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Summer 2011

Canada’s Premier Publication for Corporate Meeting, Travel & Incentive Professionals

PM 40063056

Group Incentive Travel Rebounds

“If you’re going once, chances are you’ll be going twice.”

Sold — Yes it’s Calgary!

Lot#103 Mountains, one hour away

Lot# 3213 Downtown, convention centre

Lot# 683 Western Hospitality, go wild

TF 1.800.822.2697 F 403.261.8510

Cover story 6 On the Rebound Group incentive travel is returning to pre-

recession levels with luxurious destinations on tap due to the strength of the Canadian dollar.

By Sandra Eagle

contents Features 5

editor's note

14 AV Insight

Creative Sound and Light for Distinctive Spaces.

By Ken Datzkiw


Meeting Planner Profile

Meet Andrea Wagner, Supervisor, Conference and Event Services for Health Canada.

20 food and beverage

Chef Jamie Meireles at the Toronto Board of Trade, TIFF Bell Lightbox and The Arcadian Court. By Sandra Eagle



Vancouver gift guru Janet Helm offers some advice on a gifting challenge and some pointers for pro-active corporate Christmas shoppers. By Janet Helm

24 Destination Profile

Town & Country: CM & E profiles the latest in luxury in Toronto, with resort options in cottage country. By Hailey Eisen


Venue Spotlight

By Sandra Eagle

Cultural venues East to West that add that extra “Wow� factor to group events.


CENTRAL | AFFORDABLE | FRIENDLY | CONVENIENT In Winnipeg, it’s easy to mix business with pleasure, character with convenience, and opportunity with affordability. Located at the geographic centre of Canada and the continent, Winnipeg boasts a variety of competitively priced hotel and meeting facilities. Home to warm and friendly hospitality, diverse arts and culture, traditional and unique venues, and cosmopolitan cuisine, Winnipeg comes together to offer tremendous value, making it the ideal city to host your next meeting or convention.

For more information on how we can help you with your next convention or to see if you qualify for incentives, please contact Rachelle at 1.800.665.0204 or






Corporate Meetings & Events Volume 12 Number 4 Publisher

Chuck Nervick

Associate Publisher Ellen McManus Managing Editor

Sandra Eagle

Senior Designer

Annette Carlucci

Production Manager

Rachel Selbie


Lina Trunina

Editorial Advisory Board Christine Boon, Director Brands Marketing, IHG Adam Bultz, President, C3 Communications Rod Cameron, Executive Director, Convention Centres of Canada Frank DiRocco, National Director of Sales, Delta Hotels Theodora Douklias, Senior Program Manager, HRG North America Dave Gazley, Vice President Meetings & Conventions Sales, Vancouver Tourism Heather Lundy, Director of Marketing, Telus Convention Centre, Calgary David Martin, Director, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality - Ryerson University Joe Nishi, Regional Director, Meeting Encore Francis Pare, Account Manager, Zeste Incentive Brad Peters, Director of Conventions and Events, Tourism Saskatoon Shelly Sechopoulos, Marketing, Caesars Windsor Brent Taylor, Principal, Timewise Event Management Inc. Marketing Angela Zaltsman, Principal, A to Z Event Management

For advertising information Contact Ellen McManus 416-512-8186 ext. 268 For editorial enquiries Contact Sandra Eagle 416-512-8186 ext. 265 Printed and published five times per year by MediaEdge Communications Inc. Printed in Canada. Reprint permission requests to use materials published in Corporate Meetings & Events should be directed to the publisher. Circulation Inquiries 5255 Yonge Street, Suite 1000 Toronto Ontario M2N 6P4 416-512-8186 ext. 232 Corporate Meetings & Events subscriptions are available for two years: $80.00*; one year: $45.00*; single copy sales; $10.00* Outside of Canada, USA: $70.00, International: $95.00, *plus applicable taxes. Subscription entitles the recipient to four issues per year plus our Annual Industry Source Book. MediaEdge Communications Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

President Vice-President

Kevin Brown Chuck Nervick

Publications Mail Agreement No. 40063056 ISSN: 1919-1464 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to:


A Voice in Political Corridors The Business Events Industry Council of Canada was formed during 2009 when the Canadian meeting industry was suffering drastically due to the economic downturn. About 30 of Canada’s largest industry associations gathered at the Westin Harbour Castle with a facilitator to discuss a call to action for the entire sector. Rita Plaskett, current chair of the BEICC, says it became very clear to everyone at that meeting that a united voice was crucial to the whole community in communicating how valuable the business events industry is to the Canadian economy. “Within the Canadian government, tourism is recognized as an industry sector, while meetings and events is not, and we should all be talking with one voice, the stronger our voice is on multiple fronts, the greater an impact we are going to have.” She says at that time, “The Canadian industry was in a better position than the U.S., because we had already done the Economic Impact Study at that point in time, because we knew that the meeting industry needed to have some concrete data and some analysis of our economic impact, which is 32 billion dollars of direct spend and 72 billion dollars of indirect spend.” So in 2010 the BEICC was incorporated, a business plan was developed, and an advisory board put in place to cement the foundation as a credible voice for the events industry. Now that the economy is rallying with the attendant increase in meeting and events the raison d’être of the Council is in a transition phase, and Plaskett is ready for the challenge. “Clearly there is a strong connection between the meeting side and the tourism side of our businesses, probably a third of our business overlaps. Meetings and tourism feed somewhat off of each other, a person could come to Toronto, let’s say for a vacation, and decide to bring a group here. Even with my own business, I’ve chosen to take a group to St. John’s, Newfoundland next year because it makes good business sense, but already the pre- and post-tourism that is happening because of that event has taken off. When people get a chance to visit the Rock, they usually decide to tack on some extra vacation time to explore the destination. So tourism will benefit from that meeting, so it goes both ways.” Right now, the third version of the Economic Impact Study is underway; with researchers drilling down into the provincial data for meeting spend. Plaskett says “Our data will be that much more compelling, more robust, because we have stats for 2007 in good times, refreshed in 2009 in tough times and now we’re going out to field again in a recovery time, so we’re very fortunate to have a true comparison of where our industry was, and where it’s going now. Now that the essential business and governance fundamentals of the BEICC are finished, the difficult next steps of strategy and approach to government lobbying by the Council is next on the agenda. A lobbyist on the Hill needs to speak to the right people with the right message, Plaskett adds, “The right person who is connected doesn’t hurt either. What I don’t want to do is raise another round of funds from members of the BEICC to hire a lobbyist and a strategic management team to talk with senior government officials.” Finding the right coalition partner is the next step to having a connected voice in the political corridors of power. Sandra Eagle Managing Editor, CM & E Corporate Meetings & Events  |  5

On the Rebound After weathering a couple of tough years, incentive travel returns to corporate Canada.

