Current News

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Current News

May 13, 2021
Four Seasons Unveils Additional 2022 Itineraries Aboard the Four Seasons Private Jet Including a New 'Uncharted Discovery' Journey to Explore Antarctica, Machu Picchu and More

Toronto/CNW/—For discerning travellers planning ahead, leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts unveils an all-new Uncharted Discovery Private Jet itinerary for 2022, exploring the wonders of Antarctica, the majesty of Machu Picchu, the booming arts scene of Bogotá, and the vibrant flavours of Buenos Aires, alongside the return of the beloved World of Adventures journey.

"Late last year, we announced three awe-inspiring 2022 itineraries aboard the new Four Seasons Private Jet. The response was overwhelming, with record sellouts and extensive waitlists, signaling considerable pent up demand for travel," says Christian Clerc, President, Global Operations for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Now, more than ever, guests are planning bucket-list trips to far corners of the world to make up for lost time. To meet this demand, we've introduced two additional opportunities to explore new and remote destinations with legendary Four Seasons service in the sky."

Clerc continues, "Equally as important as the incredible destinations and experiences, we know that travellers are looking for a seamless service experience where their health and safety is a priority. The Four Seasons Private Jet offers the best of both worlds. From takeoff to landing and at every destination in between, we adhere to the highest standards of health and safety, allowing guests to embrace the wonders of travel in a truly unique way with the utmost comfort and peace of mind."

A truly one-of-a-kind adventure, the expertly curated itineraries available as part of the Four Seasons Private Jet experience allow passengers to seamlessly cross off a collection of bucket list destinations, leaving the stress of multiple commercial flights, layovers and delays behind.

Introducing Uncharted Discovery, An All-New 21-Day Expedition Featuring Seven Captivating Destinations
Uncharted Discovery - November 28 to December 18, 2022 – New Orleans, USA – Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica – Machu Picchu, Peru – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Antarctica – Bogotá, Colombia – Paradise Island, Bahamas 

The journey begins in the Big Easy, where guests will enjoy welcome cocktails and dinner at the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, a five-star oasis on the banks of the Mississippi River. Early arrivals can explore the one-of-a-kind city renowned for its live jazz scene, spicy Creole cuisine and colourful festivals. Next stop is the serene paradise of golden shores and tropical jungles in Costa Rica. Travellers can experience Peninsula Papagayo's lush scenery on a thrilling zip line circuit, play a round on the Arnold Palmer-designed championship golf course, or gaze at stars in the southern sky through a powerful GPS-guided telescope while enjoying cocktails and treats infused with meteorite dust at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.

From Costa Rica, guests will venture into the Peruvian Highlands to Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, boarding a privately chartered train to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, an astonishing testament to the might of the Inca Empire. Travellers can visit the historic city of Cusco, offering a wealth of archaeological ruins and Spanish colonial architecture to discover. In Argentina, guests will stay at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, enjoying a day trip to Iguazú Falls, one of nature's most magnificent spectacles, named for the place where the Iguazú River plunges over a lava cliff into 275 interlinking waterfalls. Music lovers can take a private behind-the-scenes tour of Buenos Aires' magnificent opera house, acoustically considered to be one of the five best concert venues in the world.

For the first time ever, the Four Seasons Private Jet will then deliver guests to the Earth's southernmost continent, Antarctica. Guests will fly over the infamous Drake Passage by charter plane, landing at King George Island before boarding a luxurious polar ship for four nights as they embark on an unforgettable expedition to the seventh continent. While enjoying seamless Four Seasons service in one of the most remote locations on Earth, daily excursions will allow guests to observe incredible wildlife and enjoy scenery of iceberg-dotted bays, brilliant blue glaciers and snow-blanketed landscapes.

Then, in Colombia's lively capital city, a local artist will guide guests through traditional galleries, open-air displays and neighbourhoods splashed with vibrant street art before a private concert from the world-renowned Bogotá Philharmonic, Colombia's national symphony orchestra. Four Seasons Hotel Bogota offers a welcome home base in the energetic Zona Rosa, where the city comes alive with high-end boutiques and popular restaurants. Legendary Caribbean hideaway The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas is the final stop of an unforgettable journey. Guests will enjoy soaking in the sun-drenched beauty of the Bahamas, lounging on the pristine private white-sand beach, or a relaxing treatment at the private Balinese-style spa for before a final farewell dinner.

Back by Popular Demand: World of Adventures, a Trailblazing Voyage Across Four Continents
World of Adventures 2022 - May 3 to 26, 2022 - Seattle, USA – Kyoto, Japan – Bali, Indonesia – Seychelles – Rwanda – Marrakech, Morocco – Bogotá, Colombia – Galápagos Islands – Miami, USA

A proven favourite expedition, World of Adventures is back in 2022, offering a tour of eight countries over 24 days for an around-the-world journey like no other. In Seychelles, an expert yogi will guide guests in an evening mediation with a stunning view of the sunset over Petite Anse Bay as the backdrop. In Rwanda, a hike through the lush bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park offers the chance to witness mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. In the Galápagos Islands, guests will spend three unforgettable nights aboard a private ship to explore the unique archipelago. In Japan, travellers can explore Kyoto's tranquil temples, colourful shrines and exquisite gardens, while in Marrakech, a myriad sights, sounds and flavours are on offer.

Both Uncharted Discovery and World of Adventures 2022 journeys are complement to three sold out Private Jet itineraries including African Wonders, a 13-day family friendly journey designed for travellers of all ages, Timeless Encounters, a 24-day itinerary exploring vibrant city centres and tranquil islands, and Ancient Explorer, a 24-day around the world journey.

The Reimagined Four Seasons Private Jet
All 2022 itineraries will take place aboard the new Four Seasons Private Jet, an enhanced, enriching and interactive flight experience with meticulous construction and thoughtful Four Seasons design. The new Airbus A321neo-LR aircraft has been fully customised to Four Seasons exacting specifications, with input from previous journey passengers. Offering the widest and tallest cabin in its class, the 48-seat interior has been configured for even greater comfort with as much space as possible for guests to spread out and makes themselves at home.

Anticipating every detail, the Guest Relations team works closely with each passenger from initial inquiry until their safe return home. On board the Four Seasons Private Jet, an experienced flight crew includes a dedicated Concierge, Executive Chef and Journey Physician. While visiting remote destinations, guests will stay at luxury accommodations selected by the Four Seasons team.

Safety First
As conditions continue to evolve, guests can take comfort in the peace of mind that comes with travelling with Four Seasons. In partnership with TCS World Travel and in adherence with Four Seasons on-the-ground enhanced global health and safety program Lead With Care, in place at all hotels, resorts and residences worldwide, Four Seasons works closely with leading global experts and local authorities to protect the health and safety of every Four Seasons guest and employee. This will include medical pre-screening of each passenger, Four Seasons employee and flight crew member prior to embarking on each itinerary, with a Journey Physician accompanying guests throughout the trip.

Booking Information
Travellers interested in booking the luxury adventure of a lifetime are invited to click here for a closer look at the exclusive journeys on offer in some of the world's most captivating destinations.

Guests who book a Four Seasons Private Jet journey can take advantage of flexible cancellation options. * Conditions apply – for details, inquire here - fourseasonsjet@fourseasons.com.

About the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience
Learn more about the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience and follow the #FSJet hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and to continue exploring the Four Seasons Private Jet.

The Four Seasons Private Jet is operated by TCS World Travel, dedicated to delivering immersive, worry-free travel experiences for the globally curious and modern luxury traveller. For more information from the industry leader in private jet journeys, click here.

About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 119 hotels and resorts, and 44 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com and follow @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Matthew Levison 
fourseasons@kwtglobal.com
646-274-3631

SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

May 03, 2021
EMA Marketing adds Artemia Group of Companies to its Roster

EMA Marketing is thrilled to announce that more strikingly beautiful sunny destinations have been added to its roster.

Artemia Group of Companies has appointed EMA Marketing to be its Canadian Sales and Marketing Office. Artemia is the largest and longest-standing destination management company on the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin. It’s a full-service management company providing all aspects of an outstanding program or VIP experience. Artemia prides itself on strong partnerships with its suppliers and partners in St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barths.

