park.

SOAR Management President and CEO, Jeff Hill, said of the endeavor,

Muskoka has been a special place for me ever since I was a child, and JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort has become a favorite destination for me and my family. We are thrilled to partner with the team at JW Marriott to bring our unique brand of programming and recreation services to this stunning locale.”

JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort and Spa General Manager, Tony Tamburro echoed Hill’s sentiments, adding,

“We are excited to add SOAR’s wide portfolio of waterfront and team building services to our resort offerings for guests, conference attendees and corporate groups alike. SOAR’s industry reputation for offering creative team building concepts, unique corporate activities and a wide range of recreation activities will continue to elevate the quality and variety of services for our guests.”

SOAR Team Building services will operate year round at the resort while the Waterfront Management operations will run seasonally from May 1st to October 31st. SOAR Management will continue to provide event management and team building services to its many valued clients across the province.

ABOUT SOAR MANAGEMENT
Since 1995 SOAR Management has been helping organizations engage people, empower leaders and accelerate team building and development. SOAR helps organizations push the boundaries of their success to achieve peak performance, innovate and lead in their respective sectors. Expanding into Event Management and Recreation Services was a natural fit for the organization; as educators in business services and customer relations it is our business to understand what is required to deliver the best guest experience. SOAR successfully expanded to include opportunities to enjoy and grow to not only corporate clients but also families, first time visitors and special groups. Through the years, SOAR Management has built successful teams, managed complex relationships and infrastructure and created authentic and memorable experiences for all of his clientele from small, budding fishermen and women sitting on a dock, to CEOs with multi-million dollar needs. Visit us online at www.soarmanagement.com or on Twitter and Instagram @soarmanagement, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/SoarManagement.

ABOUT JW MARRIOTT THE ROSSEAU MUSKOKA RESORT & SPA
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka is a luxury conference resort two and a half hours north of Toronto, in Ontario’s scenic “cottage country”. Recipient of Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award and Gold List, two Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards for Spa Rosseau, two Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence for Teca and the Muskoka Chophouse, and a Tripadvisor Award of Excellence, the resort is set atop a bluff overlooking pristine Lake Rosseau. Visitors enjoy inspirational views, intuitive service and the opportunity to explore nature on their terms. Visit us online, www.jwrosseau.ca, on Twitter and Instagram @JWMuskoka and www.facebook.com/TheRosseau.

Operated by 2253100 Ontario Inc. under license from Marriott International, Inc. or one of its affiliates.

About JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to today’s sophisticated, self-assured travelers, offering them the quiet luxury they seek in a warmly authentic, relaxed atmosphere lacking in pretense. JW Marriott properties artfully provide highly crafted, anticipatory experiences that are reflective of their locale so that their guests have the time to focus on what is most important to them. Currently, there are 64 JW Marriott hotels in 26 countries; by 2016 the portfolio is expected to encompass more than 92 properties over 36 countries. Visit us online, jwmarriott.com, @jwmarriott and facebook.com/JWMarriott

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 3,800 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2014.

For further information
Andrea Russell SOAR Management andrea@soarmanagement.com Tel: (705) 333-4017 www.soarmanagement.com

Leah Leslie JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa
leah.leslie@marriott.com
Tel: (705) 765-1900
www.therosseau.com

April 21, 2016
Marriott International Expands Delta Hotels and Resorts Globally with Opening of First U.S. Property

Bethesda, MD—Delta Hotels and Resorts announced today the official grand opening of the Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista in partnership with JHM Hotels. This is Delta's first branded hotel in the United States and signals the global expansion of the Delta brand. A new Delta logo was revealed in conjunction with the official grand opening as part of the integration of the Delta brand into the Marriott family.

"The Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista marks the beginning of a period of exciting growth for the award-wining Delta brand." said Paul Cahill, Global Brand Leader Delta Hotels & Resorts, area vice president of operations, Canada. "The new streamlined logo design reflects our promise to provide guests with a seamless travel experience so they can focus on what's important."

The Delta Hotels and Resorts brand encompasses a rich Canadian history and is a great complement to the Marriott International portfolio in the country which currently consists of 136 hotels, 11 brands and more than 25,000 rooms. Besides the Orlando hotel, Marriott plans to expand Delta's hospitality globally to major gateway cities including New York, Shanghai and London. The development will bring the brand's offering to a total of 80 hotels.