After the lingering effects of the AIG debacle in the United States and a lingering recession to deal with, incentive travel is making a comeback across most of the Canadian corporate landscape. While corporate Canada decided to wait out the recession and shelve incentive travel for a year or so, or decided to travel domestically, incentive companies with a diversified client base were able to ride out the worst of the economic carnage and maintain a measure of recognition travel for high performing employees. Joanne Keating, special projects manager with Meridican Incentive Consultants, based in Markham, Ont., even saw an uptake in some client’s business during the worst of the recession. “In tough times, the grocery business tends to grow, because people aren’t eating out as much. So as their business increased, they recognized their franchisees with an incentive travel program. They also rolled out their marketing plan for the coming year and it was a great networking opportunity.” Part of the challenge, Keating explains, is convincing the shareholder and the non-involved employees about the importance of incentive travel, especially when stock is sliding or there’s been layoffs. She adds, “In times of recession that’s when you need incentives the most. Sales drive most companies, so to boost the sales force when the negativity in the industry is pervasive, it’s critical to boost morale. With the sales generating incentive plan, its’ so much easier to show the financial impact. Non-sales incentives are much harder to show the return on investment. (ROI)”

6  | Summer 2011

cover story

Corporate Meetings & Events  |  7

cover story

Budget Basics

As for budgets, clients that have taken a year off are now back and raring to go. Kathleen Jones, business solutions manager for Halifax-based Fraser & Hoyt Incentives, says “Those companies that did take a break or did do some budget cuts or stayed domestically want to return with a big bang when they re-launch. They want to get their people excited again, because it’s an obvious disappointment when company personnel are used to going to these top notch destinations and that changes.” For Keating, budgets are basically at the status quo level or have just minimally declined. “In this past year,” she says, “there has been some great opportunities with our hotel partners, we were able to use some of the budget realized from lower hotel costs to pay airfares which have been increasing because of fuel

8  | Summer 2011


surcharges. With the two offsetting it’s been g reat, a nd also a huge contributing factor is the U.S. dollar being at par. We’re certainly able to offer a great bang for the buck. I think the status quo for budgets will hold for at least a couple of years, and then as the hotel rates begin to creep up we will see the budgets increase accordingly.” N i c o l a K a s t n e r, C M P,C M M , director, CWT Meetings & Events, Operations North America, based in Mississauga, Ont., says, “We’re definitely seeing a return to pre AIGeffect levels in terms of volumes of the trips, the structure of the trips and the extravagance of the trips has certainly changed and continues to change. The volumes and the companies operating

According to Nicola Kastner, these three criteria should be part of every single incentive:


them have returned to normal. We also group is going to the Napa Valley.” see that companies are committing Interestingly, she says a long-haul much further out, we are doing a lot of destination is quite popular right now, work right now on 2013 programs.” Hawaii. “Hawaii seems to be one of the hottest destinations in America. It’s a long way to go but a lot of people have Luxe Locales And because of the strength of the it on their wish list. With the dollar at Canadian dollar, Europe and South par it’s affordable right now. Hotels are America are re-emerging as destination providing really wonderful rates, to hotspots. Kastner says, “Although we’re incent us to promote it and offer it in our still seeing traditional travel to the planning process. We’ve quoted Maui Caribbean, Panama is popular right now, and Oahu because there’s more direct and we’re certainly seeing more Europe. non-stop service out of Vancouver and Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Prague Calgary.” Both Keating and Kastner and the Czech Republic is hot. Monaco is say that Asian and Pacific Rim travel is a great value, I can do a Monaco incentive almost non-existent right now. “Asia is program for less than I can do one in New just too far,” says Keating. “We looked York. New York is a great destination -- it’s at it last year for a client. Maybe for a certainly appealing and people love it, but really top incentive program that can afford first-class air.” you need a top-end budget for it.” Keating is personally running six programs this year. “Right now we have a program going to Paris, and one is actually in Prague. My smallest

1. It should contain elements of surprise and delight, you should keep your group guessing. 2. It should be an experience the group could not do on their own. 3. You shouldn’t be able to put a price-tag on it.

Corporate Meetings & Events  |  9

cover story

Program Perks

Maui 10  | Summer 2011

Besides a return to somewhat exotic locales, there are a few tweaks to most programs that were a direct result of the AIG-effect and program budgets. Instead of a complete break from business, t here a re now s c hedu led me e t i ng s during the program. Budgets for décor and extravagant room-drop gifts have declined. Program-wise there is more choice of activities, including communityba s ed CSR a nd more f re e t i me for participants. For Kastner, having the top performing employees and senior-level executives together is a powerful business opportunity. “Combining a true business session within an incentive is really smart, from an organizational perspective because if you think about it, you have all these top performers and your senior executives together in a place where they can create meaningful dialogue and information

sha ri ng wh ich is what all organizations need. We’re certainly seeing that trend. From a participant’s perspective that opportunity for one-onone face time to interact with an executive is very powerful as well.” Keating adds that an educational component is also gaining ground during an incentive trip. “A lot of the winners do want to have an educational component as part of their networking with each other and with higher-level executives that are part of the team.” Another component of the incentive travel program that has changed is giving participants some completely free time on their own. Keating explains; “Our groups today are well-travelled. Giving groups a completely free day is very important as they have their own ideas of what they want to do in a destination. As an example, for her upcoming Paris trip, the first day the group arrives, a team

Barcelona scavenger hunt helps them understand the subway system. “So on the free day we’ll give them a subway pass and a museum pass and they can decide what museum they want to visit and how much time they want to spend there. That’s really important to our groups, being able to explore what they want on their own.” Besides free time, another desirable component of a group trip is a community service project. Keating’s groups have built schools, built picnic tables and put in a garden in St. Lucia. “It’s about and leaving a positive footprint in the areas that we visit. So if half of our group wants to incorporate that type of activity it invigorates the whole group. It’s extremely emotional.” After weathering the AIG storm, Canadian incentive travel planners are happy to be busy, with relatively smooth sailing ahead for at least the next year or two.

Corporate Meetings & Events  |  11

cover story

Oahu Paris

Top 11

Incentive Travel Trends for 2011 The Incentive Research Foundation, based in St. Louis, MO., is a private not-for-profit foundation that funds research studies and develops products serving all segments of the global incentive industry. With permission, here are their Top 11 Incentive Travel Trends for 2011.

EXTR AVAGANCE VS. NECESSIT Y OPTIMISM EMERGES At the 2010 IRF 1. CAUTIOUS 5. REDEFINING As people, we are now more sensitive to – and wary of – Roundtables, approximately four in ten par ticipants said the economy has had a slightly positive impact on their ability to plan and implement non-cash incentive (travel/merchandise) programs. Although this figure is considerably better than this time last year, optimism is rightfully tempered by the fragile and emerging state of the U.S economy.

TO A ‘NEW NORMAL’ Fully 60 per cent of 2. ADJUSTING IRF roundtable participants said business seems to be settling into

extravagance in all forms. In the IRF roundtables, 33 per cent of participants saw a switch from international to domestic travel as well as a reduction in the length of trips.

EXPERIENCE OVER PRODUCT People 6. PREFERRING are beginning to clamor more for experiences than products. Just

over 40 per cent of roundtable participants say they expect that individual travel will increase as a result of this change in personal preference. Experience has always been a strong part of incentive travel, but now must also become more present in merchandise incentives.

a new lower level of activity. Organizations are star ting to adapt rather than reduce or eliminate programs. In the roundtable discussions, participants spoke of developing new ways to justify programs, reevaluating business models, and focusing only on business prospects with well-qualified potential. This includes molding travel programs to fit into budgetary constraints, which often included a reduction in qualifiers, fewer management attendees, fewer room gifts and less than five-star properties.

RECOGNITION ON THE RISE There is a 7. NON-CASH strong interest in the use of non-financial motivators. According

on “employee engagement” were ten times higher in India than in the U.S., five times higher in Singapore and four times higher in South Africa. India is now ranked third in searches for “employee recognition” – just behind the U.S. and Philippines. And India was just behind the U.S. in searches for “sales incentives.” This shows immense promise for incentives services overseas.

to many individuals. This trend impacts what we buy, where we invest and where we choose to work. In its Global Workforce Study, Towers Watson found that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the third most important driver of employee engagement overall. As such, incorporating elements of health and sustainability into programs moving forward will be crucial.

to McKinsey, three non-cash motivators – praise from immediate managers; attention from leaders; and a chance to direct projects – are at least as effective as the three most highly rated monetary methods.