100 years of combined experience, Artemia will provide the utmost in luxury travel, anticipating every client’s need. The list of experiences and offerings to visitors is endless on the islands of St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barths, from stunning accommodation boasting the highest standards of hospitality to effortless transportation and gourmet dining.

St. Maarten/St. Martin is one of the highest-ranking world destinations, known for having two distinct identities within one island, thanks to its French side and its Dutch side. This provides guests the opportunity to experience two cultures, both equally friendly and memorable.

The white, sandy beaches are unparalleled and plentiful. Visitors can explore a variety of beaches and quickly find a favourite, allowing them to bask in the sun and leave all those pesky worries behind. A dream afternoon spent soaking up the rays at a deserted island can easily be arranged.

Visitors have a variety of accommodations from which to choose including hotels, all-inclusive resorts, condos and private villas. Just imagine gazing at the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea from the comfort of your room.

Each meal is an adventure in St. Maarten/St. Martin, the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with many restaurants, bistros and beachside eateries from which to choose.

Visitors looking for adventure won’t be disappointed, with plentiful attractions and activities available — from flying down the steepest zipline in the world to a more leisurely exploration of historic forts or a visit to a bird sanctuary. Taking to the many hiking trails is one way to explore the island’s hidden gems, or visitors can experience the thrilling world of sailing.

The island boasts an exciting, cosmopolitan night life. Of course, shopping is always a travel highlight, and St. Maarten/St. Martin has much to offer, from chic shopping centres to charming local shops. Suggested – from the famous Front Street in Philipsburg offering an eclectic range of shopping ideas and Marigot offering “La Mode” French shopping.

Special occasions and weddings celebrated on the island are sure to be memorable, with Artemia able to arrange the finest of details.

Day trips to the neighbouring islands of Anguilla and St. Barths are a must. The Greg Norman 18-hole championship golf course is a popular choice, or perhaps a catamaran trip to Prickly Pear deserted island. The America’s Cup sailing challenge is another favourite.

There have been many new developments in St. Maarten/St. Martin, with new resorts and exciting new, fabulous restaurants. Artemia Group of Companies’ Founder and CEO says, “The island has never looked better.”

Artemia is waiting to showcase and work with you to provide lasting and unforgettable memories!
Artemia and JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa are perfect additions to EMA Marketing’s portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts and destination management companies. For more information, please contact EMA Marketing at 416-420-6084 or liz@emamarketing.ca.

April 28, 2021
First IMEX BuzzHub ‘Buzz Day’ presents stellar line-up of global community builders

CEOs of Daybreaker and Count Me In joined by marketing and events experts from LinkedIn

The first event to take place on the new IMEX BuzzHub on Wednesday 12 May brings together an exceptional line-up of speakers and panellists who are all experts in building global communities.

Taking its programming theme from one of IMEX’s 12 Commitments, ‘Collaboration, Connections and Community’, the Buzz Day programme, which is open to all and free of charge, opens with a short introduction and welcome by IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom and CEO, Carina Bauer.

Shortly after in “Leadership Passport: Building Community to Move Beyond Competition and Scale Impact”, Shane Feldman, Founder of Count Me In, will recount how an idea that started as a 2008 high school project grew into a global social entrepreneurship incubator that has impacted more than 10 million people in 104 countries.

By spearheading the world’s largest millennial-led movement, Feldman has decoded frameworks that enable individuals and teams to connect more authentically and perform at their highest levels. Feldman will share the universal strategies that make teams click and businesses thrive using his research into community leadership and human behaviour in over 25 countries.

Daybreaker CEO and author of ‘Belong’

In a session sponsored by MPI, Radha Agrawal, founder of Thinx and morning dance and movement community, DAYBREAKER, which serves 500,000 people in 28 countries, will reveal “How to create deep belonging and joy for yourself and others”. Agrawal will show that the science of belonging and collective joy is more critical than ever in a post-covid world and that both are not just experienced in the mind but in body and mind. She’ll also talk about labels and how the way we label ourselves can move us further away from ‘belonginess’. 

Described as a ‘force of nature’, Agrawal is the author of ‘Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life’. She and her team famously supported the WW presents Oprah Winfrey 2020 Vision Tour in the US.  

Community building insights from the world’s largest professional network

From what started as a kitchen table project in 2002, LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network with nearly 740 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. In the third session of the day, Marketing Manager, Content & Social Media, Steve Kearns and Senior Executive Producer, Strategic Events at LinkedIn, Rena McGrath, will examine the definition and importance of community for any brand. They will discuss the overall impact of the pandemic on business planning and reveal how LinkedIn approached both community building and its events strategy over the past year. The duo will also cover the pros and cons of using influencers.

The Buzz Day’s programme will wrap up at 5.45pm London time with a no holds barred panel discussion, led by Julius Solaris, Head of Engagement for Swapcard, the platform that powers the IMEX BuzzHub. 

Joining Solaris to debate “Events are not enough anymore. Why is everyone betting on communities?” will be ‘Tribes and Trust’ expert, Kiki L’Italien, who’s also CEO of Amplified Growth and host and producer of the Association Chat podcast; Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at SXSW and Miguel Neves, Editor in Chief of EventMB.

Talking about the IMEX BuzzHub concept and the first Buzz Day, IMEXCEO, Carina Bauer, says, “I’m delighted with the programme we’ll be delivering on 12 May. We’ve stretched ourselves to bring in new, entrepreneurial speakers who can bring fresh perspectives to the global events industry while having the privilege of tapping into the knowledge and expertise of some ‘insiders’ who fully understand the challenges our industry is facing. Our theme of ‘Collaboration, Connections and Community’ speaks to the times we’re living in. Old competitive, anti-trust business models are fading away as we start to realise the only way to build back better and create more prosperity and global harmony is through community and collaboration, not competition.”

The prime directive of the new IMEX BuzzHub is to get people talking and connecting, using both professional and personal interests to find common ground. The digital platform will be open from May to September and will offer a variety of structured activities and learning opportunities together with informal moments of human connection. Powered by Swapcard and designed by award-winning creative agency, Smyle, the IMEX BuzzHub is designed to help individuals in the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry to connect, learn and share experiences for the benefit of themselves, their organisations and the industry. 

To take part in the IMEX BuzzHub all visitors must register, which is free of charge. Registration goes live on Wednesday 5 May when the IMEX team will share details across all social feeds and by email.

#IMEX21

April 27, 2021
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada is close to insolvency and the industry is at risk of collapse

While the 2021 federal budget includes historic recovery investments for national tourism and Indigenous communities, Indigenous tourism has been completely neglected in both categories

COAST SALISH TERRITORY, VANCOUVER, BC - Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, released last week, suggests that there has been federal investments allocated for rebuilding and recovering the tourism industry as well as for Indigenous communities, yet it remains unclear how the Indigenous tourism sector is specifically being supported, during a critical time for its survival.

"There's a discrepancy with the government saying that they are investing into Indigenous tourism versus funding solutions that we and the industry actually have access to," says Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). "Separate from ITAC's operational budget, we need to see another line item in the federal budget that recognizes Indigenous tourism as a separate sector within the overall tourism industry, where dedicated financial support for recovery is allocated to the industry and business owners, and managed through an Indigenous-led solution. This is the most effective way to provide direct support to Indigenous tourism operators who are barely hanging on as they wait for tourism's recovery."

Currently, it remains extremely vague whether the proposed budget allotments will be further broken down to provide previously promised direct support for Indigenous tourism businesses. What is clear is that past national efforts through government-led relief programs or mainstream banking institutions have not been effective and not accessible to the Indigenous tourism businesses, and that government officials are not listening to the needs of the Indigenous tourism industry.

ITAC shared their Strategic Recovery Plan ($50M), which asked for a four-year commitment to ensure the stability of the sector, as well as their COVID-19 Second Wave Response ($18.3M for emergency relief) proposals with their federal liaisons multiple times during the past months. The organization was shocked to find that despite their efforts and positive conversations with Indigenous Services Canada, the agency only recommended that $2.4M be allocated to ITAC – a 20% reduction in core funding year-over-year – and only committed to one year of support. Without this directed funding of $68.3M and the reduction in operating budget, ITAC will be incapable of meeting its contractual obligations to directly support its members, provincial and territorial partners as well as national programs and will not be able to help lead the industry toward recovery. The organization's plea is for the federal government to commit to longer-term funding and solutions that will protect Indigenous jobs and businesses in the long run.

