Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

Current News

October 03, 2019
Maritur DMC Mexico joins the Select Group Marketing collection of DMC’s

Toronto, ONIt is with great pleasure and excitement that Select Group Marketing announces our appointment as representative for Maritur DMC Mexico in the Canadian market.

Maritur is a full-service destination management company in with more than 40 years of experience, setting trends in the M&E industry in Mexico. Maritur’s offices are located in key destinations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Merida, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Acapulco.

Maritur’s Director of Sales, Adriana Aburto, says “we are thrilled to have a solid organization like SGM on the ground in Canada doing the legwork for us and we are looking forward to welcoming many Canadian groups”.

Maritur has won numerous awards for their excellent work in Mexico. Amongst them are SITE Crystal awards and ADMEI 2019 Best Innovative Event Finalist

Select Group Marketing’s President, Jan Zandboer, says “Maritur is a great addition to our portfolio. Mexico has been a solid destination for the Meeting, Incentive and Group markets in Canada already, providing many exciting historic and cultural venues for the meeting and incentive market. Lots of historical sites are available for off property events”.

For over 30 years, Select Group Marketing's specialist knowledge and experience has provided value to meeting, incentive planners and industry partners alike.

Representing 14 Destination Management Companies, SGM continually strives to establish itself as the preferred supplier to buyers and sellers of worldwide products suitable to the Canadian group, meeting and incentive markets.

To learn more about Maritur and/or Select Group Marketing please contact

Jan Zandboer, President
Select Group Marketing

October 02, 2019
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Celebrates 35 Years of Contributing to Toronto’s Success

Toronto, ON: The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) celebrates 35 years of making key social and economic contributions to Toronto and Ontario on October 2, 2019. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the MTCC on October 2, 1984. Since then, the facility has been an important economic driver, a strong supporter of local business, and a place where global experts gather to share ideas, advance their field and make the world a better place.

In 35 years, the MTCC has welcomed over 65 million people from around the world, hosted over 21,000 events and generated an estimated $7.8 billion in direct spending economic impact for Toronto and Ontario. Economic impact is created when conference, trade and public show attendees who reside outside of Toronto spend on dining, hotel nights, shopping, transportation and more in the city.

“We offer the world in one province and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is vital to Ontario’s success in attracting business leaders and welcoming visitors to the City of Toronto,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I commend the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for their continued commitment to the promotion of our region as a business and tourism destination, and for their significant economic impact to the province of Ontario.”

“Over 35 years, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre has played an integral role in elevating Toronto’s global reputation and attracting world-class international meetings to the city –in many cases to Canada for the first time. We are very proud of our record of success in terms of economic and social contributions and we look forward to building on our success for many years to come with the help of our industry partners and exceptional team,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, President and CEO at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Many of the 21,000 events elevated Toronto’s global reputation by shining a spotlight on key sectors, and numerous chose the MTCC as their first Canadian venue. Recent examples include Global Spine Congress (GSC) and Rehab Week. Events hosted have range from high-profile, including the G20 and International Aids Conference, to popular consumer shows, corporate meetings, galas, theatre events, and film and TV shoots.

Aside from economic impact, the MTCC continues to leave a social legacy in Toronto. To date, the centre has donated 340,000 meals to local food rescue organizations, including TDSB’s Student Nutrition Program and the Daily Bread Food Bank. The MTCC has also been a leader in sustainability, which represents a core principle of its business. The facility diverts 90% of its waste from landfill and represents the first convention centre in Canada to offer clean renewable power.

Economic and Social Impact

$7.8 billion created in economic impact.
$2.3 billion
in taxes generated.
Over 340,000 meals
donated to local organizations and food banks.
90% of waste
from events diverted from landfill.

Top Firsts

First convention centre in Canada to offer clean renewable power.
First convention centre in the world to host a G7 and G20 summit.
First convention centre in North America to reduce the C02 emissions during the delivery move-in for trade and public shows.
Many international conventions selected the MTCC as their first Canadian venue.

Watch our 35th anniversary video for more here

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada’s number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 35 years, the Centre has hosted over 21,000 events and has added $7.8 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit

Media enquiries:

Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
T: (416) 585-8504

September 24, 2019
Zenus set to disrupt the events industry with facial recognition at GO WEST 2020

HOUSTON, TX - Zenus, a leader in machine intelligence and face recognition solutions for the events industry announces a key partnership with GO WEST 2020. Only in its third year, GO WEST has already become one of the fastest growing, premier events designed by event professionals for event professionals. GO WEST 2020 will be hosted at the Edmonton Convention Centre, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from January 19-21, 2020.