GOING, GONE…GLOBAL By 2015, more than 3. GOING, 50 per cent of Brazilians, Indians and Chinese will be considered SOCIAL INFLUENCERS A number of 8. CHANGING “middle income,” consumers. In January 2011, Google searches indicators point toward a reprioritization of “what’s important”

GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT All = SOCIAL MEDIA Cost and service 9. COMMUNICATION 4. INCREASING aspects of the incentive business face greater government pressures will see more firms developing social media engagement influence. Along with the known travel pressures, the 2009 Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act installed new notification and fee requirements on all debit card providers. However, thanks to the work of the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA), the ECO-Gift Card Act was passed, extending the implementation deadline for the legislation to Jan. 31, 2011, ensuring that over a hundred million cards did not have to be destroyed.

strategies that encompass customers, prospects, suppliers and partners. Integrating technologies into one cohesive strategy will be key for successful incentive programs in the future.

A VIRTUAL WORLD According to Bernstein Research, 10.IT’S over the next 10 to 15 years, virtual meetings could replace up to 70 per cent of internal travel (to and from an organization's own facilities) and 10 per cent of external travel (trips to visit customers).This could lead to an aggregate reduction of 21 per cent in corporate travel spending. Accommodating virtual products and solutions into an incentive plan will be an important part of programs moving forward.

HAVE NEW MEANING The growth of computer 11. GAMES games using token economies will continue in the retail markets

and will be explored for application to employee and channel motivation programs. Multiple organizations have already added computer games to their incentive program promotion, communications and/or training. More and more games are using token economies (“points”) as an award for improved performance and it will only be a short time before gaming and token economies will be mainstream in employee and channel reward for performance programs. For more information on the Incentive Research Foundation and a copy of the full report go to: Corporate Meetings & Events  |  13

AV I n s i g h t

Wired for

Sound and Light

Unique venues are great to pique the interest of delegates and can offer creative opportunities to incorporate the venue into a theme or message relevant to your group. Unfortunately, those very same virtues can also create a host of audiovisual challenges. Detailed site inspections are crucial and plans need to include all aspects of the event. Site inspections are a key to any event but even more so with unique venues. No one involved wants any surprises. By definition a unique venue is hard to categorize so it requires creative solutions. A unique venue can range from a historic building, a hockey arena, a beach on a lake, a field, an airport runway, the roof of a building, a boat or the middle of a bridge. The availability and quality of power is often a key concern. Where is power located and how much of it is there? What else besides AV is going to require power? Are there enough circuits available so that any grounding issues can be resolved? A common grounding issue is when audio and lighting systems share the same electrical circuit. Everything can look and sound great until the lighting dimmers are adjusted and then a loud audio buzz ruins the ambiance. If power is an issue can temporary sources be brought on-site? If you are bringing a generator will it be quiet enough to not disrupt the event? Delivering intelligible audio is almost always a challenge at a unique venue. How many delegates will attend and where will they be? The sound system needs to be designed to reach everyone. Many historic buildings have wonderful grand foyers to hold an event. Often this means that there are very high ceilings and the walls, floors and ceilings are made of hard materials (think granite and marble). This means that sound waves are not absorbed by the building envelope and instead they bounce off the walls as reverberations. Too much reverb and the sound becomes muddy and rendered unintelligible. In this situation many small speakers should be placed as close to the audience as possible so they move the air as little as possible. Large speaker stacks at the side of the stage will send strong sound waves that bounce back and forth around the room. Many small speakers producing lower volumes will help control the sound waves. The wind is always a variable at an outdoor event. A test on a calm evening won’t give you the sound you need if a 60 kilometer gusts starts blowing the set and sound away on the event night. Be prepared with more power than you think you’ll need. Wind also interferes 14  | Summer 2011

with microphone performance so they should always sport a windscreen though it may not be enough depending on the strength and direction of the wind. Wind also brings up safety concerns. AV equipment must be set up securely and plans should be in place for quick changes due to the weather. We often set up large projection screens outdoors and are always cognizant of any changes in the wind and will take down the screens before it becomes an issue. Inland AV has provided AV support for the Mogathon marathon event in Saskatoon. One of the challenges of a marathon is that the participants are scattered over a large area. Wireless video broadcasting has given the marathon event a more personal feel. The crowds waiting at the finish line (this is a social event with 30 km, half marathon, 10 k, 5 km and No-Km Beer Run categories) see portions of the race as drama unfolds, not just the last 30 seconds of the event. Video projection brings other challenges. Projection screens and some monitors do not work well in sunlight. The farther north you venture in the summer, the later the sun stays up. Many tents are translucent and projection will not work well. Many indoor venues also have large windows to let the natural sunlight come streaming in. Some can be easily covered but others may ruin the room ambience. Infrared technology does not work in sunlight. If you are looking at using simultaneous interpretation for an outdoor daytime event, then FM transmission would be required. The same infrared issue can affect other wireless equipment such as monitor remotes and wireless laptop control of PowerPoint type presentations. The unique venue can deliver a memorable event but you need to plan and consider the possible “what ifs” to ensure everything goes according to plan. Ralph Niekamp, Inland AV Saskatoon general manager, addresses audiovisual considerations important to event planners. As a branch manager, Niekamp brings a unique perspective as he is involved in both permanent systems design and integration and AV rental applications.

Special Supplement

Event Case Study


The 2011 Canadian Gaming Summit

corporate yacht chic meetings and events on the water

Advertising Supplement to CM&E Summer 2011


Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver

Let the Games Begin 15th Annual Canadian Gaming Summit ups the Ante in Vancouver

When the executives of the Canadian gaming world rolled into town for their annual summit, the host city of Vancouver and related partners made sure it was an event to remember.


Event Case Study

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Coming off the high of the successful 2010 Olympics, it’s easy to see why delegate registration is higher when an event is held in Vancouver. With spectacular natural scenery, ease of accessibility from the Vancouver International Airport and renowned hotel facilities, the Canadian Gaming Summit decided to bring attendees back to the West Coast. The three-day summit incorporates educational seminars and plenary sessions, networking events, an awards program, a golf tournament and exhibition to showcase the most innovative and cutting edge products for the gaming industry. Chris Torry, operations manager for the

event since 2008, says “the esthetically beautiful Vancouver Convention Centre, in a great city is a hard combination to beat.” The Gaming Summit needs space of about 50,000 sq. ft. for the two-day trade show, a large room for about 500 for the daily plenary keynote and numerous break-out rooms for concurrent sessions. Educational sessions run throughout the three-day event with over 100 speakers covering many industry topics such as marketing and communications, finance, legal and regulatory issues, human resources and security. AVW-TELAV provided audio-visual expertise at the Vancouver Convention Centre, for the break-out educational

seminars and plenary sessions. Torry says their professional and knowledgeable staff were great to work with and set-up execution at the convention centre was handled with ease. He also notes that the site technicians were quick to react to the inevitable last minute audio-visual requests of speakers. With about 1,500 attendees streaming into the downtown core, Torry needed hotel space close enough to the convention centre for the show, but with an upscale feel for the level of executive that typically attends. This year, the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the Fairmont Waterfront and the Pan Pacific Vancouver were chosen as host hotels. Advertising Supplement to CM&E Summer 2011