The Delta Orlando hotel features 241 guestrooms, a resort-style outdoor swimming pool that will soon boast a kids' splash zone featuring a pirate ship. There is a kids' game room on-site, a 24/7 fitness center with state of the art touch screen technology on equipment, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and on-site parking. Guests can also enjoy the D-Flats restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily featuring delicious menu options such as Neapolitan style flatbreads, brick oven pizzas and a long list of local craft beers on tap.  Guests can also kick-up their feet and relax near the outdoor fire pit area on the property.

The new U.S. hotel is a member of the Disney Good Neighbor Hotel program and is located just minutes away from local Orlando attractions and offers complimentary transportation daily to Walt Disney World.

"The Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista offers state-of-the-art technology and intuitive designs to meet the needs of modern business and leisure travelers. It combines the benefits of an upscale family resort with a boutique feel to offer guests a unique experience," said DJ Rama, president of JHM Hotels. 

About JHM
JHM Hotels, a premier lodging company, based in Greenville SC, has developed, acquired, owned, and operated hotels throughout the United States for 43 years. The company currently owns and operates 40 hotels with over 7,200 guestrooms, located in the United States and India, operating under such well-known brands as Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and Starwood. For more information, visit www.jhmhotels.com.

About Delta Hotels and Resorts
One of North America's leading four-star brands, Delta Hotels provides guests with exactly what they need for a seamless travel experience.  With more than 35 locations in gateway cities throughout Canada and now Orlando, FL (US), guests will discover Delta's distinct style of simple made perfect.  The brand's invitingly familiar rooms, free Wi-Fi and convenient dining options, offer travelers a comfortable and stylish place to stay.  Delta Hotels was acquired by Marriott International in April 2015.  For more information or reservations visit www.marriott.com.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,400 properties in 87 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of more than $14 billion in fiscal year 2015. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, Bulgari®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and Moxy Hotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together comprise nearly 55 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

April 19, 2016
IACC Undergoes Re-branding and Launches New Logo

London, UKIACC announces the re-branding of the association.

IACC has experienced rapid growth in its membership and global reach. Being the only global association to represent small to mid-sized, meetings-focused venues and influenced by exciting innovations it is seeing from members, IACC has identified that the brand needs an update in order to represent all 378 members in 22 countries. The new brand addresses the needs of a dynamic, changing market place, while leveraging the brand equity IACC has built over 35 years.

In developing their new branding, IACC conducted extensive research with members and industry stakeholders across four continents. The association worked closely with members and industry ambassadors to talk about what the brand said about them now and what members wanted it to stand for in the future. IACC took these findings and concentrated all ideas into a set of brand pillars which are aligned with the core values by which it wants to live and to foster a feeling of collaboration, connectedness and impactful outcomes.

Today IACC’s membership reflects more than just conference centres, each branded in individual ways, but all providing the same high quality standards and delivery of exceptional meetings that began in the 1980’s under IACC.  Member venues include conference centres, seminar houses, day meeting venues, corporate universities, and meetings-focused hotels and resorts. The association will no longer refer to itself as the International Association of Conference Centres, but will simply be referred to as IACC

Alex Cabañas, IACC Global President, comments, “This is a monumental time in IACC’s 35-year history.  We are an exclusive association of the brightest minds and exceptional meeting venues in the world and we are excited to celebrate who we are today and who we want to become with this fresh new logo and identity.  This gives us a refreshing new look that reflects and projects a modern, forward thinking and innovative personality, which remains a unique characteristic of the IACC global community.”

The new logo has been designed to reflect a sense of symmetry, with each shape overlapping in unison to further illustrate the strength and alignment of universal connectivity. The four symbols represent the four brand pillars which are the signature qualities and attributes that exemplify the IACC experience. 

IACC’s Brand Pillars
Exclusive meeting venues, by design
At the forefront of meetings innovation
Globally connected network of passionate members
Curators of exceptional meeting experiences

Mark Cooper, IACC CEO, comments, “As we continue to grow and expand the association globally to thrive in what is undoubtedly a fast changing meetings industry, the brand needed to evolve to acknowledge this.  I am excited to share with our members and partners the brand pillars, which speak to the creative bridge to the incredible unity of our members globally.”