“We are excited to work with GO WEST 2020 and deploy our full suite of solutions,” says Panos Moutafis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Zenus. “It is one of the most vibrant shows for event organizers from across Canada, USA, and Europe. We cannot wait to attend and exchange forward thinking ideas with hundreds of event professionals.”

“Use of face recognition in events is here,” said Brent Taylor, Executive Producer of GO WEST and President of Timewise Event Management. “Let’s embrace it and have those conversations around privacy and appropriate use. We are thrilled to engage with industry leader Zenus to showcase these technologies to our community of event professionals.”

Attendees will experience a variety of face recognition technologies at GO WEST 2020 and will be able to explore the possibilities for its use. In addition, Dr. Moutafis will address the full assembly from The Main Stage and make himself available for further opportunities to continue the dialogue in breakouts and smaller settings. 

GO WEST 2020 will be hosted at the Edmonton Convention Centre, one of North America’s top performing convention centres. An attendance of 800 event professionals from across the continent and beyond is expected for three days of educational sessions, experiential workshops, social events and a 100-booth exhibition. Visit for more information on the event.

About Zenus, Inc.: Zenus powers the world's fastest check-in and superhuman event analytics. The company’s award-winning service has been used by hundreds of events in over 30 countries. Event sizes have ranged from a few hundred to tens of thousands of attendees. Zenus implements privacy by design to protect end user information, offer peace of mind, and drastically improve the attendee experience.

About Timewise Event Management Inc.: Timewise has been a leading event management agency since their inception in 1999. It founded and produces the Edmonton Event Awards, Calgary Events Awards and GO WEST, initiatives to bring the events industry together. Their co-owners volunteer globally with Brent Taylor serving on Meeting Professionals International’s International Board of Directors and Arlene Schilke on their Women’s Advisory Board.

To learn more connect with Zenus via email at or Timewise via email at


September 20, 2019
OneWest Events and Leblond Studio Join Forces to Expand Services to Growing Live Events Industry in Western Canada

Calgary, AB—Owner and Managing Partner of OneWest Events, Dustin Westling, has invested in Leblond Studio, an award-winning event photography agency owned by President and Founder Stephanie Leblond. By joining forces, Westling and Leblond bring an enhanced offering to the live events industry in Western Canada and leverage the growing demand for greater capabilities in this market.

“Leblond Studio has been OneWest’s photographer of choice since 2009,” says Westling. “I’ve worked with Stephanie for over 10 years on countless projects, and this is a natural next step.” With this joint venture, Westling and Leblond are zeroing in on a demand in the Western Canadian events industry for agencies with integrated offerings. The addition of Westling to Leblond Studio’s executive team means more growth opportunities and enhanced capabilities for the studio.

“By welcoming Dustin as EVP of Leblond Studio, we are better equipped, as we grow, to keep on delivering excellence to our clients, some of them who’ve been with us for nearly 15 years,” says Leblond.

The market for destination events in Alberta and British Columbia continues to expand as companies around the world turn their attention to the Canadian Rockies for corporate retreats, conventions, and other major events. Thanks to everything from brand activations durin g live events, to social media integrations, to the increased need to prove project ROI, event photography is an expertise that has never been in higher demand.

Westling and Leblond also share an aligned passion for giving back and the positive impact that businesses can – and should – have on the communities they work in. This approach will allow both businesses to do even more to support and advance local causes, celebrate and promote all that Western Canada has to offer, and elevate the local events industry.

Started in Calgary in 2009, OneWest Event Design & Logistics has since expanded to include Edmonton and Vancouver. OneWest’s experienced team of event professionals works closely with clients and partners to create exceptional live experiences by expertly and seamlessly handling event design and décor, logistics management, and safety oversight.

Since 2005, Leblond Studio has offered award-winning photography to strategic event producers, corporate brand managers, and marketing agencies nation-wide. With teams in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, and a centralized post-production team, Leblond Studio is uniquely positioned to capture complex multi-day and multi-city events, and has earned a reputation as the go-to photography studio for event professionals across Canada.