Luxurious Accommodations Chuck Nervick, vice-president of MediaEdge, organizers of the Gaming Summit, says “We take a pretty good-size room block; we need well-appointed rooms with good views. The gaming industry is used to the glitz and glamour of Vegas, so we certainly can’t select a hotel that doesn’t meet their stringent requirements. We try to take a conservative room block to protect against attrition charges, but we usually book about 1500 room nights.” Work-out facilities are a must and a number of suites are required as some senior executives do carry out business in private. Nervick adds, “This year we were very happy with the new Fairmont Pacific Rim that opened up just before the 2010 Olympics.” Room views overlook Robson Street, the water or the mountains. The Fairmont Pacific Rim offers 15,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, three luxurious ballrooms can accommodate up to 400 people. Two boardrooms, three meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art multi-media theatre are available. For a unique outdoor venue, the spectacular Chairman’s suite deck is ideal for hosting dinner events of up to 60 people, or receptions of up to 100. Nervick adds, “We were so impressed with the Fairmont Pacific Rim that we held our opening night reception there.” The Pearl meeting room overlooks the convention centre and the waters of Coal Harbour and Howe Sound. Nervick says this year the room was dressed with an Olympic theme and people dropped in at the reception to network and chat. TVs were displayed around the room to keep delegates apprised of Stanley Cup playoffs. Another block of rooms were reserved at The Fairmont Waterfront. Over 300 of 489 guest rooms overlook the harbour, offering spectacular views of the neighbouring mountain peaks. The remaining accommodations have splendid city skyline views of Vancouver, and overlook the hotels third-floor herb garden. The hotel offers 14 meeting rooms, some with natural light, and 24,000 sq. ft. of function space to accommodate from ten – 600 guests. The opulent Pan Pacific Vancouver rounded out the trio of hotels for the Summit. This 500 room hotel, with 11 luxurious suites 4

Event Case Study

Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver

The Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

Pan Pacific, Vancouver

also overlooks the spectacular scenery of the Vancouver waterfront. The hotel is close to the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Vancouver World Trade Centre, Robson Street shopping and the cruise ship Terminal. The eighth floor patio features a heated salt-water pool, Jacuzzi, saunas and lounge areas. Planners will appreciate the 42,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space with 20 versatile meeting and event rooms to handle business and social events of every size and description. Great Golf Golf is an important part of the Gaming Summit and this year the group returned to Furry Creek, considered by many to be the most scenic course in the province. Located about 35 minutes north of Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway, the spectacular scenery and eclectic golf holes are a must play for the occasional or serious golfer. “It’s an absolutely beautiful golf course,” says Nervick, “there are snow peaked mountains, abundant wildlife and spectacular sea views. We took advantage of one of their golf packages, took over the entire course and had a pre-event breakfast buffet and a BBQ lunch after play was done. I was very impressed with their staff.”

Furry Creek, Hole #1

views of the coastline. Luxurious leather seating, a spiral staircase and bars on all levels upped the ante on the luxe. The yacht sailed under the Lions Gate Bridge and into Burrard Inlet and False Creek. Nervick adds, “By the time we turned around and came into port again, the lights had fully come up, so we could see Lions Gate Bridge and all the lights of Vancouver. It’s unusual at a reception where people actually stop talking and just look. But people were looking and pointing at things. We selected the right venue for the VIPs and it was just a great evening.” Sunset Bay II

Gaming Summit

Gaming Summit

Evening Sail On the second day of the Summit, a VIP reception is held for invited guests and this year the group took to sea.

Gaming Summit

Gaming Summit

Nervick says “We try to look at all the different venue options in a particular city that we do the Gaming Summit in.” He says there is a pretty high bar for this one particular event. “There are a couple of things that we needed to deliver, high-end Scotch, exquisite hors d’oeuvres and the gaming community also likes to smoke the occasional cigar. A lot of people who come to the Gaming Summit are from the U.S. where they can’t get Cuban cigars, so it’s become a bit of a tradition to have them for this event. With smoking legislation, we are a lot more restricted on where we can go.” All of the “must-haves” on the checklist was met by hiring the Sunset Bay II yacht, from the Sunset Bay Yacht Group. “This year’s VIP reception was met with glowing reviews,” says Nervick. Invited guests boarded the ship dockside, grabbed a drink and something to eat and set sail just as the lights were starting to illuminate the city. Two interior decks and the upper level deck offer unobstructed

Awards GALA The final night of the Summit includes an Awards Gala, featuring a reception, dinner and entertainment. Depending on the city where the Summit is held, organizers try to give back to a gaming industry venue. This year they worked with Great Canadian Gaming, at the River Rock Casino. The entertainment complex can be set up as a theatre-type setting or a dining room. The gala included the 15th Annual Gaming Industry Awards and the 2nd Annual First Nation Canadian Gaming Awards. Special Olympics British Columbia was chosen as this year’s event charity. Guests were seated in rounds. The 21,000 sq. ft. multiuse entertainment venue features a stateof-the-art seating system that allows the theatre to transform into a convention or meeting room in minutes. Planners can take advantage of a full in-house production team with experienced staff and crew to manage technical production. Nervick adds “Our awards component happened on stage throughout the dinner, I had a chance to sit backstage and see how people handled our guest entertainer, Wayne Brady pre- and post-event. They gave me the prompting I needed and the awards went extremely well.” The casino features a 202 room hotel and five meeting rooms with 7,000 sq. ft of space. The Show Theatre also converts to an 8,000-sq.-ft. trade show floor. Vancouver’s natural beauty, combined with superb hotel facilities close to the convention centre, was instrumental in bringing the 2011 Canadian Gaming Summit to the West Coast. The added bonus of spectacular golf and great options for group activities makes Vancouver a popular destination of choice for corporate planners. ● Advertising Supplement to CM&E Summer 2011


Thank you

to our Sponsors

AVW-TELAV supports the power of face-to-face marketing by providing full-service resources for corporate events, exhibit programs, expositions and conventions of all sizes. Services are provided coast to coast and include audio visual and computer rental solutions, event staging, simultaneous interpretation, audience response systems, webcasting, press conferences, and digital services including presentation management. AVW-TELAV also designs and installs audio visual and video conferencing solutions for training, boardroom and meeting applications. Mike Dosch, General Manager | 604-255-1151

Located atop the magnificent Canada Place complex – home of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, the award winning, luxury Pan Pacific Vancouver, offers 42,000 square feet of meeting and event space and caters to events of every size and description. Along with breathtaking panoramic views of the harbour, mountains or city skyline from the exquisitely appointed guestrooms & suites, guests experience memorable first class service and amenities, including fine dining, outdoor saltwater pool and Spa. Jennifer Musey, Sales Coordinator | 604-891-2865

An oasis tucked at the ocean’s edge, Fairmont Pacific Rim offers unobstructed views of the mountains, Stanley Park and Coal Harbour. The 377-room luxury hotel features lavish appointments, naturally inspired materials, comfortable furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. Looking to relax? Enjoy the Willow Stream spa with outdoor terrace and Jacuzzis, rooftop pool, private cabanas and fire pits, and full exercise room. For meetings, the hotel boasts 15,000 square feet of versatile space, a multi-media theatre, business centre, and direct connection to the Vancouver Convention Centre. Dining options include ORU - a Pan-Asian bistro, Giovane - an Italian café, and Lobby Lounge with live entertainment six nights a week.

Best known as “BC’s most scenic golf course”, Furry Creek is one of the most beautifully landscaped playgrounds in the province. Furry Creek is not a course that one merely plays - it is an enriching adventure to be savoured. Every hole on this 6,025 yard, 18-hole challenging course inspires with breathtaking scenery and Siaochi Leong, Sales Manager invigorating play. Our award-winning Clubhouse evokes 604-695-5441 as much awe as the pristine environment that surrounds it. Come inside and enjoy a memorable dining experience at the Sea to Sky Grill, serving casual cuisine inspired by the west coast and the freshest local favourites. Make Furry Creek your next BC golf destination, and discover for yourself how beautifully rewarding a golf course can be.


