As a result, business opportunities
abound in the region’s main cities—
strongly aligned with the meetings industry.
After hosting 4,000-plus influential meeting
planners for the 60th edition of PCMA’s annual Convening Leaders event in January
2016, Vancouver continues to add convention muscle on an ever-widening number
of business fronts.
“With traditional resource-based indus-
tries including mining, forestry, lumber,
aquaculture and shipping providing a sta-
ble base for attracting meetings and confer-
ences, our focus as a DMO is to develop
new business opportunities,” said Dave
Gazley, Tourism Vancouver’s vice president
of meeting and convention sales. “In that
respect, we are seeing particular success
with international medical conferences,
along with insurance, financial, gaming,
graphics and other areas of technology,
knowledge and innovation.”
Launched in 1996, Tourism Vancouver’s
“Be a Host” program has seen over 1,000
local hosts bring their meetings, confer-
ences, congresses and symposiums to the
city over the past two decades.
Integral to Vancouver earning International Congress and Convention Association honors as North America’s leading
city for international meetings in 2014, the
Vancouver Convention Centre offers a total
of 466,500 square feet of meeting space. As
the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified
meetings facility, the Centre also stands out
with its six-acre living roof, advanced technology, stunning curves and scenic views.
The city’s recent developments include
downtown’s 147-room Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver. Slated to open
this fall, parq Vancouver is a new $700-
million “urban resort” featuring a casino,
329-room JW Marriott hotel and 188-room
Marriott Autograph Collection property.
In Calgary, Canada’s energy capital, a
well-rounded economy and business-first
mindset powers a dynamic meetings scene.
As Canada’s technology start-up leader,
Calgary claims more than 135 national corporate head offices, the highest per capita
The western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are major gearwheels in the Canadian economy. With natural resources anchoring a solid footing in
oil and gas, mining, forestry and agriculture, sector
diversification runs the gamut, from medicine and
computer graphics in Vancouver to clean energy and
food security in Saskatoon.
By Jeff Heilman
Western Canada melds innovation and natural
resources for a strong business front