For more information on OneWest Events and Leblond Studio, visit and

For media inquiries, contact:
Gillian Lueke, Studio Manager

September 20, 2019
Iconic European hotelier Kempinski Hotels expands in the Americas with its newest luxury property on the Caribbean island of Dominica

Making its debut on the 14 October 2019, the highly anticipated Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski will be Dominica’s first five-star resort

Dominica—Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group is proud to bring its rich heritage of attentive personal service and unparalleled hospitality to its newest destination in the Americas. The long awaited Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica will open its doors to guests and exclusive clientele on the 14 October 2019. The resort will be Kempinski’s second Caribbean venture and Dominica’s first-ever five-star resort.

“Bringing this project to fruition is another remarkable milestone for Kempinski Hotels,” says Michael Schoonewagen, General Manager, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica. “We are especially proud of this property because it will give travellers the chance to experience Dominica like never before by bringing together the timeless opulence of Kempinski with the destination’s pristine, untouched landscape to create a transcendent experience where luxury meets nature.”

The Caribbean’s Nature Island
Nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the beautiful, unspoiled island of Dominica is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Secluded from mass tourism, the island attracts both eco-adventurers and those simply wishing to disconnect from everyday life. Surrounded by Cabrits National Park, the resort’s unobtrusive design honours and preserves the natural beauty and ecosystem of this stunning, unexplored volcanic island. The resort is committed to protecting the authenticity of this pristine paradise for future generations of travellers to come, while today offers an enriching guest experience that strikes a natural balance between land and sea.

Room to Roam in Nature’s Playground
Largely covered by wooded mountains and lush tropical rainforest, Dominica is known to have other Caribbean islands “green” with envy. In fact, when it came to describing Dominica to Queen Isabella of Spain, Christopher Columbus was at a loss for words. Now, more than 500 years later, the Nature Island’s dramatic peaks, ravines and adventure-filled terrain are still leaving visitors speechless.

Hosting a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare plants, animals and bird species, Dominica is protected by an extensive natural park system that encompasses three national parks, two forest reserves and the Syndicate Parrot Reserve. Adventure seekers can enjoy eco-trekking on countless hiking trails, bird watching or simply observing wildlife in their natural surroundings.

Dominica is additionally home to the world’s second largest hot spring and features 365 rivers, one for each day of the year, as well as cascading waterfalls and, of course, breath-taking beaches, ranging from sugar-white to black volcanic sand. With ample coastlines and coral reefs, Dominica also offers world-class diving and snorkelling for underwater adventures that feel out of this world.

Nature-Inspired Design
All of the resort’s 151 guestrooms and suites are luxuriously appointed, from deluxe and superior rooms featuring mountain or ocean views to spacious suites and two-bedroom duplexes, and villas. Inspired by the island’s natural beauty, each features a soothing palette of coastal colours, detailed wood accents and ample natural lighting, bringing the beauty of the outdoors in. While worlds away, guests will find all of the modern conveniences of home right at their fingertips, from flat screen televisions and complimentary WiFi service to in-room espresso machines and luxurious bath amenities.

For the ultimate Cabrits experience, the 4,585 sq ft Presidential Villa features stunning ocean views, dedicated butler service, a private lobby entrance, two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a dining room, a private spa room with sauna and a large, oversized terrace for outdoor dining, complete with a grill and private pool. A private chef is also available upon request.

A Feast for the Senses
Every detail of the guest experience at Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski has been carefully thought out to allow guests to feel, smell, see, hear and taste what Dominica has to offer. From a culinary perspective, the resort’s three distinctive restaurants feature both local and international cuisine as well as “farm-to-table” and “sea-to-table” dining.

The resort’s signature restaurant, Cabrits Market, provides an ambiance of vibrant colours and flavours indicative of a Creole market. A variety of interactive buffet stations include a wide range of international fare from Italian to barbeque to, of course, a Creole-themed dinner and opulent brunch.

The Kweyol Beach Café takes a unique spin on the traditional Creole beach bar with an elevated approach. Offering a tasty mix of Creole dishes, international favourites and home-made ice cream flavours such as coconut, this sea view restaurant is a must-do for every guest.

Bonsai serves Pan-Asian cuisine as an exciting alternative to the resort’s main restaurant and beach bar. Bonsai offers a flavourful journey across Asia with sushi, sashimi, satays, Thai curries, wok-sautéed dishes and more.