Julie Dennis, Sales & Marketing Manager | 1.888.922.9462 x225

corporate yacht chic meetings and events on the water

Chic meetings and events on the water. Experience unsurpassed elegance, world class cuisine and service, and stunning views aboard The Corporate Yacht. Entertain and reward your clients, staff and friends by hosting your next event on Vancouver’s only luxury private charter yacht. Elizabeth Showman, Sales Manager | 604-681-7700


Event Case Study

The Fairmont Waterfront hotel showcases the best of Vancouver. Guestrooms are spacious and elegantly appointed and showcase spectacular city, mountain and harbour views through floorto-ceiling windows. Conveniently situated beside the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, connected to the Vancouver Convention Centre and just steps away from trendy eateries in historic Gastown, Robson Street shops, Stanley Park and the beautiful Seawall, our waterfront hotel has a central location ideal for any stay. This urban resort will inspire guests to explore Vancouver in unique ways with guided morning runs, sunrise rooftop yoga, complimentary BMW bicycles and tours of the rooftop herb garden and honeybee apiary. A local landmark of award-winning distinction, the Fairmont Waterfront has earned numerous industry accolades including the Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’s Gold List as a Top Canadian Hotel for 10 consecutive years. Deeply committed to green initiatives, the hotel achieved a 5 Green Key ranking in 2011, signifying the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility. From luxury accommodations and welcoming amenities to genuine warmth and pitch perfect service, the Fairmont Waterfront is committed to delivering spectacular authentically local stays. Claire Foster, Sales Manager | 604-691-1914

OVERVIEW The environment and magnificent surroundings of Vaughan Estate, McLean House and the Coach House are unparalleled in their charm and provide a picturesque backdrop for any social or corporate event. These splendid mansions and their 40 acres of manicured grounds make the Estates of Sunnybrook the ideal setting for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, corporate meetings and any other special occasions. But they offer far more than one of Toronto’s most beautiful locations: Years of experience in event planning and catering ensure that your celebration will be a success.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS An important cause: The Estates of Sunnybrook are on the campus of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and we are proud to say that revenues generated from the Estates are contributed to further research at the hospital.

416 487 3841 • 2075 Bayview Avenue • Toronto, Ontario

m e e t i n g pla n n e r p r o f i l e

Andrea Wagner Tell Us about yourself. I have always been client service driven, even from a really young age (12-yrs-old) when I used to answer the phones in my Dad’s office and work the bridal shows for my step-mother who worked at Wedding Bells Magazine. My payment was usually being taken to Harvey’s for lunch. In 1989 I got my first job in the hotel industry working the switchboard of a large hotel here in Ottawa. I fell in love with the industry and chose to study Hotel / Restaurant Management at Algonquin College in the Fall of 1990. Just after graduation, I moved to Kingston, Ont., and worked as a guest services representative, in one of the best family- owned hotels in the city. In 1995 I moved back to Ottawa and got a job with the Ramada Hotel (now the Holiday Inn and Suites. In 1997 I left there and over the then next few years bounced back and forth between Kingston and Ottawa holding management positions with three different chains. In the Spring of 1999 my mother was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and I took a leave of absence from the industry I loved so much to care for and spend time with my mom. It’s a decision I have never regretted. In the Fall of 1999 I was offered a temporary help contract with Health Canada at PMRA as their receptionist. The rest is history. I have been here ever since. I am married to a great guy – 11 years – and have two very wonderful and insanely energetic boys (nine and six years old). Although I was born and raised in Ottawa and work here, I call Arnprior in the Ottawa Valley home. Name: Andrea Wagner Present: Supervisor, Conference and Event Services for Health Canada – Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Past: 15 years of client service in the hotel industry, Government Contracting and Procurement Officer; PMRA Recognition Awards Coordinator; Co-Chair – Employee Events Committee. Expertise: Over 20-years in providing top-notch client service and planning resources and advice to both external (stakeholders and suppliers) and internal clients (employees). Specialty: Planning logistical details and offering creative and cost effective ways to conduct meetings and events to the management and employees of PMRA while abiding by the policies and procedures set out by Treasury Board.

Tell us about your work. My job has changed over the years I have been with Health Canada. My main function is to plan and facilitate large meetings and events for PMRA. My hospitality and client service background has served me well. I organise everything from meeting space to guest room blocks, AV requirements and hospitality, always keeping in mind that I have policies to follow and that I must remain fiscally responsible to the taxpayer. I’m always negotiating for a better deal. How did you get to where you are today? I always thought I would have a career in the hotel industry. My original career goal was to work and manage a catering department in large hotel or convention centre. I never thought my expertise and knowledge could be transferred to the federal government. I have been very fortunate that my career has taken the path it’s on because I had a great boss that gave me opportunities and saw my potential. Walk us through a typical day at work: One thing I can say for sure is that no day is typical for me. It’s government after all. Policies and procedures seem to change on a daily basis. With the conference that I’m currently working on, I’m constantly looking over details, reviewing hotel room pick up, planning out the meeting room set up and

AV/Interpretation requirements, getting contracts reviewed and signed. On top of that I supervise three individuals who assist with travel plans for participants, help coordinate group activities and work closely with me to ensure I have answers for my assistant deputy minister. My section sets up internal training for the PMRA as well as employee social and recognition events. We have roughly 500 employees in my branch.

Why are you good at what you do? Throughout my career I have had great managers and mentors that have seen my potential and have allowed me to develop the things I love doing. I’ve never been afraid to take on a task, make mistakes or ask for help. Having been on the hotel side of things, I have an understanding of the industry that maybe some others don’t. Good client service is extremely important to me. Also, I try not to sweat the details if something doesn’t go quite right, I just look to the experts to help find a solution and move on from there. I love getting out and meeting suppliers and developing a personal rapport with them. It just makes it that much easier when trying to facilitate a meeting or event. I’d like to think that I’m pretty easy going and fun to work with as a client. What are some of the challenges you face? Budget, budget, budget – or lack of it these days. Being fiscally responsible is not a challenge – it’s a requirement of working in government. It’s finding creative ways to do what needs to get done while staying responsible to the Canadian people. The suppliers in the industry are conscious of this fact are great to work with. What have been some of your biggest achievements? Every event that I plan is a huge achievement especially when there are outside participants in attendance. A conference that I’m planning for the Fall is a first for our Agency. Participants are coming from all over the world to attend this and it’s exciting to see it all coming together. This will certainly be my biggest achievement to ensure it runs smoothly and that the assistant Deputy Minister is happy. I also love planning events for the staff like our annual Summer Kick-Off BBQ, August Corn Roast and our Christmas Lunch. To see everyone relaxing and having a good time is the best reward. At Christmas our agency runs a food drive for the Ottawa Food Bank. We turn it into a competition between the different divisions within the PMRA to see who can raise the most food items and cash. The winner gets bragging rights and a coffee break for all of their employees. As the lead for this event I push all employees to get involved. This past year our Agency raised over $13,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank. If I had to pinpoint an achievement that I’m most proud of it would be that one. What do you like best about the meetings industry? I enjoy the people aspect of this industry, dealing with the suppliers and getting out and researching interesting and unique venues. It’s great when everything come together and how no two events are ever the same. Through MPI Ottawa I have had a chance to meet so many great people and have made great connections. There is still so much I can learn and I can hopefully start working towards my CMP. This is definitely an industry I hope to be in for a very long time whether I stay in government or return to the private sector.