Following the launch, the new brand will be at the heart of new publications, communications and marketing and in a soon-to-be-re-launched website. Logos and usage guidelines are available to download from IACC’s website here and see the unveiling of the logo on video on IACC’s YouTube Channel.

IACC wishes to thank all the members and their industry partners who contributed to the research and interview stages of the exercise, and the global volunteer group for their time, patience and expertise in developing the new logo.

The IACC Mission Statement:  To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences. There are meetings...And then there are IACC Meetings.

The IACC Vision:  IACC is a community of passionate people and organisations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.

About IACC:  Founded in 1981, IACC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the meetings venue industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional IACC meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and the Philippines.

For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org.  “There are meetings and then there are IACC meetings.”

April 19, 2016
Hani Roustom Appointed General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel

Toronto, ON—The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto, the city's leading luxury boutique hotel, announces the appointment of Hani Roustom as General Manager.  A celebrated and passionate hotelier, and graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Roustom brings his sharp focus on refined product and service excellence to Toronto's only member of the Leading Hotels of the World, a worldwide alliance of independent luxury hotels.

"The Hazelton Hotel is a unique property located in the heart of Yorkville. I am thrilled to join the team and to work with Canadian culinary icon, chef Mark McEwan in creating memorable experiences for our guests and elevating what our world class city has to offer " said Roustom.

Roustom comes from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, where he joined in 2013 as part of the executive team in his capacity of Executive Assistant Manager Food and Beverage.

Prior to that, Roustom worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, joining in 2006 at the Washington DC property as Director of Restaurants and Bars. In 2008 he transferred to their property in Toronto until the launch of the flagship Four Seasons Hotel on Yorkville Avenue in 2012, where he led the opening of the award-winning Café Boulud by Michelin starred chef Daniel Boulud.

Roustom's international and culinary exposure, experience launching and managing quality operations, and knowledge of cultures and five languages, makes him an asset to the Hazelton Hotel.

Regarding hospitality and his passion for service, Roustom refers to a quote by E.M. Statler engraved in the lobby of his hotel school at Cornell: "Life is service – the one who progresses is the one who gives his fellow men a little more – a little better service." Roustom graduated with a Masters degree from the Hotel School of Cornell University in 2006, where he was awarded the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream. Roustom's love for hospitality started in his early years in Lebanon, visiting the mountain summer resorts with his family. He went on to study Hotel and Restaurant Management in Cyprus and England. In 1997 he was presented with the Student of the Year award from the Cyprus Hotel Association and graduated first in his class with Honors Cum Laude and with a B.A. in Hospitality Management from Bournemouth University the year after.

About The Hazelton Hotel and One Restaurant
The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto's boutique luxury hotel in fashionable Yorkville, remains the city's iconic landmark for all that is chic and glamorous. The Hazelton Hotel offers 77 sumptuous hotel rooms and suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The Hotel's ONE Restaurant is celebrity Chef Mark McEwan's signature dining experience delivered from a contemporary Yorkville hotspot that boasts one of Toronto's finest patio.

April 18, 2016
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Announces Completion of $120 Million Renovation

Flagship Property Shows Off Fresh Style and Sleek Technology Enhancements for Today’s Modern Traveler and Convention Attendees

Toronto, ON—Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), announced today the completion of an extensive $120 million renovation of a flagship property, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The two year refurbishment project includes a full overhaul of all 1,372 guest rooms and suites, as well as the completion of function space expansion and meeting room restorations.

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Renovated Guest Room (Photo: Business Wire)

“Toronto has blossomed into becoming one of the top destinations for both leisure and business travelers alike, and an important market for the Sheraton brand to be represented in,” said Bob Jacobs, Vice President of Brand Management, Sheraton North America. “This renovation underscores our focus on continuously enhancing our portfolio, as well as evolving the guest experience to deliver an effortless travel experience for our guests.”

All guest rooms and suites at Sheraton Centre Toronto feature completely new carpeting, vinyl, drapery, case goods, desks, chairs and LG® LED 55” flat screen televisions. Bedside tables come equipped with electrical outlets to charge devices and each room features bedside docking stations. Fully renovated bathrooms, many of which feature walk-in showers, include low-flow toilets, shower heads and aerated faucets. Additionally, the 300 Club Level guest rooms offer new refrigerators with higher efficiencies for guest use and convenience. Guests can expect a premium sleep experience with brand new custom-designed beds from Simmons®, offering a plush-top mattress and solid foundation with all white bedding and linens.

