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Current News

October 22, 2018
Introducing a Canadian Speaker Series for Canadians!

Featuring Inspiring Canadian Leaders as they Explore Today’s Most Relevant Topics

Toronto, ON—Transformational Viewpoints is a series of live speaker and networking events across Canada featuring influential and engaging Canadian leaders from a variety of fields, including best-selling authors, Olympic and professional athletes, community leaders, and influencers. These professionals will share their insights on today’s most topical items: leadership, blockchain, artificial intelligence, adversity, cannabis culture, health and wellness, and more, inspiring discovery and discussion among the audience. The Transformational Viewpoints roster of speakers will reflect cultural, geographic and gender equality.

Developed for businesses and entrepreneurs, these events offer both professional and personal learning and the opportunity to network with people who share common goals: seeking growth and knowledge. Presentations will take place concurrently in two or three intimate and comfortable stadium-style theatres. This means that attendees can customize their experience by selecting the speakers that are of most interest to them and their learning goals.

We guarantee the audience will leave with knowledge that will make them that much more interesting at the next cocktail party!

Tickets have been priced to offer exceptional value and access to individuals and businesses large and small. Group rates are available for team building and employee recognition programs. Prices for this full day professional opportunity of learning and networking start at $109 and include: light breakfast, coffee service, a healthy lunch and cinema style afternoon snacks!

In the spirit of making these events accessible to all, Transformational Viewpoints has partnered with Lyft to help you get to the first two events in Ontario; tickets for Mississauga and Hamilton include a $20 Lyft credit. Available when you purchase your ticket online.

Transformational Viewpoints kicks off in Ontario this November and continues through April 2019. Tickets are on sale now for November 15, 2018 at Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga and on November 29, 2018 at Cineplex Hamilton Mountain. The full list of dates, locations and confirmed speaker line-ups is available online at

For more information contact:

Carrie Jackson @ 416-323-7230 or email



About Transformational Viewpoints
Transformational Viewpoints was created by Newcap Events and Cineplex Meetings + divisions. Newcap Events is a division of Newcap Radio, one of Canada’s leading radio broadcasters with 101 broadcast licenses across Canada. The Company reaches millions of listeners each week through a variety of formats and is a recognized industry leader in radio programming, sales and networking. With uncompromised sightlines, comfortable seating, and 165 convenient locations across Canada, Cineplex theatres are ideally suited for creating a world-class presentation environment for speakers and audiences alike. All auditoriums are equipped with a digital projector and auditorium speakers enhancing attendees’ overall experience. Cineplex hosts over 8000 meetings and event per year and over 70 million visitors annually.

October 19, 2018
Group Germain Hotels receives Pinnacle's Company of the year Award - Le Germain Hotel Quebec among the best hotels in Canada

Montreal (Quebec)—Group Germain Hotels is proud to have been named Hotelier’s Company of the Year for 2018, by the prestigious Pinnacle Awards. Considered as the Oscars of the industry, the Pinnacle Awards presented by Kostuch Media, recognize excellence in the areas of leadership, initiative and business excellence.

This is the second Pinnacle Award for Group Germain Hotels, as it was awarded Regional Company of the year in 2011. Highlighting an exceptionally successful year for the company, this award recognizes the development and growth of Group Germain Hotels across Canada since its beginning thirty years ago. “This year’s winning companies are transforming and altering the foodservice and hospitality landscape one concept at a time, through creativity, innovation and entrepreneurialism,” says Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher, Kostuch Media Limited.

Pioneer of the Hotel Boutique concept in Canada, family-owned Group Germain Hotels has accomplished the incredible feat of opening five hotels within an 18-month period. Alt Hotel St-John’s (fall 2017), Le Germain Hotel Ottawa (spring 2018); Alt Hotel Calgary East Village (fall 2018) and Alt Hotel Saskatoon (early 2019) were added to the cross-country network. Additionally, Group Germain Hotels inaugurated its new hotel banner: Alt+ Hotel. Located in the trendy Quartier DIX30 in Brossard (Quebec), Alt+ is a loft-style boutique hotel featuring studio-inspired rooms.