Book Your Next Meeting With Us. 17 unique meeting rooms ◆ all rooms with natural lighting ◆ 40 acres of beautiful gardens ◆ customized meeting packages ◆ 10 minutes from downtown ◆ 5 minutes from Highway 401 ◆ complimentary onsite parking ◆

Ideal for corporate meetings, product launches, team building, galas, and holiday parties. tel. 416. 487. 3841 ◆ 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto exclusive



Corporate Meetings & Events  |  17

It pays to meet in Québec City. Our Account Execs help you every step of the way on the road to success. Logistical experts, they have boundless ideas for making your business meeting a truly sustainable event. RÉGIS FLEURY Account Executive 418-641-6654, ext. 5424

NANCY DACRES Account Executive 418-641-6654, ext. 5427


In the Web 2.0 world, face-to-face meetings are still the best way to generate momentum. Nothing beats face time for fostering direct communication, instant feedback and team spirit—and nothing beats Québec City as the business destination where it all comes together. With its world-class convention facilities, outstanding accommodations and services, and unique blend of Old World French charm and modern North American convenience, Québec City has everything you need to generate the momentum that will make your event a success. Talk to Québec City Tourism’s planning representatives and business partners, and seize the momentum today.

Québec City Tourism and its partners are proud to offer you the second edition of Momentum magazine to help you discover everything the Québec City area has to offer. We look forward to hosting your next business meeting! Order your copy or read it online at

Oliver & Bonacini Events

With Chef Jamie Meireles at the helm, the world is definitely your oyster – just tell him how you like it. By Sandra Eagle

With over fifteen years of international experience in reknowned restaurants, Chef Jamie Meireles is ready for any challenge that an event planner could think of. His career began at the Fairmont Royal York after graduation from George Brown College Chef’s School. From there, he headed to Europe working at Michael Caines at The Royal Clarence and the two-Michelin-starred Relais & Chateaux inn, Gidleigh Park. Returning to Canada, he joined the Liberty Entertainment Group, rising to the position of Executive Chef, Rosewater Room, after holding various positions at The Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. In 2007, he headed to New York as executive sous chef at the W New York Hotel. A year later he joined Oliver & Bonacini for the re-launch of the Toronto Board of Trade. Presiding over the kitchens at the Toronto Board of Trade, Malaparte at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Arcadian Court, his love of a variety of cuisines serves him well in the event space he caters to. “We have three event spaces they’re all very different, the Toronto 20  | Summer 2011

Board of Trade is very corporate, Malaparte restaurants and Organic Ocean Seafood and the Arcadian Court are a little more from B.C.” Chef Meireles says receptions are still social. Our philosophy is that you’re going to get O & B quality and restaurant-style food in popular at events and he does a lot of small an event setting. I find that diners in Toronto plates and action stations, and adds that sousare familiar with so many different cuisines vide cooking is a continuing trend. Sous-vide and ingredients, which is great because we is cooking in a controlled water bath, under a can play around with our menus, and add vacuum seal. He explains “There are a lot of different flare from cuisines around the different reasons for cooking sous-vide, but I globe. Their palates are pretty sophisticated, like it because it concentrates the flavour in the food. If you’re cooking short ribs, with a especially in Malaparte.” S ome t i me s C he f Mei r ele s t a ke s a little stock that stock stays in the meat, it’s not walk down to the St. Lawrence Market, leaching out in the cooking broth. If you’re meets with producers and checks out cooking a lamb rack or a beef tenderloin you the products. “We tend to use seasonal can cook it to precisely 130 degrees and it will products and local ingredients whenever hold at that temperature.” Chef Meireles is experimenting sous-vide we can. We work closely with 100km Foods Inc., they distribute locally grown with fresh fruit as well. “We’re imparting Ontario produce straight to Toronto-area fresh herbal flavours into watermelon, letting


“That’s probably why I love doing events because we’re constantly changing our menus, it keeps us inspired and we get to try new things all the time.”

some mint and basil marinate in the fruit for 24 hours. It makes the watermelon bright red and imparts a really fresh flavour that the diner isn’t quite expecting. We cut it into whatever shape we need, and then we’ll pair that up with an heirloom tomato and burrata salad. It’s a great dish.” Chef Meireles gathers his inspiration from many different cuisines. “I’ve worked in England and New York, and my background is Portugese. I love Portugese cuisine, it’s intensely flavourful, but I love the simplicity of Italian food, I love the richness of French food, so I guess you could say I’m all over the map. That’s probably why I love doing events because we’re constantly changing our menus, we’re doing a lot of menu-writing which is fun, it keeps us inspired and we get to try new things all the time.”

Chef Meireles gathers his inspiration from many different cuisines. Corporate Meetings & Events  |  21


Getting into the spirit The glorious Canadian summer is here and the last thing on your mind is decking the halls or shopping for holiday employee or customer gifts. But Vancouver-based gift guru Janet Helm says now is the perfect time to start holiday planning. She says, “What’s inside the gift box is not nearly as important is what it represents - your appreciation. Choosing wisely ensures your sincerity is captured and your recipients feel valued and recognized.” So take a few moments to consider a few tips that could save you a headache in the cool fall months.

2. 22  | Summer 2011


Plan ahead Leaving choices to the last minute will not only disappoint recipients but can actually confuse them - especially if the gift does not reflect your culture and or your brand or doesn’t reflect the recipients’ taste and style. Hurried choices typically mean rush charges from either manufacturers or having to pay for overnight delivery vs. ground – which is a big waste of your budget.

Give meaning More and more companies want their gifts to have meaning, symbolism- a good story! Choose gifts that give back. Our water carafes are practical and encourage drinking tap water vs. bottled water. As well as being stylish on their own on a desktop, a grouping of them at a conference or event make an impact. Gift tags that let recipients know that two per cent of all sales goes to Fraser River Keeper, a not-for-profit organization that keeps our Canadian rivers clean is the detail and story recipients value and could start a meaningful conversation.



Handwrite your holiday card message No email cards please! Make sure the paper is eco-friendly and stands out from the rest. Our wood stationar y is printed full colour and sizes can be custom made. Details include envelopes printed with individual recipients’ address making mailing a breeze for you!

5. Custom made is in When Colliers International’s CEO wanted to recognize the challenges his team in New Zealand faced due to earthquakes, he had us design their own tartan- symbolizing community, unity and family, then produced stylish scarves. The enclosure card quoted Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Further details included a private woven label subtly sewn into the seam. A more stylish touch instead of blatant embroidered logos.

Keep your gift packaging to a minimum Stock up on hole-punched hang tags printed with your logo on the front, with To: From: on the back. Ensure the ribbon is in your corporate colours or even printed with your logo and voila - instant gift packaging- ready to go when you need it in a hurry - to wrap around a bottle of bubbly, locally produced wine, or bouquet of festive flowers. They will never know your gift was last minute! Use gift box sleeves instead of boxes and bows - your gift is seen instantly and keeps your budget on the gift.

6. Get in the Spirit of Giving –Early! Try the Giving Project: A 21 day journey for individuals, departments and entire companies. See how the power of appreciation will change your business and your life for the better.

The first five readers of Corporate Meetings & Events who finish the Giving Project will receive Janet Helm Thank You Cards and a free consultation on their next gift-giving occasion. Ready to get started? http://janethelm.blogspot. com/2011/04/real-givings-giving-project.html

Value $575 Janet Helm can be reached via twitter, linkedIn and Facebook and online at Corporate Meetings & Events  |  23

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& Coun

Town Downtown: Toronto

With a consistent stream of venues, accommodations, restaurants and entertainment options popping up across the city, Toronto continues to impress as a destination for meetings and events. With a new wave of five-star luxury properties, most of which are still in development, the city is upping the ante in terms of upscale hospitality.