The hotel now offers more than 130,000 sq. ft. of premium meeting and event space with the addition of the Willow and Provincial ballrooms. The Lower Concourse Convention floor, which includes the Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Hall and the Osgoode Ballroom, features a new state of the art Lutron lighting control system, allowing clients the flexibility to control and adjust lighting in the rooms via a loaned iPad®. More than 110 new structural rigging points throughout the Grand Ballroom allow 1,000lbs. per rigging point, giving planners and design companies tremendous flexibility when staging special events. Upgraded acoustic walls, new carpet, vinyl and paint complete the convention floor refurbishment and upgrade. The eight smaller meeting rooms on the fourth floor of the Queen Tower were also redone, and all carpeting, vinyl, fabrics and upholstery in both the meeting space and guest rooms meet Starwood’s low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) requirement.

As part of the renovation, the hotel now features intuitive technology with its revamped wireless Internet infrastructure and installation of new access points, resulting in the fastest Internet and largest bandwidth* among Greater Toronto area hotels.

“Our fresh new look and comprehensive tech enhancements will enable our guests to experience a more seamless and comfortable stay at our hotel, whether for leisure or as part of a large conference,” said David Connor, Area Managing Director for Starwood Canada and General Manager, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. “When combined with our associate’s commitment to ensuring memorable guest experiences, we’re confident that Sheraton Centre Toronto will be the hotel brand of choice for modern travelers visiting this vibrant, buzzing city.”

For more information, please visit http://www.sheratontoronto.com/.

About Sheraton Centre Toronto
An incredible $120 million transformation adds to the allure of Toronto’s most convenient address, the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. An unbeatable downtown location puts guests in the heart of the entertainment and business districts, mere steps to Nathan Phillips Square, City Hall and all major city transportation options. The hotel enjoys direct access to Toronto’s PATH, featuring 16 miles of underground shops, services and entertainment. Guest rooms offer panoramic views of the city and the Sheraton Club Level offers deluxe amenities including the 43rd floor Club Lounge. Guests enjoy the largest indoor-outdoor pool in the city and the expansive 24hr Sheraton Fitness facility. With more than 130,000 sq.ft. of premium meeting and unique event space, the hotel is perfectly suited for small and large meetings and signature events.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., makes it easy for guests to explore, relax and enjoy the possibilities of travel through smart solutions and effortless experiences at more than 440 hotels in more than 72 countries around the world. The brand is currently in the midst of implementing Sheraton 2020, a 10 point plan designed to make Sheraton the global hotel brand of choice, everywhere. Sheraton recently launched “Where Actions Speak Louder,” a multi-channel, multi-million dollar advertising campaign that highlights the brand’s ongoing enhancements to its guest experience, including new products and partnerships, and a renewed focus on service. With work well underway, the brand has already rolled out a variety of initiatives under Sheraton 2020, including Paired, a new imaginative lobby bar menu; the richest SPG promotion in the brand’s history; and Sheraton Grand, a new premier tier that recognizes exceptional Sheraton hotels and resorts. To learn more, visit www.sheraton.com. Stay connected to Sheraton: @sheratonhotels on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Sheraton.

April 13, 2016
Roberto Fracchioni carving out farm to table at cabin and Adamo Estate Winery

Mono, ON—cabin, Hockley Valley Resort's signature restaurant and the soon-to-be-open Adamo Estate Winery welcome renowned Chef Roberto Fracchioni to their impressive culinary team as Head Chef.

Chef Roberto hails from two of the finest food-producing regions in the world: the Emilia-Romagna district of Italy and the Niagara region of Canada. He completed his culinary training in some of Canada's most prestigious restaurants, including Scaramouche, Canoe, Auberge de Pommier and Nigara's Inn on the Twenty. Many in the region will warmly recall Chef Roberto's time as Executive Chef at Millcroft Inn and Spa from 2005-2010.

Most recently, Chef Roberto was at the helm of Monk Kitchen in downtown Toronto, a foodie cult favourite for nightly blind tasting menus. He went on to help launch Flor de Sal, a fine dining restaurant in the heart of midtown.