“We are extremely proud of our accomplishments of the past 30 years, this recognition from the industry is especially touching” says Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “This award recognizes our company’s success, our efforts in training and integration as well as our involvement in local communities,” adds Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels.

Le Germain Hotel Quebec ranked among the best hotels in Canada
Condé Nast Traveler magazine has unveiled the results of its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking Le Germain Hotel Quebec 17th best hotel in Canada.

“It is a great honor to be part of the Condé Nast Traveler Awards, one of the most prestigious publications in the luxury travel industry,” says Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “To provide attentive service in the inviting environment of our boutique hotel is our daily priority,” adds Sarah Côté, general manager Le Germain Hotel Quebec. “We are delighted that our exceptional hospitality philosophy resonates with the readers and travelers.”

About Condé Nast Traveler readers’ Choice Awards
Almost 430,000 readers have submitted their reviews and comments on their recent travel experiences, including cities, islands, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, airlines and airports across the world. Complete results can be found on the web at:

About Group Germain Hotels
Group Germain Hotels is a Canadian family-run business that owns and operates Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels across Canada. Ranked as one of Canada’s best-managed companies, the company is known for its exceptional hospitality philosophy and the unique style that characterizes its hotels. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, the 1250-employee company aims to become the first independent hotel company to offer travelers a cross-Canada network of 20 hotels by 2020. Visit Groupe Germain.

About Le Germain Hôtels
Pioneer of the boutique hotel concept in Canada, Le Germain believes in the importance of staying small and intimate. Whether in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Charlevoix or Ottawa, we make sure our guests are welcomed warmly and enjoy attentive and personalized service throughout their stay. Our carefully designed rooms with their timeless charm complete the guest experience, an experience of elegance. Visit Le Germain Hotels.

October 18, 2018
Leading MICE Industry Associations Come Together to Make the Industry Stronger

Chicago, IL--While tourism has long been seen as a tool for economic development, more and more regions and cities around the globe are recognizing the vital part Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) play on economic growth, with MICE delegates contributing as much as four times more per visit than leisure tourists. This knowledge is driving a demand for experienced MICE professionals worldwide.

In a constantly changing world and competitive landscape, MICE professionals need specialized, credible competencies and resources to help them learn, adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the game. That’s why the leading associations in the industry have joined forces to develop the best MICE workforce in emerging markets outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Bringing together the power of International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the Global MICE Collaborative provides professional resources on exhibitions, meeting and event planning and incentive travel to foster the development of the MICE profession—and MICE professionals—in these regions.

" Incentive Travel – the “I” in MICE - is the fastest growing segment of the MICE industry and SITE is the only global association focused exclusively on Incentive Travel,” commented SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.  “We are thrilled to join together with IAEE and MPI to provide MICE professionals in emerging destinations the resources and competencies they need to grow their MICE business." 

The Global MICE Collaborative is the only worldwide solution that accelerates MICE workforce development and destination awareness through competency-building, live events, research, consulting and access to a vibrant community of experienced professionals. Here’s how:

  • Through professional competencies, the Global MICE Collaborative will deliver unparalleled comprehensive education and certification to develop the workforce and advance the professionalism of the industry.
  • Through live events, the Global MICE Collaborative will bring MICE professionals together in experiences that inspire, energize and provide ongoing professional development and business exchanges.
  • Through peer-to-peer engagement the Global MICE Collaborative will be the world’s go-to community for MICE professionals, delivering relationship value at every stage of their careers.
  • Through destination consulting, the Global MICE Collaborative will provide consultation, market research and trade education that will enable tourism and destination marketing organizations, venue operators, event organizers and destinations to reach the highest level of success.
  • Through research and advocacy, the Global MICE Collaborative will bring awareness of the value of the MICE industry and propel the industry forward by delivering data-driven trend reporting and pan-industry initiatives.

Many cities and regions are investing in infrastructure to increase their appeal as a MICE destination. However, they often lack the know-how and human capital to deliver meetings, incentives, events and exhibitions to international standards. By engaging with the Global MICE Collaborative, destinations will benefit through increased awareness and heightened professionalism that will ultimately attract more MICE business.

