Current News

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Current News

March 24, 2020
Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) Goes Virtual

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is April 14. GMID was created to be an international forum for advocacy, awareness and celebration for the meetings & events industry. Each year, event professionals from around the world come together to raise the collective voice of our community.

In 2020, GMID will look very different.

Due to advice from WHO, Health Canada and governments around the world, we’re not encouraging live events for GMID.

But we will meet. We will do so virtually—and we are going to break some records!

Let’s set a record.

We are inviting the entire industry to join us to set the Record for the Largest Virtual Event.

We will be hosted by the heads of Meetings Mean Business Canada, India and the United States.

After we have broken the record, we will discuss COVID-19 and its impact on our communities, work and families. Since this situation is constantly evolving, we expect our agenda for the webcast to evolve as well.

Please join our esteemed panel, including those from government, Business Events Canada, hotels, convention centres and the planning community to discuss the meetings & events industry from their perspectives and where we go from here.

This is a challenging time for our industry and it is important that we support each other and work together so that we emerge stronger together.

This year, GMID needs to be about resiliency, survival, tenacity and perseverance.

Please join Meetings Mean Business Canada and be part of the conversation.

Date: April 14, 2020
Time: Starting at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/1pm ADT.
This FREE event will be webcast and open to all.
The webcast will be recorded and shared following the event.

Registration at: https://gmidgoesvirtual.com/

March 24, 2020
Canadian Chamber of Commerce information for MMBC

Meetings Mean Business Canada has been advocating for the Business Events Industry for the past few weeks as we work with various groups to raise the awareness of the impact that COVID-19 has had, and is having on our Industry Sector. As we have been working on this, friends like Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have been bringing many businesses and organizations together to provide guidance for Canadian businesses.

I thought that the video below and resource page from The Canadian Chamber could be useful for many of the MMB Canada coalition as you deal with various businesses challenges.

Stay Well,
Clark Grue
Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada

March 20, 2020
A Message of Hope from a CHMSE Past President

An open letter to my hospitality & events family,

It is hard to believe that our stalwart little association has seen the good, the bad and the ugly times in our industry for 40 years. They do say 40 is the new 20 so we look to face this current, truly unprecedented crisis in our industry with the tenacity of youth and the wisdom of age. It certainly isn’t the way we were intending to celebrate our big year, however if there is one thing we do know, it’s how to roll with the punches.

I’ve been lucky enough to call this industry “home” since 1991 when I started my internship at the Delta Chelsea Inn. Walking into that behemoth hotel during a recession, as a very naive 21-year old, I really had no idea what this crazy business was all about or the storms it would weather. Many of my contemporaries have great stories of the boom and bust years throughout the 90’s (when some of you were just starting school - wink!); yet we were only shortly into a new decade when the world turned upside down...

At the time, we didn’t think we would recover from 9/11...but we did; through unity and fortitude.

Then only a short 18 months later, SARS was the end of conventions in Toronto. That was one horrible summer. I still give thanks to those plucky American Librarians who were the only convention out of 15 that didn’t cancel. Hotels occupancies plunged to 29% that year. But we recovered.

In 2008, the financial crisis brought down banks and crippled markets around the world. People stopped travelling. Our industry took yet another hit. But we bounced back. Not only did we bounce back, we had a pretty phenomenal decade or more of growth and stability in our industry.

Now: COVID-19. We won’t soon forget this one. This crisis is bad. The worst we’ve seen. We don’t yet know how long it will take, but we will recover. We look back on this in years to come and say, “Geez, do you remember when...”

We ALWAYS bounce back. This time will be no different. We will be stronger as a hotel and event community because that is what we do. From Toronto to NYC; from Cleveland to Calgary. To all my ‘peeps’ across the continent - I could not be more proud to call you all colleagues. Oh, what stories we will have to tell...

On behalf of your Board of Directors at CHMSE, I remain,
Yours in Hospitality,
Ellen Muir
Special Industry Liaison Officer
CHMSE

Regional Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Concord Hospitality Enterprises

March 20, 2020
BDC COVID-19 Support

The following information was shared with Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). We hope this information may be useful to you during this difficult time.

BDC is taking additional measures to provide relief to Canadian entrepreneurs during these difficult times. These include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

To read the full press release, click here.

Over the past couple of days, we’ve received many questions from partners and clients about BCAP, so we’ve compiled some of the key ones below:  

How do I access BCAP?

  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.
  • Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.
  • Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.  

Why banks first? 

  • Canada’s six biggest banks have made a commitment to work with small business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through these challenges.
  • Banks have a longstanding history of standing by Canadians through challenging times, like now.
  • BDC complements the work of Canada’s private-sector financial institutions, with whom we work closely.

Why is it taking so long?
We are receiving an unprecedented volume of requests. We understand the urgency of the situation and have mobilized all BDC teams to respond as quickly as possible.

March 20, 2020
CPA information for MMBC

Knowing that many in our industry will be faced with challenges regarding their staff and more specifically their payroll, we wanted to share the attached document with you. The document is available in English and French.

While the coding on EI Records of Employment may not seem critical, it is vital that the forms are filled correctly to avoid unnecessary errors, difficulty and delays in EI processing, especially at this difficult time.

Thanks to the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) for authoring the bulletin and agreeing to share it widely.

Clark Grue
Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada

March 18, 2020
Porter Airlines temporarily suspending flights to support COVID-19 relief efforts

Operations restarting June 1, allowing public health initiatives to take effect

Toronto/CNW/—Porter Airlines is temporarily suspending all flights at the close of operations on Friday, March 20, with plans to resume service on June 1. This decision is being made in support of ongoing public health efforts to contain COVID-19.

Michael Deluce, Porter's president and CEO stated: "COVID-19 is having an unprecedented effect on people around the world and Porter is determined to do our part to support the efforts of the Canadian, U.S. and global authorities in their responses. Restricting activities by people in all communities is what's required to keep our team members and passengers healthy, and ultimately to end this fast-spreading pandemic. A temporary suspension of all flights allows the public health crisis to diminish and then time to restart our operations.

"Remaining flights through March 20, will allow customers to complete existing trips and return home, or make last-minute reservations to reach a destination."

The existing waiver of change and cancellation fees means there is no cost to customers for modifying an existing itinerary.

Porter is also prepared to help recovery efforts by operating flights to support the movement of government officials, public health requirements and economic recovery efforts. Porter FBO at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will remain open to support these needs, as well as Ontario's provincial medevac service and other general aviation.