Already several elected members of Parliament have come out in support of ITAC, raising concerns in the House of Commons that Indigenous tourism businesses have been abandoned in Budget 2021:

  • "Are they (the Government) going to watch thousands of Indigenous jobs that are critical… and fund this organization adequately so they can be a part of the critical recovery in the tourism sector, the hardest hit sector in our country?" asked Gord Johns, NDP Member of Parliament in this video.
  • "They've (Indigenous tourism businesses) been begging this government for over a year for some kind of a plan to get a sense of when they're going to be able to do that (welcomes back visitors) and how they're going to be able to do that and this government has ignored them for over a year. The prime minister promised them over a year ago that there would be a plan for them, and that promise has not been kept," shared Blake Richards, PC Member of Parliament in this video.

"ITAC's programs are much more effective than government-led programs because we know and understand the community's reality, we speak the same language and we connect with members where they are comfortable. ITAC offers a more human approach without barriers and with a timeliness and urgency that's missing from traditional approaches," shares Henry.

Henry also points out a seeming lack of cultural understanding from public servants. The applications for relief programs are lengthy, rife with corporate jargon and complicated business processes, and are very challenging to navigate even for Indigenous tourism experts; not to mention that millions of Canadians are trying to access the same supports at once. Also, many Indigenous business operators only speak either English or French as a second language, making it even more complicated to understand the applications, and they often have poor phone and internet connections due to the lack of infrastructure in their communities. That's where having an Indigenous-led organization like ITAC becomes essential. ITAC provides administrative, marketing, training and financial support. They identify existing gaps and offer specialized services at a much higher success rate and at a much lower cost than traditional government bodies, saving taxpayer dollars.

"It's so shocking to me that governments in New Zealand, Australia and the United States are all increasing investment into their Indigenous Tourism yet our government is decreasing ours. Previously, Canada led the world in our development of Indigenous tourism experiences; we not only raised the bar, but set it. It's a shame and a pity that we're falling behind. It will be nearly impossible to get back on top after this giant step back, which is the equivalent of losing 30 years of progress and development," says Henry.

To arrange an interview with Brenda Holder, Chair of the ITAC Board of Directors, or Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC, please contact nicole.amiel@beattiegroup.com.

For more information on the federal budget, click here.
To view ITAC's 2020-24 Strategic Recovery Plan, click here.
To view ITAC's Second Wave Response, click here.
To watch ITAC's reaction to the federal budget webinar, click here.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is a national non-profit Indigenous tourism industry organization established in 2015. ITAC is the lead organization tasked with growing and promoting the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with groups and regions with similar mandates to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.

April 25, 2021
Swoop Returns to Winnipeg

Airline brings more choice and ultra-low fares back to Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MB - Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline's reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton's John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June. 

"We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg," said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. "Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes."  

Today's announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg's James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon. 

"We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country," said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. "Swoop's return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region's connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba'seconomic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel." 

For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit  FlySwoop.com  or connect with Swoop on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada's leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.   

Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.

April 23, 2021
TAP Air Portugal receives four-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating from Skytrax
Airline’s ‘Clean&Safe’ Program Recognized for Measures to Protect Customers from Covid-19 Throughout Their Journey

New York, NY – TAP Air Portugal has received a four-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, in recognition of its Clean&Safe program, ensuring the safest travel environment for its customers, following a global audit conducted by Skytrax, the international air transport rating agency.

This audit evaluates airlines’ safety protocols, primarily the effectiveness and consistency of safety and hygiene measures implemented to protect costumers and staff from Covid-19. These measures include the cleaning and disinfection procedures at the airport and on-board aircraft, special signage, physical distancing recommendations, wearing of masks, and provision of hand sanitizer. 

Skytrax currently conducts the world’s only assessment and certification of COVID-19-related airline health and safety measures that are based on both professional and scientific investigations on standards being provided by airlines. The inspection and analysis of TAP Covid-19 hygiene and safety protocols include references to ICAO, EASA, IATA, and ECDC Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety guidelines, with ATP testing to verify cleanliness. 

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, TAP has adjusted its routines and implemented new procedures to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all customers during their travels.  Measures including deeper cleaning and disinfection, simplified onboard service and new measures at the airport combined with an already sterile and safe onboard environment given the existing air quality and cabin configuration.

 

More information on TAP’s Clean and Safe program can be found at:  https://www.flytap.com/en-pt/recommendations-covid-19.

April 20, 2021
Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Supports Federal Budget Measures that Promote Re-Opening Borders – Continues to Advocate for a Detailed Plan to Improve Post-Pandemic Recovery via Air Travel

Toronto, Ontario – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the world’s largest business travel association and worldwide leader in education, research, networking, and advocacy for the industry – supports the Government of Canada’s recent budget that directs over $800 million to increase safety and improve facilitation for all travellers coming to Canada, or travelling within, for business or leisure as part of its plan for a post-pandemic recovery. This confirms that the federal government recognizes the critical role that air travel plays in facilitating trade and commerce, not only between countries but between Canadians from coast to coast.

“Yesterday’s federal budget recognizes that air travel is a critical component of Canada’s post-pandemic recovery and the growth of its economy,” said Nancy Tudorache, Regional Vice President Canada of the GBTA. “Nearly one billion dollars is being directed to the CBSA, CATSA and border infrastructure to improve safety during travel, as well as aid facilitation for frequent fliers, largely represented by business travellers.”

While the federal government’s investment in travel safety and facilitation improves the conditions that will make Canada a more attractive place to do business, GBTA encourages the government to continue to examine other measures that will ease entry into Canada post-pandemic. In addition, a detailed plan outlining the easing of border restrictions would be welcomed by all travellers: domestic or foreign, and for business or leisure, in the coming weeks. 

“As pandemic conditions improve, we also expect the government to outline a detailed plan and timeframe that would allow us to safely re-open our borders, to both international and domestic travellers.” added Tudorache.

The travel and tourism industry is recognized as among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a significant contributor to the economy, the sooner this industry recovers and individuals are able to resume travelling safely for business and leisure, the sooner the Canadian economy will improve and return to pre-pandemic levels.

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations across four continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit www.gbta.org.

April 15, 2021
Hybrid Meetings by Four Seasons Whistler

In a world where virtual connections are becoming the new reality, it has never been more important to connect with colleagues, clients or partners in a deeper and more meaningful way.

In the hub of global innovation and technology, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler has re-invented its meetings and events services, with enhanced hybrid meeting solutions and the option to run meetings concurrently at the same venue. The in-person audience can participate with any number of virtual attendees, thanks to state-of-the art technology and health and safety measures.

Attendees can experience the best of alpine living in-person or without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. From culinary experiences featuring British Columbia’s fresh produce and mountainside classics to virtual cocktail classes by the stellar bar team, Four Seasons brings Whistler to wherever one is in the world.

“Our mission is to create a bespoke experience for all participants, whether attending an event physically or virtually, our talented team can craft customised local experiences that will delight in-person attendees and inspire remote guests with the uniqueness of Whistler,” says Ali Mohammed, General Manager.

Innovative Hybrid Solutions

The Resort’s turn-key hybrid event possibilities and curated experiences include flexible, cost-effective solutions for small and intimate groups, enhancing the in-room and remote experience. Audio-visual experts are available every step of the way to facilitate the meetings. Providing multiple HD cameras, screen projectors, conference speaker phones, webcams and innovative sound systems, state-of-the-art technology and broadcast solutions offer the support needed so presenters and hosts can focus on a successful event. Full day packages starting from CAD 1,500.

Lead With Care

The health and safety of guests and employees remains the top priority therefore Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler will continue to welcome guests with Lead With Care, the company’s enhanced global health and safety program. Commonplace measures such as screening, increased sanitation, physical distancing and mandatory use of masks are in effect, while the team will continuously follow local health authorities’ guidelines.

Whether as an event requirement, for added safety at in-person gatherings, or simply for peace of mind, the Resort can also facilitate access to COVID-19 testing for guests through a third-party provider.

For more information on the different packages and offers, visit the Resort's website or contact 604-935-3400.