To learn more about the Global MICE Collaborative go to 

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2000 members in 84 countries with 29 local and regional chapters.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit

October 15, 2018
New Report Explores Topic Of Commoditiztion Of The Live Events Industry
Live events professionals engaged in thoughtful conversation about facilitating positive change

Chicago – The International Live Events Association (ILEA) today announced a new report that explores the subject of commoditization of the live events industry: what it is, what it means for the industry and how to address it.

“Unifying the Live Events Industry: A Global Events Industry Report” is a follow-up to the day-and-a-half dialogue at the ILEA Global Event Forum, Aug. 15-16 in Denver, which invited 30 elite live event influencers from around the globe to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today’s event industry.

The group engaged in thoughtful conversation on key topics in the live events industry. They defined what is great about the industry — its embrace of diversity, its ability to facilitate positive change, its economic impact — but also delved into the issues that keep them up at night: fears of safety and security, the difficulty of effectively communicating their value as professionals, and the expansion of digital and online communication, among others.

“As live events professionals, we design and deliver meaningful live experiences by harnessing the power of face-to-face interaction,” said Sara Grauf, CSEP, ILEA president. “The ILEA Global Event Forum is the beginning of an ongoing conversation about how ILEA and live events professionals, associations and other industry organizations can cultivate change and innovation for future industry growth.”

To download a complimentary copy of the report, visit

Giants Enterprises is a presenting sponsor of the 2018 Global Event Forum.

ILEA plans to host the 2019 Global Event Forum in Minneapolis in August 2019. Dates and information to be announced.

About the International Live Events Association (ILEA)

The International Live Events Association (ILEA), formerly known as ISES (International Special Event Society) is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. For creative events professionals who seek deeper connections with like-minded individuals, ILEA provides the education and collaborative networking opportunities that achieve creative event experiences. For more information, visit

October 12, 2018
SITE, FICP and IRF Release Landmark Study of the Incentive Travel Industry

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) are proud to announce the release of the first joint study of the global incentive travel industry. Incentive Travel Industry Index Powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP is a landmark for the industry, providing unprecedented, consolidated insights into the current state of incentive travel and where it is headed.

“Never before have three associations, all with a focus on incentive travel, come together to release a pan-industry study of the global incentive travel sector. It is the biggest research project ever conducted on incentive travel, by volume and geographical spread, and the results demonstrate unequivocally that our industry is continuing to thrive and grow,” said SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.

Conducted in association with J.D. Power, the study is a wide-ranging analysis of business conditions, attitudes and expectations impacting the incentive travel and motivational events industry worldwide. With over 1,000 respondents from more than 80 countries, it is the largest survey ever conducted of senior players in the incentive travel industry, doubling responses from past individual efforts and netting new insights based on combined questioning.

Survey respondents were balanced between incentive travel buyers and suppliers, with buyers representing incentive agencies and corporate users, while more than half of the sellers are DMCs. The majority are tenured industry professionals with an average of 17.3 years of experience - approximately half are located in the US with the other half outside the US.

“For 2018 we increased the number of corporate end-user respondents by a staggering 80 percent. Of these, 40 percent were from the financial and insurance industry, traditionally a big user of incentive travel, said Steve Bova, CAE, FICP executive director.

While the survey findings show that incentive travel is on the rise, growth isn’t happening unchecked. For instance, costs to operate an incentive travel program are going up.

“Although the findings show that incentive travel is growing, the reality is that there are counter-currents such as rising costs that may temper growth,” added IRF president, Melissa Van Dyke. “Over two-thirds of planners are taking steps to contain costs such as less expensive destinations or less expensive amenities. Fortunately, the nature of incentive travel programs allows companies to adjust them to reflect concerns with costs.”

Key highlights from the study include:

Budgets for 2018 are Up

  • Over half (54%) of buyers report an increase in budgets year over year with the median per person spend remaining stable at $4,000. Corporate users report a higher median spend ($4,550) versus incentive agencies ($3,500).

More Qualifiers than Ever

  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of buyers are increasing the number of incentive program qualifiers, fueled by company growth and optimism in the economy.