With both indoor and outdoor seating, the Rumfire Bar serves as the perfect place to end the day, watching the sun set while sipping a drink or enjoying a fine cigar. The bar’s expert mixologist prepares both classic cocktails and original creations utilizing local Caribbean rums and dark spirits.

Rounding out the resort’s sensorial experiences is the 18,000 sq ft Kempinski Spa. Guests may select from indoor and outdoor wellness experiences, bringing themselves closer to nature and creating a connection with the island’s unique ecosystem. The spa’s comprehensive menu includes treatments inspired by the local culture and sense of place.

Memorable Meetings and Events
With an exceptional location facing the sunset on Douglas Bay Beach and a traditional Creole atmosphere, Cabrits Resort & Spa offers some of the most unique and awe-inspiring settings for memorable meetings, family reunions and special occasions. The resort offers than 8,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor event space, including beach, pool and lawn venues, for weddings and celebrations as well as three meeting rooms, a boardroom and an outdoor amphitheatre. The skilled events team can assist in choosing the perfect venue and menus based on party size and preferences.

To be among the first to experience this exciting new destination, guests are invited to book now and will receive one complimentary night when staying for a minimum of three nights, including daily gourmet breakfast. For more information or reservations:‎.

About Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica: Situated in Douglas Bay on the northwest side of the island, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica provides a breath-taking panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea as well as easy access to explore the island’s countless waterfalls, natural hot springs and 365 rivers, one for each day of the year. All 151 rooms, suites, duplexes and villas are luxuriously appointed. Resort features include three distinctive restaurants for local and international cuisine, including farm-to-table and sea-to-table dining; an 18,000 sq ft spa; four pools; six beach cabanas; modern fitness facilities; two tennis courts; a children’s club and on-site water sports. More than 8,000 sq ft of events space, including three meeting rooms, a boardroom and an outdoor amphitheatre, provide options for executive retreats, weddings and celebrations.

About Kempinski: Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now comprises a portfolio of 77 five-star hotels and residences in 34 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one imbues the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. · ·

Media contact:
Claire Kunzman
1.407.227.8867 ·

September 19, 2019
Palais des congrès de Montréal revolutionizes industry, launches CITE Event Innovation and Technology Centre

Montréal—Staying true to its pledge to create unforgettable moments and experiences, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is introducing its CITE Event Innovation and Technology Centre. A bona fide nerve centre of creativity, this new initiative will enable organizers of events of all types and sizes to reinvent the level of experience they can offer participants thanks to the expertise of numerous local startups.

“CITE is akin to an innovation clinic, where our customers can find creative solutions for their needs,” explains Robert Mercure, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, adding that “today’s participants don’t just want to attend an event, they want to experience it, and CITE will enable us to help our customers make that happen by pairing them with creative entrepreneurs that elevate our city and will elevate their events.”

CITE will deliver affordable solutions that are also in line with the organizers’ current and future needs. There are presently a dozen firms that have joined or are in the process of joining CITE, and their services range from technology and food, to the arts and event logistics, all provided jointly with the Palais’ official providers: Freeman Audio Visual, GES Canada and Capital Catering. CITE will eventually house over 20 exciting firms offering innovative experiences.

Solutions powered by MT Lab
The Palais entered the rich ecosystem of Montréal startups in March 2019, when it became a Grand Partner of MT Lab, North America’s first innovation incubator dedicated to tourism, culture and entertainment. Many of the experiences that CITE will offer come from the startups hosted under the MT Lab program.

By making services from local entrepreneurs available to organizers, the Palais is giving Montréal expertise international exposure, as visitors attending the events hail from all over the world.

A Palais designed for coworking
So customers can enjoy fast, quality service, many of the CITE-affiliated firms will also operate offices onsite at the Palais. Ultimately, the convention centre will house a full scale coworking space populated by creatives who will transform the venue into a veritable laboratory of event innovation.

“Working together with the city’s creative entrepreneurs will make it possible for us to set the standard for the events and convention centres of the future. It also positions us as a leader in our industry,” concludes Robert Mercure.

CITE is an initiative that will evolve as new services emerge. Firms confirmed to date include:

Les Cabinets
Les Cabinets
Optimization of the washroom experience by transforming and managing facilities, placing products, and providing host and bespoke services.

Live video streaming
Live video online streaming services for staging and broadcasting professional and public conferences that enrich the overall experience.