Reservations are currently being taken for Porter flights starting June 1. All flights booked in June will be fully changeable and refundable to give passengers maximum flexibility as travel resumes.

Passengers can cancel existing reservations online at www.flyporter.com. The volume of inquiries at our call centre has been consistently high this month. It is requested that only passengers with immediate travel needs through March 20, who cannot resolve their request online, use the call centre in order to alleviate wait times.

Michael Deluce added: "It is regrettable that this situation requires us to issue temporary layoffs across the business. We are doing everything possible to support our team during this period and intend to welcome back all of our team members as operations restart. Executive Chairman Robert Deluce and I will not receive any salary during this time, in alignment with the impact on our team members. All other management who remain during the temporary suspension will see salary reductions of up to 30 percent until flights resume.

"Porter's team is exceptional. Our resilient culture has seen the company through difficult times in the past and it will allow us to do so again. We intend to come back stronger than ever and ready to meet the needs of customers."

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Stephenville, N.L., Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Porter Airlines

March 17, 2020
2020 CanSPEP Conference in Victoria, April 22 - 26

As this unprecedented global crisis continues to unfold in the coming weeks and months, it is vitally important to us that our CanSPEP community is safe and we ensure we do not put anyone at risk. As such, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 CanSPEP Conference in Victoria, April 22 - 26.

While this is certainly disappointing, we are pleased to confirm that the committee is working on a virtual alternative, showcasing engaging and valuable content designed specifically to help our members and our supplier community regroup and rebuild. We will provide more details about sponsor participation options for this virtual format in the coming weeks. For those sponsors who have already committed to participate in  VIC2020, someone from the CanSPEP Partnership Committee will be in touch shortly to discuss alternatives.

We thank you for your ongoing support of CanSPEP and look forward to being able to gather together again in the near future. These last few weeks have reinforced how much better things are when we pull together and lean on each other for support and guidance. We truly are #bettertogether

On behalf of the entire CanSPEP Board of Directors, please continue to be safe and healthy as we maneuver these truly unprecedented times.

Sincerely,
Joe Orecchio, CanSPEP President

March 17, 2020
Mutika Group - Update on Coronavirus Outbreak

The Mutika Team continues to monitor hourly updates in Italy through our Emergency Task Force Team.  Our team remains healthy, working remote from home and dedicated to following the Italian Health Ministry and WHO guidelines.  We would like to share with you what we have learned in the past few weeks as life in our country has changed significantly.

•           It is critical to take the WHO’s and your Government' recommendations seriously. We understand that humans are social by nature, and it is mentally challenging to accept self-containment. However, we have seen in our country that if you do not follow health recommendations, social distancing and self-containment, it will result in putting the health of others and lives at risk due to the very fast spreading of the virus.

•           There are two reasons why the coronavirus became an emergency in Italy and as a result the lockdown of the country.  The first is because the virus can cause some people to require weeks in the ICU, creating a high demand for hospital space.  The second is because of how fast and effectively it spreads.  There can be a two-week incubation period and many who have it do not show symptoms right away.

•           Lombardy, Italy, has one of the best health systems in Europe and the world.  They are currently facing a collapse of the medical system. Today, the ICU’s are at more than capacity with ICU units in the hallways.  There are a finite number of medical staff, and they are becoming infected. They have also been working non-stop for days.  This can only be resolved if the infection numbers do not continue to increase. The remainder of the country has the same concern, which is why the lockdown is very important to stop new contagions.

•           In regard to demographics for those contracting the virus, Italy is seeing people of all ages becoming severely ill, not only the elderly.

•           Mutika and the country of Italy love your Country.  We want to share that you have a chance to make a difference and stop the spread in your country.  We recommend your entire office work remote from home if possible, cancel all social gatherings and stay home as much as you can.  If you take these steps, you can buy your medical system time to keep up with the constantly growing spread. We are taking the liberty to share this based on our experience, and we truly don’t want you to go through this challenge. Please take advantage of what Italy has experienced and #stayathome.

•           If you feel it is impossible to live with full containment, locking down Italy was beyond anyone’s imagination two weeks ago.

•           From a local perspective, we understand the importance of first and foremost keeping people healthy and safe.  It is critical we take care of our people, and the beauty of Italy will always be there for you when time is right.

The light that has come out of this situation in Italy is the way people have come together. The greatest gift you can give is time. Italians are using this time to be with their #families, #sing together, #cook #together, #read and take advantage of #technology to remain connected in their jobs and with the world. There is a bonding of Italians and humanity that we have never seen before. The spirit of Italy is still very much alive. We pass on this spirit to you and hope you remember to keep the American spirit alive during this time when life has become challenging.

Stefano Giaquinta, CEO

&

Experience Designers Team

Take care and #stayathome!

March 16, 2020
New dates for ISE and ISA as SITE Launches Member Communications Campaign

Chicago - Today the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) announced re-scheduled dates for Incentive Summit Europe (ISE) and Incentive Summit Americas (ISA) following the postponement of both events due to Covid-19. Incentive Summit Europe will now take place at the InterContinental, Davos, Switzerland December 10-13, 2020, while Incentive Summit Americas will happen later in 2020, with final dates still to be confirmed. 

Writing to members of SITE, Jenn Glynn, CIS, CITP, President of SITE and Managing Partner Meeting Encore, Ltd. and Intuitive Conferences + Events, Inc. stated: “I don’t think it will come as a surprise to learn that, with great regret, we’ve been forced to postpone the much anticipated ISE and ISA. Despite our earlier optimistic intent, the serious and severe escalation of the virus globally has left us with no alternative.”

Glynn also announced the launch of a new communications campaign aimed at providing SITE chapters and members with timely, relevant and actionable content during the Covid-19 crisis. Based on an unprecedented number of responses to a survey undertaken last week, the campaign will last, initially, for 12 weeks. 

Said Glynn, “Our chapter leaders and members have given us a very clear indication of how, when and what to communicate at this time and have highlighted the following topics as priorities: contracts, best practice, alternative revenue sources, availability of government supports for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] and uplifting, good news stories."

CEO of SITE, Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP added, “At this time, more than ever, our global SITE community must stay connected. SITE and our chapter network will act as the channel and catalyst for distribution of important content to inform and inspire, to provide insights and ideas. We are in totally unchartered waters but, together, we can navigate our way to shore and safety. We will achieve this by staying connected and ensuring a two-way communication flow between us.” 