Incentives as a Builder of Workplace Culture

  • Sales and profitability remain the top reasons to run an incentive program, but more importance is being given to building relationships between management and employees, increasing productivity and employee engagement.
  • Almost 70% of buyers say their programs are effective at achieving business objectives. However, only a quarter always measure ROI/ROO, with more than 50% saying such measurements are not required.

Increase in Use of All Inclusive Destinations

  • All-inclusive destinations are on the rise particularly for incentive agencies as, for the fourth year in succession, buyers continue to seek cost reductions. Sellers are looking to add value through creativity, innovation, and partnerships.
  • North America, the Caribbean and Western Europe remain the most popular destinations for incentive travel, with destination appeal being the top criteria for
  • Selecting one destination over another followed by overall safety and value for money.
  • Fam trips and hosted buyer meetings are the primary sources buyers use to learn about a destination.

 Wellness is the New Golf

  • Wellness, including yoga, is now a top inclusion for incentive planners as CSR initiatives drop slightly in popularity.
  • Over two-thirds of corporate users include meetings in their incentive programs (heavily weighted towards finance sector); less than a third of incentive agencies do.

 This important research project would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors:

  • Champion Level: Accor Hotels
  • Prime Level: Caesars Entertainment, MotivAction, Paradisus by Meliá
  • Principal Level: Eco Destination Management Services, Hilton, IMEX Group, Peerless Performance

The full study will be released at IMEX America during a Smart Monday session at 11:15 a.m. A panel of industry experts representing SITE, FICP and IRF will discuss the findings with Lori Cioffi, Senior Vice President/Chief Content Director, Northstar Meetings Group. The session will be streamed live on the SITE Facebook page.

About Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP)
FICP provides access to education, experience and resources targeting the needs of financial services and insurance meeting professionals across North America. These resources serve to help meeting professionals increase their success and strategic value. FICP maintains a balanced meeting professional to hospitality partner ratio, resulting in a unique business environment.

October 10, 2018
Wickaninnish Inn Recognized with Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Award: “#1 Resort in Canada”

Tofino, British Columbia—Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards with the Wickaninnish Inn recognized as the #1 RESORT in CANADA.

“We are thrilled and honoured to be acknowledged as one of the best hotels in the world, and the top resort in Canada, among such esteemed company,” said Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director at the Wickaninnish Inn. “We are proud of every award we receive, but this one feels more personal because the recognition comes directly from our guests. There’s much for our team to be proud of.”

Nearly half a million Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted a recording-breaking number of responses rating their travel experiences to provide a full snapshot of where and how we travel today.

Released online today, the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards provides an impressive list of illustrious locations and outstanding resorts in a variety of categories.

This is the third time the Wickaninnish Inn has received Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Award, taking the number one spot in both 2013 and 2014, and the second award from Condé Nast this year. In January 2018, the Wickaninnish Inn was given the Gold List Award which highlights the editors’ favourite hotels from the best across the globe.

A notable addition to the Wickaninnish Inn since last winning the top resort in Canada award is the creation of Howard’s Wine Cellar. The first of its kind on the West Coast, this temperature-controlled space divided by floor-to-ceiling glass has transformed the Inn’s ability to showcase its impressive wine selection, which offers hundreds of exceptional labels curated from regional vineyards and from wine producers around the world. The Wickaninnish Inn also shared the celebrated cuisine of The Pointe Restaurant with the release of their first cookbook in 2018 The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge.

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.”

The 2018 Readers' Choice Awards are published exclusively on Condé Nast Traveler's website and celebrated in the November issue on newsstands nationwide on October 16.

September 27, 2018
InterContinental Toronto Centre's Executive Chef Achieves Culinary Mastery

Executive Chef, Shawn Whalen is one of five people in Canada to be certified as a master chef

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW/ - InterContinental Toronto Centre is proud to announce that their Executive Chef, Shawn Whalen, has received the prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation. Chef Whalen devoted endless hours of hard work, dedication and passion to reach this impressive achievement in his field.