Memorable cocktail experiences
A variety of themed cocktail experiences offered in partnership with Capital Catering that add a unique, festive touch to any event.

Art- and design-integrated events
Services aimed at enhancing the event experience like the span of scenery and sets, design, as well as creative art-driven installations.

Interactive experience-triggering transmitters
Access points that install on any physical surface for the purpose of instantly generating a digital experience with a smartphone.

Digital accommodations map
A service allowing users to find accommodations near their event at the best price available online.

Stimulation Déjà Vu
Olfactory experiences
Creation of olfactory experiences and signature fragrances for use in a range of applications tailored to the client needs.

Many more firms will be added to the list of experiences in the coming days.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events. Buoyed by a team of creative professionals with one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, it generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city in the Americas for international events. To learn more, visit

For information:
Renaud Martel-Théorêt
Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Phone: 514 871-5897

September 19, 2019
SPIN Announces 2019 40 Over 40 Winners: Industry’s First Recognition Solely for Veteran Planners

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network announces the 2019 recipients of the industry’s original recognition for veteran meeting planners - SPIN:40 Over 40. This initiative was created in 2017 to recognize and honor planners who are industry role models, influencers, innovators, and pioneers.

“This year we have a group of 28 honorees,” said Tracey Smith, CMP, CMM, SPIN’s Executive Director. “This is an evolving process and we changed some of our criteria, focusing more on giving back, innovation and accomplishments. While we had many candidates, the ones chosen best represented the qualifications we were looking for.”

SPIN’s Founder, Shawna Suckow, CMP, CSP, added, “This group of recipients represents planners with diverse backgrounds who excel in innovation and truly giving back. They’re helping the next generation learn from their examples.”

“It is an honor to be nominated and to have been selected as part of this group,” noted Stephanie Krzywanski, CMM of JR Global Events. “I’ve been drawn to this industry since college and have had the good fortune to have had many opportunities to create my own path within it and to give back.”

Sally Mainprize, SMMC, CRP of Iron Peacock Events, who received multiple peer nominations, echoed that sentiment and added, “I love what I do and am humbled that my industry colleagues value my contributions. The truth is, without my mighty team, I could accomplish very little.”

2019 SPIN:40 Over 40 Winners Mary Margaret Armstrong, CMP, CAE - Meeting Advantage

Allison Beers - Events North

Erika Biddix, CMM, CMP - Biddix Meetings + Events

Kathy Bradley Sheldrake, CMP - KEMET Corporation

Sue Couling - University of Minnesota

Sherry DeLaGarza, CMP, CMM – Key Standards Event Management

Cori Dossett, CEM, CMP - Conferences Designed

Mozelle Goodwin, CMP, HMCC - Goodwin Consulting

Sue Gordon, CMP - EPIC Meetings & Events

Lin Guba, CMM, CMP - International Economic Development Council

Laura Hearvin, CMP, CTA - Treasures Travel & Events, LLC

Deborah Jayne - Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

Stephanie Krzywanski, CMM - JR Global Events, Inc.

Peggy Lamberton, CMP - InterAct.EVENTS

Cathi Lundgren, CAE, CMP - The Lundgren Group

Jeremy Luski - JML Worldwide

Sally Mainprize, SMMC, CRP - Iron Peacock Events

Emily Milliot, CMP, HMCC - AG Communications, LLC

Lorena Moore, CMP, CGMP - ICF International

Susan Piel, CMP - Spiel Planning

Gregory Pynes, MPA - Oncology Meeting Innovations

Jeff Rasco - Attendee Management, Inc.

Larissa Schultz, CMP, MHA, ACC - Journey-Wide Travel & Events, LLC

Brent Taylor, CMP, DES, CMM - Timewise Event Management Inc.

Cindy Thorp - MeetingsNevents, Inc.

Rose Timmerman Gitzi, CMM - RTG Special Events

Denise Waldron, CMP - Viva! Events, LLC

Julie Walker, CMP, HMCC - Choice Meetings

The honorees will each receive two complimentary registrations for SPINCon 2019 (one for the honoree, and one for their nominator or a fellow qualified planner), and they will be recognized at the conference in a ceremony amongst their peers. SPINCon 2019 will be held November 3-5, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey.

About SPIN
SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association for senior-level planners. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks. SPINCon is the annual conference for the association.