About the Incentive Summit Series 

Boutique by choice and intimate by design, SITE Incentive Summit Series convenes an elite group of incentive travel professionals for three days of networking, learning and destination immersion. Incentive Summit Europe will take place between December 10-13 in Davos, Switzerland. Incentive Summit Americas will happen later in 2020, with final dates still to be confirmed. 

About SITE 

Incentive travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all Business Events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally. 

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. 

We bring value to our members at both global and local chapter level by networking, online resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE is deeply committed to the new generation and operates a best-in-class Young Leaders program and dedicated annual conference. 

SITE Foundation was established by SITE to raise funds and support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by SITE Foundation enable us to make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. 

SITE Foundation has recently funded certification for mid-manager level incentive travel professionals (CITP) and, with our partners Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), the Incentive Travel Industry Index (ITII). 

The SITE Foundation is a registered charity holding a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization status. 

March 16, 2020
Update on COVID-19 from MMBC Chair, Clark Grue

On behalf of the Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) Board of Directors, I wanted to share with you a communique from our partners at MMB US. Please see the attached document.

Here in Canada, we want you to know that we understand the strains and the challenges that you are currently experiencing.  I am so proud to have a Board that spans the country and the industry from large organizations to small businesses that make our sector happen every day.  Each of the Board Members is concerned for you and your business, and we are looking for ways to support you as we find our way through this challenging time.

We are speaking to various organizations regularly as we advocate for support from the government for the many businesses that are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Stronger together,

Clark Grue

Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada

 

March 13, 2020
MPI’s the EVENT Postponement

Recognizing the ongoing and increased uncertainty that COVID-19 is causing, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our partners and attendees of the EVENT.  With that in mind, the decision has been made to postpone The EVENT scheduled to be held April 2-4 at the Pan Pacific Toronto.

This was a very difficult decision as we initially wanted to set an example by continuing to hold The EVENT.  However, based on the new recommendations from Public Health authorities to limit social interactions, and the travel bans that companies are issuing to their employees, the decision was made last night to postpone The EVENT to a later date this year.

It is our intention to reschedule The EVENT at the Pan Pacific Toronto before the end of 2020. We will keep you informed as soon as possible on the new dates.

At this time, we suggest you cancel your travel arrangements, but not cancel your registration to The EVENT, as we are hopeful that you will be able to attend the re-scheduled The EVENT in Toronto later this year. 

If you have any questions, please direct them to Leslie Wright at leslie@the-event.ca

 

March 13, 2020
Message from Meetings Mean Business Canada

We are in a very troubling and challenging time for the Meetings Industry in Canada. With the global fear around COVID-19, Canada is feeling the impact, more than even last week. Each of you and your organizations are no doubt feeling the pains of cancellations and postponements.

We are very concerned about the public health and safety of our delegates and staff as we navigate this situation. I trust that you all are following the Public Health Agency of Canada's guidance on public gatherings. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/mass-gatherings-risk-assesment.html

As we navigate through this crisis, your MMBC Board is actively engaging with various stakeholder organizations who are advocating and lobbying the government for support. These efforts are creating channels and producing results as we seek regulatory and funding support. Along with Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Business Events Canada, Conventions Centres of Canada, Hotel Association of Canada and others, we have been working to establish a plan for mitigation and recovery. 

None of this alleviates the immediate challenges we are facing.  Each of you are in the battle for near-term business and we know that is exactly what you should be focused on at a time such as we are experiencing. It is also important that we take on this challenge together. Our community is critical. Not only to producing safe and secure events today, but we must also prepare for the path of recovery ahead.

MMBC will continue to advocate for you federally through TIAC and connect with our industry stakeholders to remain engaged in the conversation to ensure that we continue to elevate the important economic and social driver that business events and conferences are of Canada.

If we can be a support or resource to you as we move through this challenge, please reach out. We have been adding links to our website to point the industry to relevant meetings relevant data provided by various organizations.

You are not alone.

Clark Grue

Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada

March 13, 2020
Important Announcement From the Producers of CSE Live

The virus known as COVID 19 has caused the cancellation of thousands of events all over the world, which will have a devastating effect on our industry. We have heard from colleagues coast to coast that they are already seeing massive impact both financially and in terms of support for their businesses as employees make personal decisions around their own health and safety. This is an overwhelming time and as leaders in the event industry in Canada for over two decades, we know first-hand the incredible burden these situations can have. Therefore, in consultation with public health authorities, our partner Liberty Entertainment Group, our sponsors, exhibitors and participants, we have made the decision to shift the dates of CSE Live from April to June 15-17, 2020. This decision was made in the interest of public safety and in an effort to allow our two thousand + participants to maintain focus on their businesses, families and personal health.

We will continue to plan the event over the next few months, building toward a strong show that will be there when the clouds clear and the industry comes together as a group to start the move forward.

Comments on the news:

Stacy Wyatt, Publisher of Canadian Special Events Magazine

“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this global crisis. Our first priority is always going to be the health, safety and economic wellbeing of our partners, colleagues and friends. We look forward to bringing the industry together in June to create a positive and successful experience for everyone.”

Ken Kristoffersen, President/Chief Strategy Officer, POP Kollaborative Events

“I have always looked to Canadian Special Events Magazine to be a decisive leader in our industry. As Co-Producers of Eventfest, POP Kollaborative Events fully supports this move as one which will be there at a time when the industry will need it most. We will continue to work towards creating a world-class experience for our industry, and we look forward to seeing everyone in June.”

Jocelyn Flanagan, Founder & CEO, e=mc² events

“Postponing the conference is 100% the right thing to do. While our natural inclination to ‘rise above’, we, as an industry, must respect the global messaging of health and wellness.  It is important that we take the time to work closely with our teams, our clients and our event partners. We all must be solutions based during this crisis and look at ways that we can all come out of this together with even fortitude and resiliency.  When given the green light - there will be many clients who will go about their business and we, as an industry, need to be ready and better than ever.”

Greg Bell, Vice-President. Décor & More Inc

"Once again, our industry finds itself on the front lines of a major health crisis that has already heavily impacted our businesses. Yet despite the uncertainty, it’s important to remember that we have survived tough situations before, and hopefully we will get through this change. As an industry, we are masters of change management, logistical thinking and performing under pressure; we will need to use all these skills to navigate the daunting path ahead. Assuming we are in healthier times, moving the show to June is the right decision to give us the boost we will all need when we get to the other side of this”

Ways that you can protect yourselves and your guests, should you be organizing any gatherings that cannot be shifted. 