April 15, 2021
Travelport upgrades SalesTrip to Travelport+

ATLANTA: Worldwide leader in travel retail, Travelport, today announced that expense management and travel booking software company, SalesTrip, is among the first group of customers to start using Travelport+. Travelport+ is an extensive, next-generation platform that creates a simplified, capability-rich, marketplace for travel retailing and is the centerpiece of Travelport’s new global strategy, designed to accelerate industry innovation in multi-source content, better travel retailing and delivering the best value.

Travelport upgraded SalesTrip to Travelport+ so that companies across North America and Europe using SalesTrip to manage their corporate travel benefit from an enhanced range of premium air (ATPCO, LCC and NDC), car, hotel, and rail content. Companies partner with SalesTrip to both simplify and calculate the value of corporate travel through automated expense management. Travelport+ is a key component that enables SalesTrip to provide easy access to superior travel content for its thousands of users.

Eoin Landers, Vice President of Product at SalesTrip commented: “Here at SalesTrip, we’re really excited by the vision for Travelport+ and how it’ll help us to deliver even better travel options to our customers. Since inception, we’ve advocated for simpler business travel through providing a single platform that manages end-to-end travel and expense management. Travelport+ removes API complexities and helps us to fulfill this ambition even further with their global platform.”

Jason Toothman, Global Head of Agency Sales at Travelport commented: “We love working with the change makers in travel like SalesTrip and are dedicated to providing our customers with the most compelling range of travel content in the easiest way possible. I look forward to helping SalesTrip and all of our customers in North America gain more value with Travelport+.”

About Travelport

Travelport is a worldwide leader in travel retail. Our next-generation marketplace Travelport+ connects buyers and sellers that share our passion for delivering exceptional travel experiences. Unconflicted and independent, we are reinventing a simpler future for travel’s complex ecosystem. We are a truly global company, operating in over 180 countries. Our headquarters are in London, United Kingdom.

About SalesTrip

SalesTrip is an expense management and travel booking system on Salesforce, making it easier for people to do business from places outside the home and office so their organizations can thrive in return. By managing expenses and booking travel alongside customer and revenue data in Salesforce, employees benefit from a fast and easy way to track and claim travel expenses. Companies benefit from automated reconciliation of spend against business purpose to prove how it aids company growth. The company launched in 2019 with customers located across the UK, Europe and US.

April 13, 2021
WestJet extends sun-flight suspensions until June 4

CALGARY, AB - WestJet today announced it will extend its temporary suspension of international sun flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean until June 4, 2021. 

"We are extending our suspension with the clear expectation that as more Canadians are vaccinated, government policy will transition," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "We continue to advocate for the replacement of mandatory hotel quarantines with a testing regime that is equitable and consistent with global standards at all points of entry into our country. Alongside an accelerated and successful vaccine rollout, this policy transition will support the safe restart of travel and help stimulate the Canadian economy, where one in ten jobs are tourism related." 

Guests with affected itineraries will be proactively notified of the cancellations. Since November 1, 2020, WestJet has been providing refunds for all travellers, regardless of fare class booked where WestJet initiated the cancellation. 

"We remain focused on a long-term solution that will serve the best interests of Canadians," continued Sims. "A safe travel-restart framework is the most effective way to support those interests and restore jobs."  

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic. 

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

April 08, 2021
Ottawa Tourism launches Virtually Ottawa
Meeting planners from around the world have access to virtual tools  to aid in the planning of future events in Ottawa   

OTTAWA— Ottawa Tourism launched last week Virtually Ottawa, an interactive experience which aims to inspire conference planners to consider Ottawa, Canada’s capital, for their next meeting. This tool helps bridge the gap while in-person site visits are not a possibility. 
 
Viewers are virtually welcomed to the Shaw Centre, Ottawa’s award-winning convention centre, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021. They will have the opportunity to explore Ottawa’s landscape through the panoramic city tour from the Trillium Ballroom and tour the centre to discover locally inspired experiences, including: 
  • a mixology demonstration with Greg O’Brien from Bar from Afar demonstrating the art of making craft cocktails at home,  
  • a 15-minute break with Brittany Bryden, a yoga and movement teacher, and
  • a visit to CrEATe Kitchen with the Shaw Centre’s Chef Patrick Turcot as he shares the recipe for a decadent treat for the whole family.  
Upon entering the platform, meeting planners are greeted by a virtual member of the Ottawa Tourism sales team, who provides a virtual site visit of the city and its landmarks, as seen from the ballroom. Venues and attractions are tagged, allowing the viewer to be directed to the appropriate section of Ottawa Tourism’s website for more information. 
 
The virtual space contains billboards with links to destination videos, a Meet the Team piece as well as information on Ottawa Tourism’s Convention Services. 
 
“Ottawa Tourism’s Business Events team is proud to launch this tool, which allows them to show off Ottawa’s assets in a safe and secure, accessible way to meeting planners both near and far,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Given that many meetings are booked years in advance, this allows our staff to continue their work bringing important business to Ottawa and helping to set the scene for a robust recovery of Ottawa’s hard-hit tourism sector.” 
 
About Ottawa Tourism
Ottawa Tourism provides destination development and marketing, strategic direction, and leadership in cooperation with its members and partners, welcoming leisure travellers, business travellers, group tours, and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its goal is to support the local tourism economy, fueled by an estimated 11 million visitors annually in recent years and with $3 billion in typical economic output for Ottawa, generating community wealth through tourism. Ottawa Tourism’s vision is to offer the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking.
April 01, 2021
Are events trashing the planet? Yep.

We can fix this and make events carbon neutral.

The Sustainable Events Forum hosts the 2nd annual Earth Day for Event People on April 22, 2021. This virtual event celebrates how the event industry is a part of the solution to the climate emergency — and how event attendees can achieve carbon neutrality.

Earth Day for Event People will shine a spotlight on 10 of Canada’s most beautiful AND sustainable event destinations as voted by attendees. Taking inspiration from CBC’s Canada Reads, 10 event professionals who host events in these destinations will make the case for their chosen nominee. Destinations in the running this year are St. John’s, Charlottetown, Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Banff, Vancouver, Victoria, and Whitehorse.

“This year on Earth Day for Event People, we want to celebrate the destinations doing the hard work to protect our natural assets. They operate tourism centres, destination management organizations, oversee water, waste and sewage and operate convention centres, parks and recreational venues. Destinations are crucial to reducing the carbon footprint of any event in their area and as event professionals, we need them as partners to make change in our industry,” said TSEF co-founders Candice Tulsieram and Natalie Lowe.

To attend Earth Day for Event People, register here.

About The Sustainable Events Forum

TSEF started 18 months ago as a gathering for event

professionals to educate, inspire, collaborate, and act on the climate crisis.

There are hundreds of events held live or virtually every day in Canada and while gatherings are important for people and businesses, they have a large carbon footprint. Making the events they host or attend low carbon is an easy way for companies to work toward carbon neutrality.

To learn more about TSEF and Earth Day for Event People, or to register for Earth Day, go to tsef.ca

March 31, 2021
One Young World picks Montréal to host annual summit

2,500 young leaders coming together at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in 2024

Montréal – The Palais des congrès de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal are proud to announce the city will be hosting the One Young World Summit in 2024. The international organization confirmed their decision during a virtual press conference today. This is a major event that will draw some 2,500 inspiring young people from all over the world and generate an estimated $4.4 million in tourism revenues along with 7,000 hotel room nights.
 
This news bodes well for the future of the convention industry, and young leaders converging on Montréal in the month of May will certainly contribute to the city’s trademark effervescence.
 
The global forum for tomorrow’s leaders
The One Young World Summit is an annual three-day event attended by thousands of promising young delegates from 190+ countries and all walks of professional life. It features a rich roster of inspiring conferences given by influential humanitarian, political and business leaders.
 
The purpose is to give delegates the means to maximize the social impact of their professional and personal initiatives, while also mentoring them on best sustainability practices. At the end of the Summit, these delegates become One Young World Ambassadors and access a global network that serves to accelerate and optimize their ventures.
 
A bid supported by Montréal’s youth leadership
Montréal entered the bid to host the One Young World Summit in 2019. At a kickoff meeting, the bid was embraced by a committee of 42 young leaders and youth representatives.
 
Impressed by the level of cooperation between the various entities of the city’s tourism ecosystem, One Young World shortlisted Montréal, along with San José, Belfast, São Paulo, Kigali, Dubai and Monterrey (Mexico). A charm offensive followed when representatives of the London-based organization visited the city.
 