For more information:
Carolyn Browning, Director of Communications, SPIN –
Tracey Smith, Executive Director, SPIN –
Catherine Jensen, VP Operations, SPIN –

September 18, 2019
Direct Travel Announces Continued Meetings & Incentives Expansion within Canada

Direct Travel aligns Strategic Meetings + Incentives, and the newly acquired Meridican, under its full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company, Creative Group

DENVER and SCHAUMBURG, Ill. and TORONTO,/CNW/ -- Direct Travel, Inc., one of the top travel management companies in North America, announced today the acquisition of Meridican, a Toronto based Meetings & Incentive company and the subsequent alignment of Strategic Meetings + Incentives, a division of Vision Travel, A Direct Travel Company, under the management of Creative Group, a full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA. These companies will be rebranded Creative Group effective October 11.

"The acquisition of Meridican and the alignment of Strategic Meetings + Incentives under Creative Group is consistent with our strategy of global expansion," said Ed Adams, CEO of Direct Travel.

"The addition of Meridican and Strategic Meetings + Incentives allows us to grow our international portfolio and enables all of us to better service companies that have offices in both Canada and the United States. In addition, these moves continue the diversification of our client portfolio, increase our buying power and strengthen our talent base," says Janet Traphagen, President of Creative Group. "The award-winning work created by both of these offices, and the service they provide to their clients, is world-class and aligns well with that of Creative Group."

Founded in 1974, Strategic Meetings + Incentives, Toronto, is a pioneer in the meetings and incentives industry in Canada and recognised as a world leader in the industry. Its business savvy approach, with a focus on accountability and innovative solutions, has been vital to its success.

Meridican has been providing Canadian and U.S. based clients with meetings and incentive programs for over 30 years. Like Creative Group, Meridican has always had a goal of constant improvement, bringing new technology and innovative program elements to their incentive programs and events. "The purchase will allow Meridican to continue to service its clients in the same exemplary manner. In addition, Creative Group's business approach and culture align with ours, making this a win-win for everyone," notes Anthony Byron, President of Meridican.

Local leadership will be retained to run the new offices in Toronto. Ellie MacPherson, formerly Senior Vice President, Strategic Meetings + Incentives will be responsible for the overall management of the Canadian entity as Senior Vice President, Canada Operations, Creative Group.  "I'm excited to be aligning under the Creative Group brand.  I have always respected the outstanding work delivered by Creative Group, its client tenure and its outstanding team," notes MacPherson. "Our team looks forward to offering our broad spectrum of long-standing clients in financial, insurance, automotive and energy with the new and additional services our alignment with Creative Group will provide."  Terry Manion, previously Executive Vice President of Meridican, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development Canada, Creative Group and will lead the Canadian based business development team. Manion states that, "Our joining Creative Group will allow us to provide additional depth, services and incentive solutions that will augment our current offerings – bringing enhanced value to our clients."  

About Direct Travel

Direct Travel, Inc. is a leading provider of corporate travel management services. The company has been providing travel management services for over 40 years, working with clients to develop highly customized travel programs. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and innovative solutions, Direct Travel enables clients to derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of superior service, progressive technologies and significant cost savings. Direct Travel has offices in 90 locations across North America and the UK and is currently ranked 9th on Travel Weekly's Power List. Direct Travel is also a prominent member of Virtuoso, the world's most prestigious luxury travel network. For more information about Direct Travel, please visit

Additionally, Direct Travel offers full-service performance improvement solutions, including meeting and event management, group incentive travel and individual recognition solutions through its wholly owned subsidiary Creative Group, Inc. For more information, please visit

About Creative Group

Creative Group is a full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company that delivers business results by inspiring people to thrive. An industry leader, Creative Group has been honored with SITE awards and the CMI 25 Award, which recognises the top 25 most influential meeting and incentive management companies in the U.S.  

Creative Group was founded in 1970 and has served clients in financial services, life sciences, insurance, manufacturing, retail, technology, automotive and hospitality. Employing over 260 people, the company is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois and maintains offices in Detroit, Denver, San Francisco, Appleton, Wisconsin and Toronto, Canada. Creative Group was acquired by Direct Travel in 2015. For more information about Creative Group, please visit

About Meridican

Meridican, founded in 1982, is an award-winning, full-service meetings, events and incentives company focused on delivering world-class incentive travel programs, meetings and conferences, product launches, and consumer events. These transformative event experiences are designed to support long-term business goals and objectives.  Meridican services a client list that includes but is not limited to automotive, finance, insurance, food services, retail, telecommunications and manufacturing companies. 