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&ntry The first five-star hotel to open its doors was The Ritz-Carlton, which first welcomed guests in February 2011. In the heart of the city’s vibrant financial district, this Wellington St. hotel has 267 stunning guest rooms and suites. “The suites are truly to die for,” says Lori Heller, president of Heller Productions Inc. a Toronto-based event management company. “Five-star accommodation was something this city was missing, and hotels like The Ritz will certainly help put us on the map.” The Ritz-Carlton has the largest luxury ballroom in Toronto with 7,400 sq. ft. of space, accommodating up to 600

d e s t i n at i o n p r o f i l e The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

guests. The grand foyer serves as ideal prefunction space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Metro Hall Square Park and Roy Thompson Hall. Other meeting space includes the 3,000 sq.-ft. Wellington Room and individual meeting rooms including an executive boardroom. To date, The Ritz -Carlton has accommodated groups of two to 450 for galas, corporate meetings and incentive trips. “For us it all comes down to the people,” says Daniel Newberry, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “What we focus on is anticipatory service – taking care of our guests and customers before they have to ask for assistance.”

Expected to open in late 2011, and the second hotel to join the Toronto luxury scene, is the Trump International Hotel & Tower. Also situated in the financial district at Bay and Adelaide streets, this 65-story building towers over Toronto boasting 261 luxurious hotel rooms and suites with views of the city and Lake Ontario. The Trump will feature highspeed elevators, a world-class restaurant located on the 30th floor, and The Spa at Trump® wellness facility. The hotel’s 12,000 sq.-ft.- business center will include t wo f loors of meet i ng room s a nd a 4,000 sq.-ft.-Presidential Expo Suite on Corporate Meetings & Events  |  25


In business, looking at things from another vantage point can inspire great thinking. So, why not hold your event somewhere with a truly magnificent view? The CN Tower offers unique spaces and fantastic hospitality services including award-winning food and wine. Book your next corporate event with us and discover how productive you can be in our extraordinary venue.

For more information email or call 416.601.4718

the Trump Executive Level, for hosting exclusive meetings and presentations. If it’s a boutique hotel experience you’re after, Hotel Le Germain and Thompson Hotels are amongst Toronto’s finest, offering stunning décor, modern amenities and a highly urban experience. Both have meeting spaces; Hotel Le Germain’s being somewhat smaller and more intimate. “The Thompson Rooftop Lounge is certainly the place to see and be seen and is available for private functions,” says Heller. Toronto also has a wide selection of stand-alone meeting and event spaces to accommodate any size of group. “A beautiful venue that we love to use for conferences that do not require hotel rooms is St. Andrew’s Club and Conference Centre (King St. & University Ave.),” says Heller. “They have beautiful, well-lit spaces with great views of the city, and service is always professional and well-organized.” Heller has also hosted many successful events at Steam Whistle Brewing. From casual to sophisticated, this downtown venue has three spaces and can accommodate groups of 30 to 750 for galas, fundraisers, meetings, and corporate parties. Much of the building’s historic architecture remains in place, making this a unique space for any event. For spectacular views and an intimate experience, Heller recommends 180 Panorama atop the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre in the tony Yorkville neighbourhood. “This is a fantastic space for a corporate dinner or cocktail reception,” she says. The revolving dining room allows guests to experience views of downtown and uptown Toronto and serves as a great introduction to the city. Wit h st at e - of-t he - a r t ve nue s, world c l a s s d i n i ng a nd entertainment, unique multicultural experiences and an onslaught of five-star luxury accommodations set to take the city by storm, Toronto remains a high-class, high-energy destination for events and meetings.

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Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto

The hotel’s 12,000 sq.-ft.- business center will include two floors of meeting rooms and a 4,000 sq.-ft.-Presidential Expo Suite on the Trump Executive Level.

Meeting Standards

Beyond Expectations 5 or 500 — we welcome groups of any size

Cornwall, Ontario | One hour from Ottawa 1-877-832-6416

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d e s t i n at i o n p r o f i l e

& Country


And COUNTRY: Muskoka The Rosseau, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Minett, Ont.

Ontario’s Muskoka region provides the perfect combination of a serene country setting coupled with world-class amenities and activities – making it a destination of choice for meeting planners. With 2,500 square miles of stunning forest, pristine lakes and rivers, sandy beaches and luxury hotel properties, Ontario’s ‘cottage country’ offers many of the perks of a tropical destination without the long flights and extensive travel time. It’s no wonder National Geographic named Muskoka the top summer destination of 2011. “As soon as you arrive, you can’t help but feel relaxed – even if you’re working,” says Brooke Soucier of Hidden Champions, a full-service travel incentive, executive retreats and corporate meetings company in Oakville, Ontario. Just a 90 to 120 minute drive north of the city, the Muskoka region is home to clean air, starry night skies, and spectacular wildlife. 28  | Summer 2011

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One of the region’s newer luxury hotels is The Rosseau, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa that overlooks the stunning Lake Rosseau. This is the first Canadian location of the Marriott’s upscale resort brand, JW Marriott, and it offers corporate guests a full service spa (with 11 treatment rooms), a suite of team-building and adventure activities, a private beach and 700-acre nature reserve, and access to The Rock, a Nick Faldo-designed golf course. The resort opened in December 2008, and features 13,800 sq. ft. of meeting space including the 6,480 sq.-ft.-Rosseau Ba l l r o om w it h s e at i ng c ap a c it y o f just over 500. With 221 stunning and spacious hotel rooms, guests are able to Wit h fa med Ol iver a nd Bon ac i n i Nearby, and also overlooking Lake enjoy country charm alongside modern Rosseau, is Windermere House, another of R e s t a u r a n t s n o w a t t h e h e l m o f a men it ies a nd pu re lu x u r y. “W h i le Muskoka’s upscale hotels popular amongst foodservice, guests of the Windermere can this is a top tier hotel, the atmosphere planners. Completely renovated in 2008, the expect creative Canadian comfort food is more unassuming than something property features a brand new full-service and spectacular fine dining all onsite. you’d find in the city,” says Leah Leslie, With53937.1 tons of9:09 natural light and walkouts spa, the seventhProject: OntarioCM&E location of Sanctuary Job#: Property: Caesars Windsor Magazine AM director of sales and marketing for The from meeting spaces onto the veranda, International Day Spas. Guests can also Show: 6/15/11 Ship: 6/16/11 Insert: Vendor: CM&E Magazine dMax: Rosseau. “Here you’ll find Trim: CEOs and delegates can enjoy natural surroundings expect live entertainment throughout the 7” x 4.625” Live: x VO: x Bleed: executives enjoying a glass Desc.: of wine at while getting down to business in comfort summer on the resort’s famous veranda and Final Mats: Art: Kerry Rev: 1 CM&E Magazine 7” x 4.625” the bar in their bathrobes and flip-flops, participate in a wide selection of land sports a nd st yle, explai ns Sue Nickason, a having just come from the pool.” marketing consultant with Windermere and waterfront activities.

Your colleagues will be in awe when attending events in the Convention Centre at Caesars Windsor. Two floors, seven intimate conference rooms with modern presentation technology, a full-service business centre, and on-site audio/visual facilities. Combine this with a 4-diamond resort, well-appointed guestrooms and luxurious amenities, the making of a spectacular event comes together seamlessly. Call 1-877-223-7702 or visit us at



Know Your Limit, Play Within It! 1-888-230-3505 Ontario Problem Gambling HelpLine. All ages welcome in our Augustus Tower and convention complex. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter the casino and all other outlets. The Caesars brand and related trademarks are owned by Caesars License Company, LLC and its affiliated companies. Used with permission.