The CMC professional designation under the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) is the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada. Developed by industry master chefs and faculty from the Canadian Centre of Culinary Arts and Science at Humber College, the CMC accreditation is uniquely challenging. All chefs must be extremely skilled and well-rounded in a multitude of areas within the culinary arts to receive the certification. Chef Whalen completed the program over a seven year time period, as he completed two years of theory, took a few years off to focus on his family and began his role at the InterContinental Toronto Centre. The final test was taken in August with five days of intense examinations in areas including: garde manger, baking, gastronomic with wine pairing and nutritional vegetarian lunch menu. Not only are the candidates tested on taste, composition and presentation, but also nutritional balance and overall healthiness of the dishes. 

"We are beyond thrilled to have our executive chef attain this culinary achievement. To have the skill, discipline and creativity to complete this exam says a lot about a chef", says Alexi Hakim, General Manager of the InterContinental Toronto Centre. "Chef Whalen's talents really shine through in our food and beverage outlets, from the creation of the menu to the impeccable flavours of each dish, he puts his heart and soul into his work and it doesn't go unnoticed by the guests who dine with us. We are truly inspired by his commitment to the culinary arts and congratulate him on this extraordinary accomplishment."

"There are no words to express, how grateful I am to be a part of this exclusive group of talented chefs who have completed this culinary achievement before me", adds Chef Whalen. "I'm excited to bring all my knowledge and experienced gained on this journey to the hotel and will continue to deliver exceptional dining experiences for our guests".

Chef Whalen joined the InterContinental Toronto Centre as the Executive Chef in 2013 and oversees all cuisine of Azure Restaurant & Bar, 18,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space and 24-hour room service. With over 30 years of culinary experience, Chef Whalen holds several culinary achievements under his belt including acquiring the Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) designation at 25, making him the youngest chef in Canada to ever achieve this honour, and now adds the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada.

About InterContinental Toronto Centre

The InterContinental Toronto Centre is designed to fulfill every need of the global traveler. The 584- room hotel brings together affordable luxury, ideal location, and meeting facilities and personalized customer service. The hotel features Azure Restaurant & Bar and Spa InterContinental, a serene oasis offering a wide selection of spa treatments. Club InterContinental, an exclusive "hotel within a hotel" is designed with business travelers in mind. The three floors provide 91 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, private check-in, dedicated concierge and limousine service, a private lounge, library and boardroom. InterContinental Toronto Centre, the only hotel attached to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre,overlooking scenic Lake Ontario, is set in the heart of Toronto's financial, shopping, theatre and restaurant districts. Reservations can be made at or direct reservations within Canada and US can be made at 1-800-422-7969 and worldwide reservations at 1-800-327-0200. The hotel is managed and operated under license by InterContinental® Hotels Group (Canada), Inc.

SOURCE InterContinental Toronto Centre

For further information: Alexandra Aru, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, InterContinental Toronto Centre, | 416-597-8121, 225 Front Street West

September 26, 2018
Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler Announces the Appointment of Murray Lowe as General Manager

SAN CLEMENTE, CA/CNW/—Evolution Hospitality is pleased to announce Murray Lowe has been chosen to lead the Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler team as its new General Manager, following the retirement of Tony Cary-Barnard at the end of the month.

The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, located at the base of Whistler Mountain, offers travelers an unmatched destination with more than 400 residentially-styled suites, boasting features like warming fireplaces, spacious tubs, modern kitchens and stunning mountain views. The Westin Whistler is the only luxury all-suite resort and destination spa in Whistler. This award-winning hotel has twice been named the #1 Ski Resort by Condé Nast Traveler, plus was the host resort for downhill events during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Lowe has worked for Marriott International and Evolution Hospitality for 33 years in operations and food and beverage positions. For the last four years Lowe served as General Manager of the Warner Center Marriott, Woodlands, CA and immediately prior he spent seven years as the General Manager of the 370-room Marina del Ray Marriott.

Known for his guiding principle of making it better than before, "I am looking forward to meeting all the caring and kind associates who've made the hotel so extraordinary, and then seeing where together we can find new ideas and better ways that will both inspire and expand upon the hotel's positive environment to deliver more positive results", says Murray.