About Strategic Meetings + Incentives

Strategic Meetings + Incentives is a leading full-service meeting, incentive and events company with a focus on delivering quantifiable results for clients since 1974.  Strategic Meetings + Incentives has been the recipient of SITE Crystal Awards, as well as numerous industry recognition awards.  

In 2013, Strategic Meetings + Incentives was acquired by Vision Travel, now part of Direct Travel. The Strategic Meetings + Incentives client roster includes insurance, financial services, automotive, energy and retail companies. 

SOURCE Creative Group, Inc.

For further information: Shireen Moore,, 847 353 4748,

Related Links

September 18, 2019
Intuitive Conferences & Events Inc. (ICE) welcomes new Planner, Event Services

Port Hope, ON—The entire Intuitive Conferences & Events Inc. team are pleased to announce that Eliana Cugini has come on board as their Planner, Event Services.   

“With Eliana’s passion for curating creative and innovative events and her background in communications, we know that she is going to be an asset to this team. We are looking forward to continuing to design exceptional experiences for all of our clients and Eliana is the right fit to help us with this.” states Lynne Coyne.  

With a background in public relations and two decades of experience representing companies at the corporate level, Eliana brings expertise in strategic planning and execution for events and campaigns that showcase a brand and its purpose.

She has planned events and conferences, from product launches, to large scale events for B2B and B2C companies across industries including retail, finance, and technology.

Eliana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Sociology from The University of Toronto, as well as a certificate in Public Relations & Communications from Seneca College.

“I am happy to be a part of the Intuitive family,” said Eliana. “I am looking forward to working alongside a high caliber team of professionals to provide service and excellence to our clients.”

We welcome Eliana to our family and wish her all the best in her new role!

She can be reached at or 905-403-9646 ext. 900.

Intuitive Conferences + Events (ICE) is a full-service meeting, conference and incentive travel planning company whose focus is bringing innovation and creativity to your event management needs all while exceeding your expectations. Whether you are looking for additional support to your team, or require full event management, we can customize our services to accommodate your needs. Bookmark our website at and follow us on twitter at @IntuitiveCE.

ICE is affiliated with Meeting Encore Ltd. Meeting Encore Ltd. is Canada’s first and finest sourcing company. They provide hotel consulting, site location services and contracting for their valued clients. They are happy to be celebrating their 29th year in business. They can be reached at 905-403-9646, contacted via their website at and followed on Twitter at @Meeting_Encore. 

September 17, 2019
The Rec Room will Feature Multiple Dining Options, Over 100 Amusement Games, Boutique Bowling and Virtual Reality

VIP Cinemas to Include Five Luxury Auditoriums and a Fully Licensed Lounge

TORONTO – Cineplex, a leading entertainment and media company, in partnership with Carbonleo and its partner L Catterton Real Estate (LCRE), today announced plans to open two new entertainment destinations as part of the Royalmount development on the Island of Montreal, which includes Quebec's first location of The Rec Room as well as a new VIP Cinemas. The new location of The Rec Room will offer incredible dining, exciting live entertainment, amusement gaming experiences and feature attractions, all under one roof. The new VIP Cinemas theatre will offer a luxurious and fully licensed movie-going experience exclusive to Cineplex for adults 18 and over. Both new locations are scheduled to open in 2022 and will provide guests with an exciting new range of options where they can relax, socialize and enjoy a night out with friends. 

"While Quebec movie-goers are already familiar with the VIP Cinemas experience, The Rec Room will be a new social playground where guests can eat, drink and play and we could not be more excited to announce our first location in Quebec at Royalmount in Montreal," said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. "I want to thank the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, as today's announcement is a direct result of recent regulatory amendments spearheaded by the Minister and her team." 

The Rec Room at Royalmount

Spanning approximately 40,000 square feet over two floors and an outdoor patio, The Rec Room at Royalmount will strike the perfect balance of food and fun. Approximately half of the space will be devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half devoted to amusement games and feature attractions. With multiple dining options, The Rec Room will have something on the menu for everyone, including an upscale casual dining area offering a selection of shareables and handcrafted dishes as well as a quick-service dining option where guests can order an assortment of delicious, on-the-go foods to eat while they play. The new and highly anticipated location will also include multiple bars throughout the space that offer a selection of craft beer, wines and specialty cocktails. With private dining rooms for celebrations, meetings, team building, corporate events and parties, The Rec Room will be the ideal spot to book for private events. 