  • Move your event online, if possible.
  • Ensure you check the guestlist for anyone coming from a high outbreak region. If they do, suggest they not attend the event.
  • Create hand washing stations at the entry point to the event requesting everyone wash their hands before entering.
  • Hand sanitizer stations.
  • Wrapped foods with no self-serve tongs or all pre-plated meals. Avoid buffets at all costs.
  • No handshakes signs at the event.
  • Move chairs apart as much as possible.
  • Take tables seating down to six and do not seat more than six at a 60” round  to reduce proximity.
  • Clean and sanitize all mics, podiums before the between speakers.
  • Do not allow the sharing of countryman headsets.
  • No straws unless they are individually wrapped for each guest.
  • Hire additional staff to sanitize and disinfect spaces – 14 and 4 hours pre-event.
  • Ensure you are staying abreast of local health news and identify a cancellation endpoint for your event.
  • Make a back-up plan should you have to cancel.
  • Have a plan to deal with anyone who shows signs of illness during your event or conference and plan for including isolation spaces, waste removal and health care contacts.
March 13, 2020
CHMSE - Important Announcement re. General Managers Night

It is with deep regret that we announce the postponement of CHMSE's General Managers Night, originally scheduled to be held one week tonight, Thursday, March 19th at the Hilton Toronto.

The situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve by the minute. We recognize that it has had an unprecedented impact on our industry. In alignment with other industry companies and groups, CHMSE had initially tried to set an example by carrying on with business as usual. However, the decision was taken today by the Board of Directors to heed new recommendations from public health authorities to limit social interaction. The safety of our members and guests remains our top priority and for that reason, we regretfully postpone General Managers Night.

It is our intention to reschedule General Managers Night once it is safe and appropriate to do so. We will be listening to public health recommendations and feedback from you in making the decision around timing.

If you have registered for GMs Night, we will be in touch with you separately about the registration fees you may have remitted.

As an industry we are resilient and we know that this, too, will pass. We are inspired by everyone's dedication to weathering the storm and supporting one another during this time. Continue to reach out to us at CHMSE with questions or suggestions. We will keep you updated as best we can, and we hope to see you all very soon.

Amanat Jaisinghani (AJ)
CHMSE President 2019-2020 

March 12, 2020
VIA Rail Is Enforcing Special Measures for COVID-19

MONTRÉAL, /CNW/ - In response to the COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus disease) outbreak around the world and in Canada, VIA Rail Canada's (VIA Rail) is enforcing special health and safety measures for its passengers and employees.

For the moment, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada, but it could change rapidly. Therefore, at the moment, all of our trains are operating normally coast to coast, but this could change as the situation evolves.

''The health and safety measures of our passengers and employees is our top priority and we are focusing our efforts accordingly. At this point, all hands are on deck. All employees, whether in train stations, on board, in maintenance or call centres, are trained and informed on what they have to do to for safety and prevention'', declared Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO. '' The situation requires us to remain vigilant and to ensure we minimize the risk of contamination to the best of our ability. VIA Rail is deploying additional preventive and reactive measures to its corporate Illness Control Plan''.

Contamination management

We have strict cleanliness and hygiene protocols for our trains, which entails regular and thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces in our cars including vestibules and washrooms (tray tables, armrests, doors, walls, windows, counters, etc.).

As for our stations, we have increased daily cleaning and disinfection. Special attention is being paid to hard surfaces like door handles, handrails, elevators, washrooms, switches, and more.

The current cleaning products we use have been approved by Health Canada and have are effective against COVID-19.

Hygiene

Masks are being distributed to all major stations in our network and placed on board our trains. These disposable masks will be prioritized for passengers showing symptoms.

Anti-viral products, such as hand sanitizer, are being distributed on board trains and in stations. We have also acquired more prevention equipment and we will be ready for distribution and deployment when it will be required.

Messages in our stations and on board our trains invite passengers to exercise vigilance and good judgment and follow the usual guidelines for good hygiene. If they experience symptoms, we encourage them to avoid traveling in order to reduce the spread of infections.

Additional measures will be ready to deploy should the situation change.

Flexibility for clients

Passengers who choose to change their travel plan will be accommodated. For maximum flexibility, passengers can cancel or modify their reservation at any time prior to departure during the month of March and April and receive a full refund in addition to not incurring any service charges, regardless of when they purchased their ticket. This includes all travel up to and including April 30, 2020, as well as any travel after April 30, 2020, if their outbound train is on or before April 30, 2020.

Dedicated committee and communications

Daily communications are provided to keep passengers and employees informed. A multisectoral committee is proactively meeting on a regular basis and giving updates to all employees, including frontline - those who work in our call centres, stations, ticket offices, on board trains and in our maintenance centres – to keep them informed and remind of what to do if the level of risk changes.

VIA Rail continues to closely monitor the development of COVID-19 and we remain in close contact with public health agencies and the federal and provincial governments.

The most recent updates are available on our website.

About VIA Rail

As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the "About VIA Rail" section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.

Follow VIA Rail 
Twitter @VIA_rail 
Facebook viarailcanada 
Instagram @viarailcanada 
VIA: The Blog

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/via-rail-is-enforcing-special-measures-for-co vid-19-301022730.html

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: Source: Ben Marc Diendéré, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, VIA Rail Canada; Information: Marie-Anna Murat, Media Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 1 877 393-8787, medias@viarail.ca

March 12, 2020
COVID-19: CSAE Urges Government to Extend Funding Support to Associations

Yesterday, the Canadian government pledged $1 billion for a comprehensive response package to combat and mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada. CSAE sent a letter urging the government to include associations in their funding support. 

The impact of COVID-19 puts the viability of numerous associations and not-for-profit organizations at risk. Associations and the businesses that support the broader sector rely heavily on meeting and event revenue. The additional implications on staffing, prevention and education may be severe for associations, particularly those with limited resources. The economic impact will be widespread and significant.   

CSAE is committed to working together to manage through these challenging times. We encourage association professionals and business partners to share this message to amplify the voice of a vital sector for the Canadian economy.  

Should you have any questions or wish to participate in a discussion on further action, please contact Casey Pope at 416-363-3555, extension 225 or casey@csae.com.  