The initial plan was to bid for the 2022 or 2023 Summit, but the pandemic pushed everything back one year. Ultimately, Montréal won the bid to host the 2024 One Young World Summit. The reasons for the choice included the standing and opportunities enjoyed by the city’s youth, the city’s reputation for diversity and inclusion, and its sustainability commitments. Belfast won the bid to host the 2023 edition.
 
 
“The One Young World Summit coming to the Palais is evidence that despite the impacts of the pandemic, Montréal remains a highly attractive host city for major events. The cooperation shown by the various stakeholders, the creativity of our offering, and the Montréal brand confirm we are primed for getting business back on track.”
 
– Luc Charbonneau, Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances of the Palais des congrès de Montréal
 
“The outstanding cooperation between the city’s business community and Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès was rewarded today with our winning the bid to host the 2024 One Young World Summit. Not only will the event generate major tourism benefits for the city, but it will also have a huge social impact for young Montréalers and the businesses that support our youth.”
 
– Yves Lalumière, CEO of Tourisme Montréal
 
“Belfast and Montréal are vibrant, youthful cities, and we’re really looking forward to hosting our next Summits in these important cultural hubs. The world has faced more than a year of incredible disruption, yet we have also seen inspirational moments of activism, strength and commitment. The young leaders of the world are well-placed to help lead us out of the crisis and into a brighter future.
 
Similarly, our next host cities Belfast and Montréal share a passion for attracting global talent and being committed to the acceleration of the kind of ambitious, innovative ideas that we will need.
As we look to the future of One Young World, we are thrilled to announce that Belfast and Montréal will be our next host cities"
 
– David Jones, Co-Founder of One Young World
 
 
About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is a 100-year-old private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. Uniting nearly 1,000 businesses and organizations working directly or indirectly in tourism, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city’s economic, urban and cultural development. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.
 
 
About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
The Palais des congrès de Montréal convention centre continues to respond proactively to the event hosting requirements prompted by COVID-19. A new leader in hybrid events, it houses various state-of-the-art studios as part of its Palais Média Propulsion service. Through PROGRESS, its Palais Reopening Operating Guide to Running Events with Safety Standards, the Palais is adhering to the new health standards ratified by the appropriate governmental authorities, at no additional cost to its customers.
 
The Palais stands in the heart of the top host city in the Americas for international events, as ranked in 2019 by the Union of International Associations. It is the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, awarded by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), and also a finalist for the prestigious Apex award honouring the “world’s best customer satisfaction ratings.” In 2019-2020, the Palais generated $228 million in economic benefits along with an invaluable amount of intellectual wealth via the 339 events it hosted. A trailblazer, it operates its own events lab, CITÉ, which houses Montréal startups that are helping redefine how conferences are held. The Palais is among the first convention centres in the world to operate a carbon neutral building, and is also BOMA BEST certified. Visit congresmtl.com.
March 25, 2021
Production Canada expands into the US market with The Production Agency

The Production Agency blends set construction and full-service event production

Seattle, WA: Today, Production Canada, an award-winning production company that helps clients manifest their event vision into experiences with impact, expanded into the US market with the launch of The Production Agency. The Production Agency blends set construction, full- service event production, and a celebrated approach to client service, and are expertly positioned to build strong, lasting relationships with its customers.

As COVID restrictions begin to loosen and the events industry begins its journey to recovery, The Production Agency truly believes that live events are going to become more important than ever before. The Production Agency is excited to join their clients around the table to begin a renaissance in live event experiences, embracing a second roaring twenties.

Todd Skinner, Owner of The Production Agency, explains “We’re extremely excited to be expanding into the US to service our American based clients and look for new avenues for growth and to continue our mission to produce the best and most respected events in North America.”

The Production Agency offers design/build and strategize/execute services. Their construction workshop is renowned for turning ideas into compelling visual realities. Additionally, The Production Agency’s event management team will overcome your biggest event challenges. Be they logistical, technical, creative, or financial. The Production Agency genuinely believes that they can make a difference to the world of events and activations.

About The Production AgencyThe Production Agency is an award-winning company that helps clients manifest their event vision into experiences with impact. Blending scenic construction, full- service event production, and a celebrated approach to client service, The Production Agency is expertly positioned to build strong, lasting relationships with its customers.

March 25, 2021
60% of Canada's Hardest Hit Businesses Will Not Survive to the End of the Year
OTTAWA – A March 2021 survey released today on Parliament Hill reveals that 60% of Canada’s hardest hit businesses will not survive if the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) as well as the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) are not extended beyond the June 5th deadline to the end of the year. The survey with over 1,700 respondents from across Canada was conducted by the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses.
 
Based on the survey results, the Coalition is formally appealing to the Federal Government to provide certainty and announce an extension of the CEWS and CERS supports to the end of the year for the hardest hit sectors in the April budget.

“Our businesses were the first hit by the pandemic, the hardest hit by closures, and will be the last to recover. With extended support, we can thrive and survive. Without it, Canada’s tourism, culture and hospitality industries will be devastated for a generation,” announced Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, hard hit businesses that make up the coalition employed more than 2 million Canadians - about 1 in every 10 jobs. The membership is primarily Canadian-owned small or medium-sized businesses providing significant employment while living in the local community. Our employees are predominantly women, young people, Indigenous and new Canadians - populations whose employment has been particularly impacted by the pandemic.

“For businesses that find their recovery impaired by the lingering effects of mass gathering bans and other public health policies, the CEWS and CERS programs will be a lifeline. Their continuation would make the difference between a vibrant tourism and cultural industry in Canada, and a breakdown of the critical infrastructure that supports the travel and tourism sector,” said Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada.

“In the absence of any certainty, many festival and event organizers are nearing the point where they must decide whether to cancel their planned activities for this year or to go ahead with a smaller scale edition. Chances are, they are going to once again miss out on the opportunity to generate their revenues for the year. Other sectors of the economy may begin to recover as restrictions ease, but the events sector will not be in a position to do so and will require continued government support until a return to normal occurs,” added Martin Roy, Executive Director of Festivals and Major Events.

“We hope that by the summer we will continue to see an easing of restrictions and a modest return of leisure travel. However, the decisions to cancel conventions for this fall have already been made and business travel will not recover in the short term. Where the recovery is quick these businesses will not qualify for government support. But if there are protracted restrictions from COVID, we will need to know this support is there,” concluded Potter.

The Coalition also stressed that efforts to safely stimulate domestic tourism, lower interprovincial travel barriers and reopen international borders are critically important. But such measures must be accompanied by critical support programs to ensure that highly affected sectors can bridge to the other side.

The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses is an industry-driven group of over 100 stakeholders representing a variety of sectors including tourism, travel, arts and culture, events and festivals, accommodation and hospitality.

To learn more about the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, visit www.HardestHit.ca.
March 25, 2021
Qaumajuq Inuit art centre in Winnipeg, Canada opens March 25 & 26 with virtual celebration

Come on in to the new Inuit art centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory: The Winnipeg Art Gallery invites everyone to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime opening of Qaumajuq, an innovative new museum dedicated to Inuit art and culture, led by Inuit voices. A two-part virtual celebration on March 25 and 26, 2021 will welcome the world to the light-filled spaces of Qaumajuq, connected to the WAG on all levels. Artwork, performances, voices, and ceremonies bridging North and South will mark the unveiling of this new 185,000 square-foot cultural campus, now one of the largest art museums in Canada.
Presented by BMO Financial Group, Qaumajuq’s documentary-style virtual opening is produced by award-winning, Winnipeg-based Eagle Vision and hosted by the WAG’s Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, and Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Initiatives, with Nunavut’s Madeleine Allakariallak, former host of CBC North’s Igalaaq. Qaumajuq’s doors open to the public on Saturday, March 27, 2021.
 
Virtual Opening
PART I: March 25, 6:30pm CT - WELCOME: Takes you on a journey through the new 40,000-square-foot building by Michael Maltzan Architecture; the world-renowned collection of Inuit art it holds; the education, outreach and meeting place it will provide; and the inspiration for its design and function. Performers from Inuit Nunangat, the homeland of Inuit in Canada –including Inuit performance collective ArtCirq and hoop dancer Marika Sila – will come together with Manitoba artists like viral TikTok jiggers and hip-hop dancers the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers Mikey, Jacob and Cieana Harris, singer-songwriter Don Amero, and throat-singers Nikki Komaksiutiksak and Chasity Swan, and more.