Having been away from Canada for much of his career, "my family and I are ecstatic to be returning to Canada and Whistler. Both my wife and I were actively involved in each of the communities we've lived in and we cannot wait to do the same here in Whistler." Murray previously held both board and executive roles with Los Angeles Tourism, Los Angeles Tourism Marketing Committee, Marina del Ray Convention and Visitors Bureau and Marriott's Los Angeles Business Council.

The Westin Whistler Resort & Spa is located at 4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, British Columbia. For more information, visit the website:

About The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
The Westin Whistler Resort & Spa is located in Canada's greatest year-round recreation destination and was the host resort for the Alpine, Nordic and sliding events for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Located just steps from both mountain gondolas and in the center of the excitement of the pedestrian friendly Village of Whistler, the hotel has been twice-named by Condé Nast as the #1 ski resort hotel in North America!

About Evolution Hospitality
Evolution Hospitality is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aimbridge with expertise and emphasis on lifestyle, independent and condo-hotel operations, as well as California operations. The acquisition with Aimbridge in April 2015 brought a diverse portfolio of high quality hotels and resorts and the ability to leverage  their well respected human capital, highly recognized technology / systems, and e-commerce search engine optimization with Aimbridge's world-class management platform to contribute to best-in-class management practices and value enhancement to owners. Evolution operates more than 50 properties with over 11,000 guestrooms representing 21 unique brands and twelve independent hotels.

About Aimbridge Hospitality
Aimbridge Hospitality is the nation's largest independent hotel management firm with a proven track record for delivering superior returns for its strategic partners in a variety of markets and economic cycles. Aimbridge provides property management, asset management, development, renovation and consulting services. Based in Dallas, Texas and with offices in Chicago and Puerto Rico, Aimbridge currently owns and/or manages approximately 800 upscale, independent and branded hotels with more than 100,000 rooms across the United States and the Caribbean. For more information on Aimbridge Hospitality, please visit

SOURCE The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler 

September 26, 2018
V.I.Plane ready for boarding on the way to the Canadian Innovation Conference 2018

Toronto, Ontario. Wednesday, September 26th, 2018.

Tourism Saskatoon, WestJet, Business Events Victoria, Freeman AV Canada, Destination St. John’s, Tourism London, pc/nametag and Ignite Magazine today announced the V.I.Plane is ready to fly to the 2018 Canadian Innovation Conference this November and invite professional event and conference managers to get on board.

The V.I.Plane will fly attendees of the Professional Convention Managers Association’s (PMCA) Canadian Innovation Conference 2018 together on a WestJet flight from Toronto to Victoria in time for the conference. By jetting together, professional convention and event managers, industry partners and their top clients have a great opportunity to network, collaborate and hear from guest ‘Plane-ary’ speaker Jennifer Spear, President and Chief Strategist, Clean Slate Strategies – all at 30,000 feet.    

“We wanted to create a dynamic shared experience that both planners and partners would never forget,” said Candace Schierling, Tourism Saskatoon, Director of National Sales.  “In an industry that thrives on building strong relationships, experiencing this with clients and colleagues is something we are really looking forward to.”

“When Tourism Saskatoon brought this idea to WestJet, we immediately jumped on-board to provide this special experience,” said Reggie Lang, WestJet Manager Business Development Groups “This is a unique opportunity for business-to-business connections in the meetings industry – all onboard one of WestJet’s 737 aircraft while experiencing our caring onboard service that we are known for.”

“I am honoured and so excited to be participating in what has to be the coolest, most innovative, high flying event,” said Jennifer Spear, Clean Slate Strategies, President and Chief Strategist. “Where else can you connect and collaborate with event professionals at 30,000 feet?  Not only will it be the most talked about way to get to the PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference, but imagine the ideas that will be sparked and the connections that will be made. This is going to be a game changer.”

The flight departs Toronto on November 17 at 12:30 p.m. ET.  For more information and to get on board, contact ProPlan Conferences & Events.