March 11, 2020
Sad to announce IMEX in Frankfurt cancels

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt (due to take place 12-14 May).

We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals who were due to attend the show, but also to the global business events community.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and there are two overriding concerns that have caused us to make this decision at this time. 

First is the uncertainty caused by the fact that the German health minister has recently called for the ban on events with over 1,000 people which some German states have already endorsed, including the state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located. This announcement makes the probability of factors outside our control forcing us to cancel the show at the last minute much higher. 

Second, our primary concern is always the responsibility we feel towards our exhibitors and partners, who fund the show – not only by purchasing stand space but also in the considerable additional investment they make in everything from the build of stunning stands to the hosting of buyer events.

Whilst only a short time ago we felt optimistic that May was far enough away to confidently proceed with our plans, as it stands today [11 March] we cannot guarantee the one thing that our exhibitors trust us above all else to deliver – namely a large-scale, high quality hosted buyer programme.

In an ideal world we would wait and see. But we are in the real world and we cannot, in all good conscience, ask our exhibitors to continue to invest money against which they may not get a return. 

Both of these factors – uncertainty around whether IMEX will be allowed to proceed, as well as doubts as to the number of buyers who will be able to attend - have led us to the conclusion that we now have no option but to cancel IMEX in Frankfurt.

A decision based on facts

We want to make it very clear that we have made this decision based purely on the facts as we know them today and, importantly for the whole IMEX team, based on the responsibility and genuine care we feel for all our clients and the global business events community. 

IMEX is our family business and the business events community is the only community we serve. 

We have tried today to take the best decision for the industry and we are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us. Quite rightly many of you see yourselves as friends and members of the extended IMEX family.  This is precisely why we’ve thought long and hard in the past few days, consulting in depth with partners and stakeholders across the industry before making this announcement. Our strapline “We Are All Connected” has never felt more true, nor more important.

Committed to serving the industry

Despite the disappointment and impact we know you will feel, we want you to know that we’re fully committed to serving this industry that we love. We’re already working hard in the background to deliver value and service above and beyond the trade show you were looking forward to and will announce these plans in the near future. 

We intend to keep morale high and, together with leaders around the world, to focus on collective efforts to rebuild confidence and advocate for the power of business events to aid economic recovery once this situation is over. 

The IMEX team will also be working hard to deliver a successful IMEX America (15-17 September) with plans to recognise the 10th Anniversary of the show already in full swing. We hope that the business events world will join us in Las Vegas to celebrate our great industry.

Once again, we thank the whole industry for the support that has been shown to us and we are here to support others in the industry as we all work through these difficult times.

Ray Bloom, Chairman, IMEX Group and Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group

March 10, 2020
Private Jet Charter Operator Skyservice Achieves Prestigious ARGUS Platinum Rating

Toronto (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)—Skyservice Business Aviation is pleased to announce that it has achieved the prestigious ARGUS Platinum Rating, which places it in the upper five percent of over 1,000 U.S. based charter operators. The Platinum Rating is the highest level of the ARGUS audit standard and is awarded only to those air charter operators who have demonstrated successful implementation of industry best safety practices relative to their operations and maintenance.

Achieving ARGUS Platinum is a testament to the aviation community that safety is top priority for Skyservice. The ARGUS Platinum rating consists of an audit that takes an in-depth look into the quality of documented processes in place in addition to the strength of the safety management system implemented by the operation.  Receiving a Platinum rating means the operation was examined over several days by a team of on-site auditors and subsequently completed all corrective actions necessary to meet the standard.

“Skyservice is proud to once again receive the ARGUS Platinum Rating. Receiving this exceptional recognition is a testament to our dedicated team at Skyservice and best practices approach to Safety and Service excellence,” says Emlyn David, President & CEO Skyservice Business Aviation. For a comprehensive review of the Skyservice commitment to safety, visit https://skyservice.com/safety-security-customer-privacy/

This rating demonstrates a continued commitment to safety and ongoing quality improvement in all areas of the organization. Interested parties can verify the Skyservice Platinum status at any time via the CHEQ System.

Learn more about operator ratings here: https://www.argus.aero/product/charter-operator-ratings/

Learn more about the CHEQ System here: https://www.argus.aero/product/charter-due-diligence-tripcheq/

About Skyservice
Skyservice is Canada’s leader in business aviation dedicated to safety and service excellence. With over 30 years of experience, Skyservice leads the Canadian business aviation industry with the best in-class facilities in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Muskoka. Our skilled Maintenance teams, outstanding Fixed Base Operation facilities, first-class Aircraft Management, Charter Services, Aircraft Sales and HondaJet Aircraft Sales provide our customers with an experience that is truly above and beyond. To learn more, visit www.skyservice.com

About ARGUS International Inc.
ARGUS International, Inc. is the worldwide leader in specialized aviation services that allow organizations to improve their operational and business decision making with auditing and software solutions. ARGUS provides a collection of safety audits for both the business aviation and commercial aviation sectors. ARGUS Charter operator ratings are the most recognized and requested independent source of overall operator quality in the business aviation space. ARGUS subsidiaries include ARGUS PROS, the leading provider of onsite safety audits and PRISM, a worldwide leader in safety management systems, certification, and consultation services. ARGUS was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Colorado. To learn more, visit www.argus.aero.

March 09, 2020
Atlific Hotels Receives Prestigious Hotel Association of Canada Award for Third Consecutive Year

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sudbury wins Revenue Performance Team of the Year Award

TorontoAtlific Hotels’ managed TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sudbury in Sudbury, Ontario has been awarded with the Hotel Association of Canada’s Revenue Performance Team of the Year Award. The hotel’s current and previous General Managers, Lori Poirier and Gary Farstad respectively, accepted the award at the Hotel Association of Canada Awards on February 24, 2020. 

“We are proud of this tremendous achievement,” said Wendy Lamont, Atlific Hotels’ Executive Vice President. “It is a true testament to the strength of the revenue strategy within Atlific. Led by a skilled team of Area Revenue Management Leaders, we have built a culture of teamwork, communication, creativity and strategy within our organization that is inclusive of Operations, Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management to work together and achieve success.”

The Hotel Association of Canada introduced the Awards of Excellence Program in 2004 to recognize distinguished individuals, companies and properties for their significant contribution and commitment to the industry. The Revenue Performance Team of the Year Award recognizes a hotel revenue team that works collaboratively to balance the immediate needs of the business with the long-term positioning of the hotel. This accomplishment is especially notable during the digital age where internet distribution is tremendous. 