PART II - March 26, 6:30pm CT - CEREMONY & CELEBRATE: Tells the story of the spirits that exist within the art, the blessing of Qaumajuq in ceremony by the Seven Nations of Manitoba, and a mix of celebratory messages from across the country and beyond.

HOW TO WATCH: The virtual opening is free and accessible to all, streamed on the WAG website, social media, and available through broadcasting partners. Both segments are approximately 60 minutes and start at 6:30pm CT. RSVP at wag.ca/opening. The event is part of a year of celebrations called Qaumajuq365, offering many ways to get involved with the inaugural year, virtually and in-person at a safe distance. ⁠

March 27, 11am-10pm, March 28-April 2, 11am-9pm, Canada Life Qaumajuq Free Days@WAG: Everyone is invited to come check out the new building for free with special interactive programming for families. Canada Life Free Sundays@WAG start up again on March 14, 2021 (WAG only) and continue on the second Sunday of every month, including Qaumajuq as of April 11, 2021. The WAG is closed to the public March 21-26, 2021.

Free Days
All are invited to sign-up for free timed-tickets to explore the new building (limited quantity available). Advanced registration is required.

March 22, 1-9pm: Inuit, Metis & First Nations Welcome Day: It is important that the Indigenous community is welcomed into the building first as they are the original keepers and protectors of the territory on which WAG-Qaumajuq stands. The Winnipeg Foundation is helping make free admission possible that day and supporting free admission to Qaumajuq-WAG for all Indigenous peoples beginning when the new building opens to the public on March 27, 2021. This policy advances the WAG’s ongoing work to respond to the TRC Calls to Action and the UNDRIP.  If you are Inuit, Metis or First Nations, sign up for a timed-ticket at wag.ca.

March 23-24, 1-9pm: WAG Supporter Preview: WAG supporters are invited for a sneak peek. Not a WAG member? Sign-up for a free Friend membership if you’re 25 or under or Indigenous, or for $35 if you’re over 25. This pilot for Qaumajuq’s inaugural year gives you 12 months of admission. Youth under 18 receive free admission without a membership for the inaugural year thanks in part to The Winnipeg Foundation. Learn more about WAG membership at wag.ca.
 

“I have witnessed first-hand leadership from every corner of this country that made this multi-decade dream a reality. Our mission was illuminated by visionaries and sustained by selfless volunteers. Together they forged a path that was bright and lit—the essence of Qaumajuq. On behalf of the Board of Governors, we extend our sincere heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all the stakeholders that contributed to the founding of Qaumajuq. It is bright, it is lit. Indeed this new art museum is more than a building, it is a beacon where Inuit voices are front and centre in sharing their creativity. Artists, Inuit, various partners and community leaders have collaborated to envision and create a vibrant gathering place where all are welcome and where everyone’s stories are told and heard in a true spirit of reconciliation.”

—Dr. Ernest Cholakis, Chair, Board of Governors, Winnipeg Art Gallery

“Qaumajuq is a new museum, a transcendent place where Inuit vision and voices illuminate and inspire. We would not be here without the dedication and support of many individuals, families, organizations, governments, staff, and volunteers. We thank BMO Financial Group for investing in Qaumajuq, Eagle Vision for guiding our celebrations, and all our opening supporters for ensuring everyone can be part of this historic moment for Canada and Inuit everywhere, no matter where you are in the world. Above all, we are profoundly grateful to the Inuit artists, living and now passed, who inspire us, and have given us a reason to build Qaumajuq. This new centre is their stories told, their voices heard.” 
—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
                
“I am very excited to share Qaumajuq with the world. A lot of Ceremony went into preparing the artworks and building for opening, and I'm very grateful to the Indigenous Ceremonial Leaders who brought their prayers to Qaumajuq and the Spirit of the artworks that live here. Miigwech to Dakota Grandfather Wanbdi Wakita, Grandmother Pahan Pte San Win, Byron Beardy, Elder Dr. Mary Courchene, Chief Dennis Meeches, Elder Marcella Vezina, Victor Tssessaze, Elder Martha Peet, Joachim Ayark and Jolene Mercer for helping to prepare Qaumajuq for opening in the right way.”
—Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous initiatives, Winnipeg Art Gallery    
“We are excited to collaborate with the Winnipeg Art Gallery on the opening of Qaumajuq, a pre-eminent gathering space dedicated to one-of-a-kind collection of Inuit art. For over a century, we’ve proudly supported the WAG and are honoured to be a part of bringing this unique collection which celebrates diversity and culture to our community and the world.”
— John MacAulay, Regional President, Prairies Central Region, BMO Bank of Montreal
 
Supporters: The WAG thanks the following partners: Qaumjuaq Virtual Opening presenting sponsor BMO Financial Group; supporting sponsor Destination Nunavut; as well as Travel Manitoba, Eagle Vision, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Johnston Group, Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Arts Council, Cushman & Wakefield; City of Winnipeg, Mayor Brian Bowman, Winnipeg City Councillors Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Markus Chambers (St. Norbert – Seine River), Ross Eadie (Mynarski), Kevin Klein (Charleswood – Tuxedo), Shawn Nason (Transcona), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), Scott Gillingham (St. James), Vivian Santos (Point Douglas), John Orlikow (River Heights – Fort Garry), Jason Schreyer (Elmwood – East Kildonan), Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry), Janice Lukes (Waverley West); Panasonic; Mondetta Clothing Company. Media sponsors Winnipeg Free Press, Outfront Media, Tourism Winnipeg, CTV Winnipeg, print sponsor Esdale Printing Company. Free Days@WAG Title Sponsor Canada Life, and access supporter The Winnipeg Foundation. 
 
Associated Links

Stay Connected
Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram #Qaumajuq365 #atwag
March 25, 2021
Raise Your Voice: the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses

The federal government will table its budget on April 19. The industry is now in a critical period to apply pressure as final budget deliberations are currently underway.

On behalf of the industry, the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses is specifically asking Ottawa for:
    •    An extension and enhancement of CEWS at 75% targeting hard hit industries until the end of 2021
    •    An extension and enhancement of the CERS program for hard hit businesses, including deeper support for medium-sized businesses

HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP:
    •    Call (or email) your Champion MPs and tell them the wage subsidy and fixed costs support is critical and must continue until the end of 2021. Share these Key Recommendations for Budget 2021.
    •     Send a letter to your local Member of Parliament. It will take less than 1 minute and you can send via this microsite.
    •     Spread the word on social media. Pre-written social media content can be found here.

March 24, 2021
GMID 2021: Help Spread the News

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is our industry's most important annual event!
On April 8, Meetings Mean Business Canada is hosting a free, 90-minute virtual event that will emphasize our industry's readiness to reopen the travel and business events economy as soon as restrictions are lifted.
 
Program Highlights
How provincial industry groups will reopen in their respective regions
The status of domestic business travel
The eventual return of international events
Industry state-of-the-art readiness plans and safety protocols
How the business events industry can help rebuild Canada’s economy
 
Who's Participating?
More than two dozen DMOs & industry associations plus:
Destination Canada Business Events
Tourism Industry Association of Canada | Hotel Association of Canada
Global Business Travel Association | Convention Centres Canada
Canadian Association of Exposition Management | Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Register today!

Light Up Blue on April 8
We're asking DMOs and their partners to recognize GMID 2021 by lighting in blue their local convention centres, off-site venues, attractions, monuments
and any other key meeting places.
For more information, contact  Christina Northcott

Advocating for Canadian Meetings & Business Events

Meetings Mean Business Canada works in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Destination Canada Business Events to communicate the social and economic impact of the sector to all levels of government and to all Canadians.



March 24, 2021
Hybrid City Alliance adds 8 new members

Worldwide coalition of destinations working to organize safe in-person and virtual meetings  

OTTAWA—Eight cities—Antwerp, Cannes, Durban, Edmonton, Lausanne-Montreux, Seoul, Sydney, and Zurich—have joined Ottawa, The Hague, Geneva, and Prague in the Hybrid City Alliance. Launched in December 2020, the Hybrid City Alliance brings together like-minded destinations to offer international meeting planners a simple, streamlined, and transparent approach to engaging with multiple locations for hybrid and multi-city events.