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The Windermere House in Muskoka

House. “Meeting goers love the charm of our property and are continuously wowed by the character and personality of our guest rooms all equipped with modern amenities,” she says. The hotel has a main lodge with 56 guest rooms and an adjacent Windermere Cottage with

four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Meeting space can accommodate small and medium size groups. The Islandview room – the property’s largest – is 2,000 sq. ft. and has space for 200 reception guests. For Soucier, the decision to take a group to Windermere House in September of this

year was made based on the hotel’s friendly service, stunning scenery and gorgeous guestrooms. She’ll be hosting a group of 25 delegates from a Mississauga-based pharmaceutical company for their quarterly meeting. She plans to take advantage of on-site entertaining and dining options. For groups looking to incorporate outdoor networking events and cocktail receptions into their meeting or event schedule, Muskoka offers st u n n i ng lakeside venues and boat rental options. Soucier suggests a tour of spectacular celebrity summer homes, all hidden from the main roads, but visible from the water. With the likes of Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Martin Short and Steven Spielberg summering in these parts, an evening boat cruise is a great way to enjoy appetizers and cocktails while taking in the star-studded scenery. “On a recent boat tour of the area we spotted Brett Lindros (retired NHL star and brother of Eric Lindros) outside with his dog setting up for a bonfire.” If it’s a country escape you’re looking for, the Muskoka Lakes region has all the peace and serenity you’ll need to unwind and recharge.

It’s just like any other event venue. Except the wallpaper is alive.

Book your next corporate event, party or reception with us.

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unique venues from east to west

c u l t u r al v e n u e s Art Gallery of Alberta The stunning architecture of the Art Gallery of Alberta combines several forms of the local Edmonton geography and transforms those natural elements through the graceful combination of steel, glass and zinc. Meant to mimic the curves of the North Saskatchewan River and the static city grid of Edmonton proper, this architectural jewel is a magnificent backdrop to corporate events. Four levels of space can accommodate intimate groups of 10, up to 500 for gala receptions. The largest space to hold an event in the Gallery is the Ernest Manning Hall and atrium that can accommodate 200 for a seated dinner. A beautiful bright 1000 sq.ft.-board room, seating 30, has an adjoining terrace. Four different levels offers a variety of event options, including the outdoor Sculpture Terrace. Elisa Defazio, director of event sales and catering, says “What’s great about the building is its diversity and the functionality of the space. People can use as much of the gallery as they need to fit their function.” Clients can customize their F & B menu with Chef David Omar. Defazio says at a recent event to celebrate the Andy Warhol exhibition, the chef featured mini-bison bitess with Warholart inspired pink, yellow and purple coloured buns. Defazio adds, “Chef Omar is happy to consult with meeting planners to discuss menus, and can either create a customized menu or help choose items off of our F & B menus, or off the menu of the ZINC restaurant, located on the main floor of the Gallery.

The Malaparte Room and rooftop patio at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

TIFF Bell Lightbox In the heart of Toronto, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is ground zero during the Toronto International Film Festival in September. During the rest of the year, mere mortals can aspire for that Tinseltown touch by booking space at Toronto’s temple to celluloid. Oliver & Bonacini Events books private event space on a number of levels at the Lightbox. A spectacular city view greets guests in the Malaparte Room on the 6th floor. Floor to ceiling windows floods the space with light during the day or reveals the city lights at night. The luxurious gauze and velvet curtains complement the slate grey irridescent tiled columns and a silvery montage of famous movie legends on the opposing wall. Hidden projectors and screens add to the room’s appeal. There is a dedicated kitchen for the Malaparte event space. Deborah Gee, manager, O & B Events and Private Dining, says “We have done a lot of luxury brand product launches in this room, and our biggest challenge is the guest capacity.” Malaparte seats 150 or accommodates up to 200 for a stand-up cocktail reception. The adjoining rooftop terrace, modeled after the Villa Malaparte in Capri where Jean-Luc Godard shot Le Mépris can be used in conjunction with the room space to double the guest counts, which works well in the summer months, no so much in the winter. The glistening rooftop adds drama and architectural interest on various levels, and seems to leads guests up into the Toronto cityscape. In addition, the Luma Restaurant and second floor outdoor patio is available for functions on Sunday night, when the restaurant is closed. September to December is the peak season for corporate events at the Lightbox.

The Art Gallery of Alberta showcases fabulous architecture and art for a oneof-a-kind event space. Corporate Meetings & Events  |  31

C u l t u r al V e n u e s

Photo credit: Steve Roper

Maritime Museum The tang of salt air and sound of the gulls mingling with the strains of a single piper could be just the beginning of an evening at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Ian Mullan, visitor events coordinator at this downtown museum, says “The space is a great way to show off the Maritimes it gives exposure to the culture and what’s important to the people who live here.” What better place to soak up the seafaring lore of pirates, shipwrecks, model boats and marine disasters than on the Halifax waterfront? Mullan adds that facility rental includes the museum exhibitions. Permanent exhibits include the Halifax Explosion of 1917, artifacts recovered from the Titanic, the Age of Steam Gallery and the Days of Sail. The Small Craft Gallery, located on the main floor, overlooks the harbor through floor-to-ceiling windows and holds 110 for a seated dinner or a standing reception for 250. Guests sit amongst full-sized sailing craft. There is an option to erect a stage for some downeast music anchored against the sails of a craft – so evocative of the region. There is no exclusive caterer for the museum, but a Nova Scotian feast of delectable lobster from RCR Catering would be just the finishing touch at this maritime treasure.

Craigdarroch Castle is a Victorian mansion located close to downtown Victoria, B.C.

The Small Craft Room set up banquet-style in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 32  | Summer 2011

Craigdarroch Castle This imposing Victorian mansion, once the home of a turn of the century industrialist, is an impressive reception space for corporate groups of up to 200 for a stand-up reception. John Hughes, acting executive director of Craigdarroch Castle says “This is not your typical reception space, it’s very authentic, with many pieces from the Victorian era.” This impressive structure, built on a hill overlooking Victoria, offers magnificent views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains. The castle was built by John Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. The mansion boasts over 39 period-furnished rooms and houses one of North America’s largest collections of stained glass. Hughes says corporate groups like to come to the castle during the Christmas season, when the house is decorated for holiday festivities. Spring is also popular, as groups can mingle in or outside the mansion. The castle rental is staffed by docents that can do individual and mini-group tours to answer questions about the mansion, the area and even Victoria for that matter. October through mid-May is the mansion’s shoulder season, and the staff can set-up for groups in 45 minutes when the site closes to the public at 4:00 p.m. Caterers are allowed into the pantry ahead of time so groups can be accommodated as early as 6:00 p.m. Three preferred caterers offering a variety of styles and price points. One proviso is that the Castle only allows white wine or beer to be served on the premises because red wine stains the historic wood.


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Visit to get started. Meeting Planner and Referring Third Party must be members of Priority Club Meeting Rewards prior to booking. Offer available at participating Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties in Canada, U.S., Mexico and latin America for a qualified meeting. Qualified meeting must be booked by October 31, 2011 and conducted by December 30, 2011. A qualified meeting or group stay requires ten or more paid guest rooms for at least one peak night of the event and may include qualified catering/banqueting events. Subject to availability and blackout dates. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Not valid with group bookings affiliated with city-wide conventions. Planner must request bonus points offer and it must be recorded in the hotel sales contract at time of booking. Priority Club is a registered trademark of Six Continents Hotels, Inc. STAY YOU.™ is a trademark of Six Continents Hotels, Inc. ©2011 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.



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Corporate Meetings & Events - Summer 2011  

Corporate Meetings & Events - Summer 2011

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