TownePlace Suites has demonstrated spectacular efficiency in balancing the short-term needs and long-term positioning of the hotel, attributing their success to strategic planning and collaboration. Through digital marketing campaigns and accommodating guest comments and concerns quickly and efficiently through Marriott’s Guest Experiences Program (GXP), the team at TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sudbury is able to meet the immediate demands of the business, ensuring hotel visitation and guest return. Thorough market research and strategic increases of average daily rate (ADR) has allowed for the team to optimize the long-term positioning of the hotel, increasing shoulder night business and building long-term loyalty through Marriott Bonvoy Member recognition, while improving profitability.

ABOUT ATLIFIC HOTELS
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 50 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended stay properties. The company has built a reputation for best in business accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, exceptional sales, marketing and revenue management programs and sound operational systems. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Hotels Resorts & Affiliates operates 68 hotels throughout the United States. Together they manage over 120 properties in North America with over 19,400 rooms, which include independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and IHG. For more information please visit www.atlific.com.

March 09, 2020
Kimpton Saint George Proudly Appoints New Director of Sales and Marketing

Canada’s Only Kimpton Hotel Welcomes Kinga Rychalska to the Team

Toronto—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is pleased to announce the appointment of Kinga Rychalska as the Director of Sales and Marketing at Kimpton Saint George. Kinga will oversee all marketing and sales initiatives for the hotel, as well as the sales and catering teams.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Kinga to the team!” exclaimed Bertrand Mangeot, General Manager at Kimpton Saint George. “Her extensive experience within the hospitality industry is remarkable, as is her familiarity with our parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group. We’re looking forward to all that Kinga will accomplish here.”

Kinga brings more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, demonstrating excellent leadership and knowledge in business development, negotiation and account management. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a minor in Marketing from Ryerson University, Kinga went on to work for a number of hotel brands before finding her footing with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). 

Kinga’s journey with IHG dates back to 2003, when she joined the group as a Sales Manager. Following her initial position with IHG, Kinga occupied an Area Sales Manager role outside of the hotel group before rejoining the family. Since her return in 2012, Kinga has left her mark on numerous IHG properties, namely the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Toronto, Holiday Inn Toronto Airport, Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East and Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown. Throughout her career, Kinga occupied titles of Sales Manager, Associate Director of Sales and Director of Sales and Marketing. 

Kinga has proven effectiveness in revenue management, budget allocation and sales and marketing initiatives. Her familiarity with IHG’s processes and policies has allowed for her to confidently approach and execute brand initiatives at a local and corporate level with great success. 

To learn more about Kimpton Saint George, book a stay, inquire about a group or meetings opportunity or see the hotel’s local package offerings, visit www.kimptonsaintgeorge.com or call reservations at 1-888-563-2004. Follow the hotel on Facebook and Instagram for an inside look. 

ABOUT KIMPTON SAINT GEORGE
Debuting June 2018 at 280 Bloor Street West, Kimpton Saint George is a 14-story, 188-key, artfully designed hotel, including 20 suites, a Presidential Suite and approximately 1,500 square feet of ground level meeting space. Distinguished for its residentially-inspired design, local touches, dynamic gastropub dining, and genuine service, Kimpton Saint George is located in the vibrant Annex neighborhood, walking distance to world class museums, attractions, and independent shops, cafes and galleries. For more information, visit www.kimptonsaintgeorge.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

ABOUT KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the original boutique hotel brand, which pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States in 1981. Anchored in one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton has 30 new hotels in the pipeline and operates nearly 70 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up-and-coming markets in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe and Greater China. Kimpton spaces and experiences center on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavors that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experiences remain meaningful, unscripted and ridiculously personal.

Kimpton’s employees, empowered to provide heartfelt service and experiences, have built a highly regarded workplace culture that appears consistently on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. As a result, Kimpton has been awarded, “Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upper Upscale Hotel Chains” by J.D. Power three times.

In January 2015, Kimpton became part of the IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) family of hotel brands. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,700 hotels and nearly 856,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with over 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline.

For more information, visit www.KimptonHotels.com.

March 09, 2020
The Calgary Convention Centre Authority names Kurby Court as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

Calgary—On behalf of the Calgary Convention Centre Authority Board of Directors, Wellington Holbrook, CCCA Board Chair, is pleased to announce that Kurby Court, Vice President, Experience, has been appointed as President & CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Kurby has been an executive with the Convention Centre since 2017 and has played an instrumental role in modernizing the iconic downtown landmark.

In 2018, the CCCA Board developed a succession planning process to align CTCC leadership on strategy and direction. This focus considers succession planning and benchmarking of senior executives key to our good governance; and ultimately positons the CTCC for change organically. During that time, Mr. Court emerged as a trusted leader; one with great energy and passion for the convention industry, serving CTCC clients and commitment to community.

“The CTCC plays an important role in supporting the downtown business community and now is the right time for new leadership to continue advancing the strategic vision for the CTCC,” said Wellington Holbrook. “Kurby has done a remarkable job at the CTCC over the past three years and demonstrated a strong ability to work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders. I am confident that Kurby will lead the CTCC into its next chapter by strengthening our existing partnerships and stewarding invaluable relationships within the downtown Calgary community.”

Mr. Court brings more than 21 years of hospitality industry experience to the CTCC and under his leadership as VP, Experience he successfully led the organization through several important initiatives that have elevated the professionalism and customer focus of the organization. As President & CEO, Mr. Court will advance the CTCC’s efforts to help establish Calgary as the urban destination of choice for meetings and conventions in Canada, through increased collaboration and partnership with key local stakeholders.

“My priority is to focus the organization on strategies that contribute positively to Calgary’s economy,” said Mr. Court. “I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to work with this outstanding group of professionals. The CTCC has incredibly talented and experienced team members, and a long history of innovation that puts the company at the forefront of where the hospitality industry is going. I look forward to building on these strengths and finding new ways to collaborate with our stakeholders and partners in the city and around the world.”

About the CTCC
The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is focused on enhancing the services that we provide well beyond the venue—to create a place and experience that supports all events for people to convene, connect and converse together. What started as a central location for gatherings in 1974 has grown into a next generation of convention services and experiences.

About the CCCA
The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is owned by The City of Calgary and operated by the Calgary Convention Centre Authority. The Authority is charged with maximizing overall economic benefits of the CTCC to Calgarians and maintaining acceptable financial performance. As part of its governance framework, the CCCA regularly reports to City Council on the CTCC’s activities, strategic focus and ongoing plans.