“Ottawa Tourism is proud to be a founding member of the Hybrid City Alliance and to contribute to the safe resumption of in-person meetings around the world,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “The Alliance is founded on the principles of inclusiveness, collaboration and competence as the member cities encourage, promote, and facilitate the delivery of hybrid and multi-city events. With a dozen cities participating from across the globe, we can offer seamless options for meeting planners.”

Ottawa Tourism has gathered info for meeting planners looking to organize hybrid events (a mix of in-person and virtual content).

Over the past few months, the Alliance has conducted a series of focus groups and discussions with a range of industry stakeholders (including event platforms and AV suppliers) to ensure it offers maximum value to buyers from around the world. Output from these discussions will include a white paper due for release in the coming weeks. 

Above all else, the combined knowledge and experience of the member cities removes barriers, offers solutions and inspires the creation of unparalleled delegate experiences. This leaves a lasting legacy in each city, while simplifying the role of the meeting planner, who is able to benefit from the shared knowledge of the members as well as their willingness to work together on a huge range of events. 

The Hybrid City Alliance has partnered with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and will support ICCA’s North American Summit on March 30, 2021. This partnership will see the Alliance share case studies of recent hybrid events, assist in facilitating workshops, and demonstrate the Alliance members’ position as thought leaders and experts on the subject of hybrid events.

About Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa Tourism provides destination development and marketing, strategic direction, and leadership in cooperation with its members and partners, welcoming leisure travellers, business travellers, group tours, and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its goal is to support the local tourism economy, fueled by an estimated 11 million visitors annually in recent years and with $3 billion in typical economic output for Ottawa, generating community wealth through tourism. Ottawa Tourism’s vision is to offer the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking.

For more information, please contact:

Jantine Van Kregten

Director of Communications, Ottawa Tourism

613-866-4955 | press@ottawatourism.ca

March 15, 2021
Hosts Global Unveils a New Global Alliance

Hosts Global (Hosts), the preeminent provider of destination management services worldwide, debuted a new (and growing) collection of global destination management companies (DMCs). The announcement adds 70 new destinations to the company’s portfolio with Hosts Global's Alliance of DMCs in addition to their current portfolio of Hosts Global Destinations.  

With the increase in vaccines and travel destinations continuing to reopen, meeting and event planners are confidently penciling in group events again. From the start of the pandemic, Hosts worked on reconfiguring their global event solutions to meet clients’ ever-changing needs. This announcement marks the first of Hosts’ new developments to meet this resurgence.  

“Groups are excited to gather again and we’re ready with new places, new members, and new possibilities, said Marty MacKay, Hosts Global’s president, alliance events and operations. “The DMCs in our Hosts Global Alliance are not just destination experts, they all deliver fresh perspectives and the ferocious creativity Hosts Global has become known for.” 

Since transforming from USA Hosts to Hosts Global in 2011, the company has experienced extraordinary growth and continues to innovate through industry-leading initiatives.   

“Though travel was on pause, Hosts was not,” said Jennifer Patino, Hosts Global CEO. “The meetings and events industry is starting to see a significant rebound in group business requests. This is just the beginning—not just for the industry, but for us. We’re setting the stage for more big news to come.”

  
Contact Hosts Global for more information.


About Hosts Global: Hosts Global is a strategic partner for meeting and event planners worldwide. We help visionary planners deliver meaningful, memorable and motivating group experiences in destinations around the globe. Across our destinations, Hosts Global Destinations and Hosts Global Members are known as the local experts, weaving ferocious creativity and intention into every moment, from event design and production to team building programs and everything in-between. For more information about Hosts Global solutions visit www.hosts-global.com.
Global Reach. Local Experts.
 

March 05, 2021
MPI Toronto has recognized Meetings Mean Business Canada chair Clark Grue with its 2021 President’s Award.

Clark’s efforts on behalf of Canada’s business events industry take the form of media interviews, industry webinars and meetings with elected officials. Government decision makers have gained an appreciation for the shutdown’s devastating toll on the industry, as well as a better understanding of how business events can help drive Canada’s economic recovery.

“Over the past year, Clark has captured not only my attention, but my deep respect,” said Margaret Binns, president, MPI Toronto. “In his role as chair of MMBC, he works tirelessly to advocate to elected officials and to industry stakeholders about the critical social and economic impact that our industry has on the financial health of this nation. He was the obvious choice for this award.”

In accepting the award, Clark recognized how the industry has worked hard to raise its voice at a critical time: “Advocacy is definitely a team sport.. it takes an army of voices and continual persistence to have success. So many of you have done so much for this industry over the past year. I want to thank each one of you for your efforts and your commitment.”

“I’m proud to say that the meetings industry has come a long way this past year in advocating to government for the support that is so desperately needed,” added Clark, who is also president and CEO of Calgary-based Rainmaker Global Business Development. “A special thanks goes to the volunteer board and the executive of Meetings Mean Business Canada. And a huge thank you to MPI for your support and commitment to MMBC’s work.”

MMBC works with industry partners such as the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, to advocate for immediate and appropriate relief for the visitor economy. These advocacy efforts have contributed to the introduction of new programs, for example the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP Canada).

Learn more about Meetings Mean Business Canada at meetingsmeanbusiness.ca

March 04, 2021
Edmonton tourism and hospitality industries announce a collaborative commitment to pursuing city-wide GBAC STAR™ accreditation.

Edmonton to become first Canadian destination with health & safety designation.

Edmonton, AB – Explore Edmonton has announced a collaborative initiative with the Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels (EDMH), the Oilers Entertainment Group and the already accredited Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre to pursue a city- wide Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STARTM Accreditation for Edmonton, positioning Edmonton among the healthiest and safest destinations for business and leisure travel in North America. Once complete, Edmonton will be the first and only Canadian destination, and one of only two destinations throughout North America, to obtain the GBAC STARTM Accreditation.

The GBAC STARTM Accreditation program is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities and destinations. This means the cleaning and sanitization programs of participating Edmonton hotels, venues and transportation agencies will be accredited and validated by the gold standard program that prepares them with the right systems to protect against biorisk situations, including COVID-19.

“Edmonton’s tourism, hospitality and events industries will play an important role in our region’s post-COVID recovery, getting people back to work, welcoming travelers back to the city and delivering important economic and social benefits to our region,” said Maggie Davison, Acting CEO, Explore Edmonton. “Edmonton’s GBAC STARTM Accreditation will ensure our international airport, major venues and hotels are all working towards the same standards for cleanliness and outbreak prevention. By working in partnership, Edmonton can safely reopen for business and provide one of the safest travel experiences in North America, from arrival to departure.”

To obtain GBAC STARTM Accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with 20 specific elements including maintaining strict cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, infectious disease prevention planning, staff training and more.

“Health and safety are always our top priorities and we know how important it is for visitors to feel both welcomed and safe. Edmonton's designation as a city that in today’s challenging world puts outbreak and virus safety top of mind will make a positive difference in attracting tourism, conventions and other events back to our region,” said Tom Ruth, President & CEO, EIA. “Explore Edmonton is working to make sure visitors know this is a great and safe destination and as the gateway to our region, we're on-board to support this.”

“We recognize that we live in unparalleled times. Hotels have always had strong cleanliness standards, but operating through a pandemic has amplified those requirements, ensuring the safety of our guests and staff,” said Barnie Yerxa, Board Chair of the Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels. “Our organization has always been one to collaborate with key partners within the City of Edmonton and that is why our organization jumped at the opportunity when Explore Edmonton brought the idea of bringing multiple organizations together to showcase our city as a safe destination to travel to when the time is right. As we’ve advanced over the years with state-of-the-art online bookings systems, increased in-room amenities and gourmet-level food & beverage offerings, the newest standard that participating hotels will incorporate is a sanitized level of safety, thanks to the GBAC STARTM.”

“As a leader in Edmonton’s Sports and Entertainment industry, Rogers Place and the Oilers Entertainment Group are proud to support the collaborative effort being undertaken in conjunction with our partners at Explore Edmonton, the Edmonton International Airport and Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels to achieve a city-wide GBAC STARTM Accreditation,” said Jay MacDonald, Assistant General Manager, Rogers Place. “The safety of our fans, staff and partners is of paramount importance, this accreditation provides third-party validation of the rigorous protocols we have undertaken to ensure a clean, safe and healthy environment.”