"As we enter a new phase in our evolution toward becoming an acclaimed culinary destination, Chef Roberto is the ideal person to help us move forward," said Culinary Director and Owner John-Paul Adamo. "We are at a turning point in the history of Hockley Valley Resort and with the launch of Adamo Estate Winery, with Chef Roberto on board, we could not be more excited about the great things we will build together."

In his new position, Chef Roberto will oversee the upscale dining venue, cabin and the entire food program at the new Adamo Estate Winery, slated to open later this year.

"The environment here is incredibly inspiring. The gardens and vineyards are outstanding and I am thrilled to work with a team where everyone is so dedicated to creating the best food in the region," said Chef Fracchioni. "I have really missed country life and it is so great to be back among the terrific people of the Hills of Headwaters area."

Led by Culinary Director and Owner, John-Paul Adamo, the restaurants and food programs of Hockley Valley Resort celebrate fresh seasonal cuisine and practice a farm-to-table philosophy, harvesting produce from the property's own vast two acre organic fruit and vegetable farm, while partnering with the top local suppliers, farmers and producers of Ontario.

About cabin
Located in Hockley Valley Resort, cabin, named in honour of the first structure built on property in 1865, draws inspiration from the picturesque and romantic countryside in the Hills of Headwaters region. The 2,600 square foot space combines rustic and modern décor elements, including reclaimed hardwood floors and wooden beams from an old barn, and a 16-foot steel and glass chandelier. The culinary experience is defined by the owners' farm-to-table philosophy on food, celebrating the best of local cuisine, using only the freshest ingredients from their two-acre fruit and vegetable farm, seasonal preserves, and fare from local farmers and suppliers.

About Adamo Estate Winery
Adamo Estate Winery is the first full-scale winemaking venture to embrace the Hills of Headwaters region's unique terroir and micro-climate conditions. The Winery traces its beginnings to a rustic barn on the vineyard property adjacent to the region's celebrated Hockley Valley Resort. A family affair, springing from a decades-long vision held by Mario Adamo, his children, John-Paul and Julie, are heading up the winery's operations with Shauna White, a veteran Okanagan Valley and Niagara grower, as Vineyard and Winery Manager. Jonas Newman from Hinterland Wine Company, based out of P.E.C., has also been on board from the very first humble vintage as an acting wine making consultant.

The 20,000 sq. ft. winery is set to open in September of 2016. Already in their 3rd year of wine production, the site will feature a tasting bar, retail space, fully dedicated wine production facilities, on-site private tasting rooms and Chef's table.

April 13, 2016
CanSPEP Announces Jeremy Tyrell Scholarship

Scholarship to be awarded to an Industry Partner annually

Ontario, Canada: Following the 20th Anniversary Conference in Windsor, Ontario, we are pleased to announce that CanSPEP has created a scholarship for Industry Partners, in recognition of Jeremy Tyrell, a long-time friend to CanSPEP, and the entire industry. 

In the 20th year of the association, CanSPEP has been making great strides to shape our association and set it up for success in the future.” says Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM.  “One area that we wanted to address was acknowledging the importance of our relationships with Industry Partners.  This scholarship is in Jeremy’s name because his example defined a true partner – friendly, helpful, professional, encouraging and engaging, and he believed in what CanSPEP stands for.  We wish to continue to honor his memory with this scholarship”.

CanSPEP will continue to work on the criteria and terms of reference, and more information will become available soon.  However, the scholarship is intended to:

  • Provide an Industry Supplier, a proven CanSPEP Ambassador, an opportunity to attend the Annual Conference;
  • Provide a legacy within the CanSPEP organization to honor Jeremy Tyrell and his many contributions;
  • To engage with our supplier partners and allow CanSPEP to invest in their ongoing professional development;
  • The scholarship recipient MUST demonstrate proven ambassadorship of CanSPEP and the Independent Planner as modeled by Jeremy Tyrell.

About CanSPEP: The Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP) is a dynamic, diverse and innovative society of Independent Event Professionals with a leading national voice in the event industry and is the only association in Canada that offers exclusive membership to independent event planner entrepreneurs.

Formed in 1996, the association provides forums in which members exchange ideas, develop skills through educational programs and create a public awareness around the profession of event planners.