For further inquiries and more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Candace Schierling

Director of National Sales, Tourism Saskatoon

T: 306-931-7588


Reggie Lang

Mgr. Business Development, WestJet

T: 403-945-8957

For Planners wishing to receive an invitation, please contact:

Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM

Principal, ProPlan Conferences & Events

T: 416-528-4509

September 11, 2018
MCI Group Canada expands offerings with the acquisition of Conferences, Groups & Incentives (CG&I)

Toronto, ON.  MCI Group Canada Ltd., a branch of MCI Group -- the global leader in engaging and activating audiences with impactful meetings, events and experiences -- announces the acquisition of Montreal-based events planning firm Conferences, Groups & Incentives (CG&I).

“We have a strong commitment to support cities in which we have offices,” explained Sébastien Tondeur, CEO, MCI Group.  “It’s our goal to focus on expanding our growth in Montreal, which represents a significant part of the business in Canada and also support the city on getting in the spotlight of the global events stage.”

“MCI is committed to growing in Canada and showcasing it as a destination to attract more international conferences, while supporting local clients,” added Juliano Lissoni, managing director, MCI Group Canada Ltd.  “Our presence in Montreal is a significant opportunity for us to achieve our objectives.  We intend to augment the local market presence by adding new services, which will allow us to challenge both local and international competition even more successfully,” he said.

Founded in 2001, Conferences, Groups & Incentives (CG&I) boasts a successful history having been awarded its first international congress with more than 12,000 delegates within months of its inception.  It has proudly maintained an impressive list of both corporate and association international clients managed by a solid team of expert talent who provide support for any type of meeting and event needs.  The company’s co-owner, Carolyn Bourke will assume the directorship of the MCI Montreal office and lead the expansion of the business in Quebec.

“As they say, when people come together, magic happens!” said Ms. Bourke.  “We cannot envision a better fit for Conferences, Groups & Incentives (CG&I) than joining the MCI Group, a true global leader in our industry.  Under the brand we can offer greater value to both employees and customers, and the additional capabilities this union brings will extend our complete solutions approach in offering a broader range of services.”

This significant move underscores the company’s mission to contribute to the strengthening of the sector as part of its growth plans for North America and boosts MCI’s scale by adding to the current operations in Vancouver and Toronto.  MCI continues to build and reinforce its local market capabilities, keeping innovation at the forefront of building communities for helping brands and organizations achieve better business results.

Montreal: a raison d’etre

Montreal ranked first among the top cities in the Americas where international conferences are planned, according to a report issued by the Union of International Associations (UIA) for 2017.  The city hosted 149 international conferences, ahead of cities including Washington, New York, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Toronto.  Overall, Montreal accounted for 61 per cent of all international events held in Canada.* The city has a strategic plan to become a Ville Culturel focusing on arts, heritage and design, as well as supporting international events, including Destination International’s Annual Convention and the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships; in addition, the city celebrated its 375th anniversary to revive its tourism pull.

About Conferences, Groups & Incentives (CG&I)

Conferences, Groups & Incentives is a full-service event management company focused on adapting its services, delivery model, expertise, and costs to the benefit of clients.  CG&I holds a unique position in the industry, competing both on a Canadian and international level.  Our solid client base is diversified, enabling an open mind when it comes to creative solutions and expected outcomes. Having to adapt and respond to a variety of dynamics, environments, cultures and needs has built a solid base of cross-disciplinary experience used to translate our clients’ objectives into innovative results.  Through a mix of industry best practices and proprietary concepts, our team will guide and assist clients through all major areas of event planning and execution.  Our strength lies in our ability to integrate industry trends, participants’ expectations and association objectives into key success factors aimed at raising your event profile and attendees’ take-away.

About MCI

MCI is the global leader in engaging and activating audiences.  Our business is founded on a simple human insight:  When people come together, magic happens. This magic is called community.  Since 1987 we have been bringing people together through inspiring meetings, events, congresses and association management.  MCI helps organizations harness the power of community by applying our strategic engagement and activation solutions to build unforgettable online and offline experiences that foster change, inspire, educate and enhance business performance. MCI is an independently owned company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and boasts a global presence with +2,300 professionals in 60 offices and 31 countries, who work with clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa.  Find out more at

For more information, please contact

Juliano Lissoni

Managing Director

MCI Group Canada/Toronto

+1 416 481-7776