In addition to great food and beverage offerings, The Rec Room will have a massive attractions area where gamers of all ages can play and earn credits on over 100 amusement games to redeem for a variety of great prizes. Guests can play classic favourites like air hockey, pool and ping pong, lace-up for some boutique bowling or enjoy the latest in immersive virtual reality experiences. The Rec Room at Royalmount will also feature a live performance space, where guests can look forward to bands and musical acts, comedy, trivia, karaoke and live DJs. And of course, the new complex will offer an overall guest experience that integrates the latest in technology, coupled with SCENE, Canada's leading entertainment rewards program. 

VIP Cinemas Theatre

Located just steps away from The Rec Room, the new VIP Cinemas theatre at Royalmount will feature five luxury auditoriums where adult movie-lovers can relax in plush recliners and have their food and beverage orders delivered right to their seats. The new theatre will also have a fully licensed lounge where guests can socialize with friends and enjoy food and drink before and after a movie. Guests can choose from an expanded food and beverage menu that includes fresh salads and bowls, burgers, artisanal pizzas, plant-based dishes, indulgent desserts and a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, wines and craft beers. The VIP Cinemas menu will also include Cineplex's famous popcorn as well as other traditional concessions. 

"We are thrilled to be a partner of choice for Cineplex, a company that is renowned across the country for its innovative experiences. Their decision to select Royalmount for the launch of The Rec Room – a superior dining, entertainment and amusement experience and first-of-its-kind location in Quebec – demonstrates their confidence in this landmark destination for unique, new and exciting experiences in Montreal," said Claude Marcotte, Executive Vice President and Partner, Carbonleo. "With its dynamic culture and selection of best-in-class attractions, including The Rec Room and VIP Cinemas, Royalmount will be an urban hub that beautifully complements the city's already dynamic profile." 

Located in the Town of Mount Royal at the intersection of highways 15 and 40, The Rec Room and VIP Cinemas at Royalmount will be built with the support of Carbonleo as part of its new, visionary and eco-elegant sustainable project in Montreal. Construction on both complexes is scheduled to begin in 2021, with a target opening of 2022. 

Cineplex currently operates 165 theatres across Canada, including 20 theatres and one VIP Cinemas in Quebec. The province's first VIP Cinemas opened at Cineplex Odeon Brossard Cinemas and VIP in 2012 and has been a sought-after entertainment option for adult movie-lovers. The Company also operates seven locations of The Rec Room across Canada, including South Edmonton (AB), West Edmonton Mall (AB), Calgary (AB), Toronto (ON), London (ON), Mississauga (ON) and St. John's (NFLD), with locations opening soon in Burnaby (BC), Winnipeg (MB), Barrie (ON) and Vancouver (BC). 

About Cineplex 

Cineplex (TSX:CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. A leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex welcomes over 70 million guests annually through its circuit of theatres and location based entertainment venues across the country. In addition to being Canada's largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (, food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media), amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group) and an online esports platform for competitive and passionate gamers (WorldGaming Network). Additionally, Cineplex operates location based entertainment complexes specially designed for teens and families (Playdium) as well as Canada's favourite destination for 'Eats & Entertainment' (The Rec Room), and will be opening exciting new sports and entertainment venues across Canada (Topgolf). Cineplex is a joint venture partner in SCENE, Canada's largest entertainment loyalty program. 

Proudly recognized as having one of the country's Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs approximately 13,000 people in its offices across Canadaand the United States. To learn more visit or download the Cineplex App. 

About Carbonleo

Carbonleo is a private Quebec based property development and management company that has pioneered a progressively human, vibrant and highly experiential approach to developments. Inspired by top creators and by world-class best practices, the team of story builders at Carbonleo creates engaging communities through projects that fulfill the aspirations of present and future consumers. With a track record of developing successful next generation mixed-use developments, Carbonleo is dedicated to the ongoing revitalization of Montreal, and in continuing to create a portfolio of exciting, high value, differentiated assets that integrate seamlessly into the regions in which they come to life. The company, which employs 70 people and was founded in 2012, has numerous projects in its stable including Quartier DIX30TM, RoyalmountTM, as well as Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal.  

SOURCE Cineplex