March 06, 2020
New Latin+ DMC Group Gathers Leading Latin America DMCs To Deliver Bespoke and One-Stop Planning for Region

Miami, FL—A  new DMC group called LatinPlus has been formed combining a handpicked selection of Latin America’s most innovative and experienced Destination Management Companies to bring clients bespoke, one-stop planning for  group movements to top-demand destinations in the region, announced Patricia Perez-Sahin, founder and managing director.

“LatinPlus is the first and only DMC network in Latin America, and it synergistically combines experienced industry leaders who have decades of experience planning incentives, meetings and corporate events in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic and other key Destinations in Latin America” said Perez-Sahin.

The network offers meetings and incentives planners from across the US and Canada an effective liaison to doing business in Latin America, connecting providers with demonstrated expertise in specific destinations and the ability to understand and fulfill the demands of the North American market.

“Latin America is a complex market,” she noted. “Our mission is to bridge the gap that sometimes our clients encounter when doing business in Latin America by working closely with the right partners and provide added value as a trusted partner based in the US.”

The DMCs in the new network are:

Colombia en Colores, a full-service DMC based in Cartagena, Colombia, is comprised of an elite group of staffers dedicated to providing the most unique, creative and cultural experiences in Colombia. With close connections to all supplier partners, CEC provides the highest level of quality service in all aspects of destination management.

Maritur is a DMC with more than 40 years of experience providing the highest quality professional services for incentive programs and corporate group meetings and events in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco and Mexico City. Maritur’s programs are custom designed to showcase the spectacular scenery and awe-inspiring sights of Mexico - a country brimming with color, culture, and hospitality. Services include Insurance coverage for $10 million USD, tailored activities, event decoration, ground transportation, CSR team buildings.

Vivaterra Group, a DMC founded in 1996, maintains a far reach across South America, with branches in Argentina and Brazil, and a focus on luxury travel in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Their staff designs travel experiences and concierge services for customers all over the world, with a focus on bespoke experiences.

Synergy-Connect is a collaboration by a team of seasoned hospitality professionals, representing National Tourism Destinations, Convention and Visitors Bureaus and some of the world-leading Destination Management Companies. Founded in 2017 and managed by Patricia Perez-Sahin and Maura Dominguez-Zhang, Synergy-Connect clients include Pacific World, Naples CVB, Curacao Tourist Board, Maritur, Colombia en Colores and Vivaterra Group.

Patricia Perez-Sahin is a dynamic tourism and hospitality marketing leader with more than 16 years of experience in Destination and Group Sales. Patricia started her career in the meetings and events industry pioneering the Business Development for a major international tourism destination. She then worked as Director of Group Sales for a variety of Luxury Hotel Brands until finding her niche as an International Destination Sales & Marketing Consultant on behalf of some of the most prestigious Destination Management Companies in the world. A member of SITE and FICP, Patricia has been recognized for her contributions to the Meetings and Incentives Industry.

Maura Dominguez-Zhang is an industry leader with over 20 years in luxury-tier hospitality sales and marketing. Her career started with the unparalleled sales training at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel company before moving into meetings and incentives sales roles with some of the world's most recognized and renowned luxury brands. A strong advocate on sustainability, innovation and continuing education, Maura maintains active roles in MPI, SITE and FICP, has earned both CIS and CITP certifications, and is past President of the SITE FL & Caribbean chapter.  

For more information about LatinPlus go to https://www.latinplus.us/. Contact Managing Partner Patricia Perez-Sahin at psahin@latinplus.us or cell 773-451-6247.

Media Contact:
Marian Gerlich                                        
P&G Communications * Los Angeles
818-786-8687, pg@p-gcommunications.com

March 04, 2020
Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited Announce Acquisition of Gladstone Hotel, in Toronto's most creative neighbourhood

Owners of The Broadview Hotel purchase West Queen West landmark, creating culture and character-rich boutique hotel portfolio

TORONTO,Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited, are pleased to announce the purchase of Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, the city's oldest continually operating hotel in the vibrant and dynamic West Queen West community.

The Gladstone, currently owned by the Zeidler family, underwent a major renovation in 2005 led by architect Eb Zeidler, to preserve the landmark building’s historical significance. Under the vision and leadership of Christina Zeidler, the Gladstone Hotel became an internationally recognized cultural tourism destination and a hospitality industry leader. The younger Zeidler has managed the business for the past 15 years, making it a hub for the arts in Canada and winning the Mayor’s Toronto Arts and Business Award in 2019.

"The decision to sell the Hotel is a personal one," says Christina Zeidler, President, Gladstone Hotel. who has plans to move on to other creative projects. "I looked for someone with the vision to carry on the legacy of the Gladstone Hotel. Someone who understands the historic significance but also its cultural significance. It took a long time to build the culture around the Gladstone. The commitment to continue to grow this vision is a dream come true."

"We have great respect for the West Queen West community and believe the Gladstone Hotel is a unique representation of the neighbourhood's art, culture and diversity," says Les Mallins, Founder & President of Streetcar Developments. "We look forward to amplifying the hotel's offerings with our refreshed vision, enhancing the current building while ensuring the property remains a staple within the community."

Zeidler continues, "Really it is the best possible scenario, not just for the building but for the staff and patrons who love this property and the culture around it. I have personally known the Streetcar team for years, as neighbours to the Gladstone, but also, significantly, as city builders.”

Both Streetcar and Dream have a track record of supporting Toronto's cultural community and restoring historic landmarks. In 2012, Streetcar Crowsnest opened its doors and has since become an arts and culture hub in the city’s east end. Dream’s Distillery District is Canada’s premier arts, culture, and entertainment destination, which has the largest collection of Victorian architecture.

“We are excited to add the Gladstone hotel to our portfolio of character buildings of historical significance, which includes the Bay Street Collection, Distillery District, and the Broadview Hotel,” says Michael Cooper, Chief Responsible Officer of Dream Unlimited. “We believe in building inclusive communities, and designing exceptional places to create, inspire, and bring the community together.”

Streetcar and Dream transformed The Broadview Hotel, a 127-year-old landmark, into a luxury boutique hotel, bringing a much needed amenity to Queen Street East and its community. By acquiring the Gladstone Hotel, the partnership retains ownership of two historic properties, bookmarking the city from east to west. They look forward to being stewards to the Gladstone Hotel, while ensuring it is a cultural destination for many years to come. Crescent Hotels & Resorts will oversee both properties as the hotel management company.