Edmonton’s accreditation process is anticipated to be finalized by Spring, 2021. Participating hotels, venues and transportation partners include:

“The pursuit of GBAC STARTM Facility Accreditation by various venues in Edmonton is a testament to the city’s commitment to making cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention an ongoing priority for its citizens and visitors,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “Through the GBAC STAR accreditation, they show their commitment to their communities by implementing a higher level of cleaning.”

ABOUT EXPLORE EDMONTON

We are the visitor economy and venue management organization for Edmonton. Together, we tell our city’s story, elevate the Edmonton experience and generate inbound visitation. We want visitors to have more than enough reasons to visit, explore and stay longer in Edmonton. In working closely with our partners & stakeholders, our efforts positively impact the economic diversity and quality of life for Edmonton residents, while remaining competitive in a global marketplace. In collaboration with our hotels, attractions and businesses, we strive to make Edmonton a four-season destination of choice, delivering year-round transformational visitor and guest experiences. For more information, visit exploreedmonton.com.

March 04, 2021
Marriott International to Provide Associates Financial Award for COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccination Care Program to provide financial award, schedule flexibility and education

Marriott International, Inc. today announced it has created the Vaccination Care Program, which will provide a financial award to U.S. and Canadian associates at its managed properties who get vaccinated for COVID-19. Employees will receive the equivalent of four hours of pay upon completion of the vaccination.

Marriott International supports global vaccination efforts to help bring the devastating COVID-19 pandemic under control. To encourage our associates to get vaccinated, we are also providing education on the benefits of vaccination and directing leaders to allow for schedule flexibility for vaccination appointments. Although the company is strongly encouraging associates get vaccinated, vaccination is not mandated.

“The health and safety of our people is our top priority. Our goal for the Vaccination Care Program is to remove potential obstacles to getting vaccinated so our associates can put their health first and have peace of mind,” said David Rodriguez, Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International. “Marriott International is confident that vaccination is a key measure, along with mask wearing, social distancing and stepped-up cleanliness protocols and hygiene practices in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. As vaccines become more widely available, this will create a safer environment for all associates, and we believe that consumer confidence to travel again will increase significantly and help the rebound of the travel and tourism sector. We appreciate the support from our managed hotel owners, and encourage the industry and our franchisees to offer flexibility and incentives to their associates as a vital step in our industry’s recovery.”

In April 2020, to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic environment, Marriott International created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to tackle the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel level and further advance the company’s efforts in this area. The Marriott Global Cleanliness Council is focused on developing the next level of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors that are designed to minimize risk and enhance safety for consumers and Marriott associates alike.

Marriott International sees the broad distribution and adoption of vaccines—for travelers and industry employees—as key drivers of economic recovery. Recent research indicates that half of consumers in the U.S. see vaccine distribution as key to travel. For many consumers, vaccination is a gating factor to their ability to confidently get back on the road for leisure or business travel.*

Marriott has consistently been recognized for its outstanding workplace programs. For a comprehensive list, please visit Awards and Recognition.

*Destination Analysts Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report, January 18, 2021

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,600 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 133 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy™, its highly-awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

February 24, 2021
An Intimate and Restorative Escape Awaits at Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

The award-winning eco-luxury oasis in BC’s Cariboo Region offers a travel experience tailor-made for 2021

Clinton, BC - For 25 years, Echo Valley Ranch & Spa has offered visitors from around the world the opportunity to experience adventure, revitalize their spirit, and connect with nature. Set amidst the pristine wilderness of British Columbia’s Cariboo Region, this family-owned eco-luxury retreat isn’t merely a vacation destination. Hundreds of guests have described their stay at Echo Valley as transformative – a once-in-a-lifetime awakening of their spirit and a rediscovery of their childlike sense of wonder.

Why do they say this? The 160-acre Echo Valley property sits majestically at the convergence of four distinct geographic regions: the Marble Mountains, the Mighty Fraser River and Canyon Desert, Cariboo Plateau Boreal Forest, and the Cariboo Grasslands. Here in this pristine, sustainably maintained* sanctuary, guests are able to achieve a peace of mind and state of relaxation that is all too rare amidst the chaos of modern life. “Soft adventures” such as hiking, cycling and fishing, and activities including morning yoga and forest bathing, stimulate body and soul, while magnificently appointed rooms and cabins, five-star cuisine (much of it made from ingredients grown and raised onsite), and European- and Thai-inspired spa services rival the amenities found at resorts anywhere in the world.

In order to ensure the well-being of its guests during these exceptional times, Echo Valley Ranch will be limiting its capacity to a maximum of 10 guests, and, where necessary, has redesigned its activities to maintain proper distancing. 

For May and October, the Elopement Experience offers the perfect alternative to a big wedding, with every detail anticipated for the happy couple and up to eight guests.
From June 1 to September 30, Echo Valley’s bespoke Signature Experience is available as an individual experience and a property-wide buyout: guests select every detail of their stay, from meals and wine pairings to outdoor adventures and spa treatments.

“The global events of the past year have reminded us of the importance of respecting and honouring nature. At the same time, the stresses of modern life emphasize how much we need nature, to spend time in it and allow it to restore us,” says Echo Valley cofounder Norm Dove. “My wife, Nan, and I founded Echo Valley with the intention that guests could come here to reconnect with nature and let it rejuvenate their spirit. I’m confident that in 2021 and beyond, visitors will leave here with a much-needed sense of calm, as well as memories to last a lifetime.”

*Echo Valley Ranch & Spa has received Gold certification status from Green Tourism Canada.

February 23, 2021
Two of Western Canada’s Elite Event Companies Have Teamed Up to Tackle the Growing Demand for High-End Hybrid and Virtual Events

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about huge changes in how people take in live events, and two forward-looking industry leaders are acting on a massive opportunity to fill a need now, and lead the industry into the exciting future of incredible remote live experiences.

Calgary, AB – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on countless businesses in Canada, but perhaps no sector has been harder hit than the events industry. With legislation preventing in-person gatherings of any significant size in place across the country since early March 2020, event professionals have found themselves searching for ways to safely and legally stay active and viable through the lockdowns and restrictions.

At the same time, non-profits, festivals, meetings and conferences, and corporations and brands have been left trying to reimagine important fundraising, arts, community engagement, and employee events in a way that will carry their organizations through this time and to the other side. Too often, the options at hand are underwhelming, ineffective, and not in keeping with the legacy these events and brands have built over years and often decades.

But not for long. Two of Western Canada’s events industry heavy-hitters have stepped up to the plate to offer a solution that is not a compromise or a stop-gap, but rather a live event experience on par with the calibre both clients and guests used to expect, and still deserve. Experience Factory – a joint venture by Dustin Westling of OneWest Event Design and Pierre Marleau of Orange Frog Productions – is a 7,000 square-foot private broadcasting studio and hybrid event space fully equipped with both the technology and the talent to deliver a virtual event on par with the streaming services, awards shows, and sports events we all regularly enjoy remotely. The goal is to not only bring experience and quality back to the forefront, but to leapfrog the events industry into a future where live events are routinely offered with highly desirable remote options, alongside VIP and in-person experiences.

Along with live events, Experience Factory will service existing and burgeoning demand for recorded content – a demand that will continue to swell, and last long past pandemic restrictions. Recorded material for meetings and conferences, product launches, even television and commercials are well within the

wheelhouse of Experience Factory’s diverse capabilities, thanks to the high-end, integrated audio-visual, lighting, and design technology in one of the largest studios in Canada, along with the best and brightest talent in both events and broadcasting.

The foundation of everything is, of course, safety. Experience Factory is led and staffed by a fully COR Certified team of professionals, with dedicated Health & Safety Coordinators in place to oversee an exhaustive list of industry-leading protocols and state-of-the-art safety features. In a climate of job insecurity and economical instability, Experience Factory has seized on a way to safely fulfill a real need in the market, keep event and broadcasting professionals active in engaging and creatively rewarding work, and build something that will be relevant and exciting well beyond the eventual end of the pandemic.

More information about Experience Factory can be found at meetxfactory.com. More information about Dustin Westling and One West Event Design can be found at onewestevents.com. More information about Pierre Marleau and Orange Frog Productions can be found at orangefrogproductions.ca.