CBRE Hotels was privileged to advise Zeidler in reviewing strategic options for this historic property and finding a buyer with a vision that could embrace the Gladstone's heritage, thoughtful building restoration, cultural and social community awareness and business foundation. Streetcar and Dream are set to take ownership of the property later this month.

About Streetcar Developments

STREETCAR has established itself as Toronto's premier developer of mid-rise condo buildings located in culturally rich, livable downtown neighbourhoods. Its core philosophy - Rethink Urban Living - reflects the belief that projects must integrate seamlessly with their neighbourhoods and enhance the lives of the entire community. Its developments, spanning from exclusive Beach to hip Queen West, play keys roles in transforming many of Toronto's up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Since its first projects in 2002, Streetcar

continues to prove that combining contemporary design with an unwavering respect for neighbourhoods and historic architecture can make Toronto one of the world's most vibrant and livable cities. For more information, please visit www.streetcar.ca

About Dream

Dream is one of Canada's leading real estate companies with approximately $9 billion of assets under management. Dream is an owner and developer of exceptional office and residential assets in Toronto which we hold for the long term. We also develop land & residential assets in Western Canada for immediate sale and own and manage stabilized income generating assets in both Canada and the U.S. In addition, we have a successful asset management business, inclusive of three TSX listed Trusts and institutional partnerships. Dream has an established track record for being innovative and for our ability to source, structure and execute on compelling investment opportunities. For more information please visit our website at www.dream.ca

For more information, please contact:

Rebecca Risen | NKPR | Vice-President | rebecca@nkpr.net or 416.365.3630 ext. 236

 

March 04, 2020
Flair Airlines appoints John Mullins as Vice-President, Customer Experience & Airports

Airline to End Seat Recline

Edmonton, Alberta (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)—Flair continues its journey to democratize aviation within Canada while focusing on customer experience.

Flair is pleased to announce a dedicated focus to customer service and experience. This mandate is being led by Mr. John Mullins, newly appointed Vice-President of Customer Experience and Airports. Mr. Mullins holds over 30 years of senior leadership and advisory experience from Gulf Carriers and Canada 3000 Airlines. Specializing in designing and implementing superior guest services and airport strategies, Mr. Mullins will lead the flair team to higher levels of customer satisfaction while remaining rooted in safety, reliability, and efficiency.

“We are pleased to add a world-class leader of customer experience and airport operations to our expanding airline.” Says Flair’s President and CEO Jim Scott, “Mr. Mullins will lead our team to achieve the highest standards of economy travel in Canada.”

As a primary mandate, Mr. Mullins will first end seat reclining on all flights by summer 2020. Flair has been experimenting over the past two months with a fixed pre-recline for seats on half of its fleet. While controversial, Flair has recorded improved customer experience as a result. John Mullins states, “Following a successful pilot project, we have discovered our passengers prefer the fixed pre-set recline. We are listening keenly to our passenger’s needs and interests. We will make this change on all our aircraft just in time for the expansion into Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Flair will continue to offer seats with spacious legroom and now with the pre-reclined seats we will make the experience comfortable for everyone on board.”

About Flair Airlines
Flair is expected to carry 50% more passengers in 2020 compared to 2019. Canadians continue to discover Flair as an affordable alternative to high-cost carriers who have typically plagued Canada with expensive airfares through market dominance. Flair’s summer schedule includes Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown, and St. John. 

For more information please visit www.flyflair.com

March 04, 2020
Hotel Equities Announces Plans for New Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in British Columbia, Canada

Atlanta, GA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)—Today, Hotel Equities (HE) announced plans for the development of a new Four Points by Sheraton hotel to be located in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. The new hotel is owned and being developed by We Wai Kai Nation. Hotel Equities is providing development services for the new-build and will operate the hotel upon opening. This property will be the ninth Four Points-branded property in HE’s growing portfolio.

“We are so proud to partner with We Wai Kai on this new hotel,” said Joe Reardon, chief development officer for HE. “Their vision to create much-needed accommodations aligned with We Wai Kai’s mission will be enhanced through their decision to partner with one of Marriott’s most loved brands, Four Points by Sheraton. We look forward to further promoting their culture through this new development.”

With construction slated to begin in Q3 of this year, the forthcoming Four Points by Sheraton-Campbell River will combine Four Points’ classic-modern aesthetic with a timeless nod to the natural serenity inspired by the oceanside communities of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands. Travelers, shoppers, outdoor adventurers, and marine enthusiasts alike will experience five star accommodations nestled in a unique town-by-the-sea.

The We Wai Kai culture is proud to be foundationally rooted in their ancestral history as they look to the future to ensure their next generation is able to thrive in modern society. We Wai Kai Chief, Brian Assu, sees several economic benefits to stem from the new development including job creation and economic prosperity which are of utmost importance to Chief Assu. “In addition to contributing to building a diversified economy, our ability to lift up our community by providing capacity building opportunities supports our overall mission. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring our vision to fruition with the support of the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott, and with the operational expertise Hotel Equities provides.”

Campbell River is nicknamed the “Salmon Capital of the World” and is located on Vancouver Island at the southern end of the Discovery Passage – the 16 mile long channel and key shipping route is off the coast of mainland British Columbia. Campbell River has a population of approximately 36,000 people and is located 230 miles northwest of Vancouver, Canada’s third largest metropolitan area and home to nearly 2.5 million people.

ABOUT FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON
Four Points by Sheraton (Four-Points.Marriott.com), part of Marriott International, Inc., includes over 250 hotels in more than 40 countries and territories. At Four Points, travel is reinvented and guests can find the timeless style and comfort they’re looking for with genuine service and everything that matters most, all around the world. Four Points hotels can be found in big urban centers, by the airport, near the beach, and in the suburbs. Each hotel offers a familiar place with an authentic sense of the local, and friendly genuine service where guests can relax and unwind.

ABOUT HOTEL EQUITIES
Hotel Equities (HE) is an Atlanta-based full-scale hotel ownership, management and development firm operating a portfolio of 140+ hotels and projects throughout the United States and Canada. Frederick W. Cerrone, CHA, serves as Founder and Chairman; Brad Rahinsky serves as President and CEO. For more information, visit www.hotelequities.com.