Current News

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

Current News

June 20, 2024
Atlific Hotels Managed Properties Shine at Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards

Toronto, ON—Atlific Hotels proudly announces that several of its managed properties have taken top prizes in the 2023 edition of Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards. Three Atlific managed properties,  Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline DistrictResidence Inn Kingston, and Towneplace Suites Red Deer took home prestigious Circle Awards while Colleen Logan, Atlific Area Sales Manager, earned the Sales Leader of the Year award amongst all global Residence Inn branded properties for her top achievements. The awards ceremony took place on June 13, 2024.

The selection process for the Circle Awards rigorously evaluates hotels on their ability to deliver brand promises, with winning properties excelling in leadership, customer satisfaction, financial performance, and associate engagement. 

“Atlific is incredibly proud of our people who are truly dedicated to service excellence and we’re thrilled that their performance has been recognized,” said Christine Kennedy, CEO, Atlific Hotels. “Atlific prides itself on creating a positive impact on the guest experience and the local communities our hotels operate in, and these awards are a shining reflection of our teams’ outstanding efforts.” 

For its part, Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/ Beltline District won two separate Residence Inn brand awards and the hotel was one of just two Canadian hotels to earn the highly prestigious Platinum Circle performance award honouring the best of the best in the Residence Inn brand's overall guest satisfaction score in addition to Logan’s Sales Leader of the Year Award as the standout amongst the entire Residence Inn brand. There are almost 1000 Residence Inn brand hotels in the Marriott portfolio. 

Several Atlific properties took home Marriott International’s Brand Circle Awards for top ratings in overall guest satisfaction. Circle Awards are achieved via exceptional staff service, maintenance, upkeep, cleanliness, and an elite level of hospitality. 

The Residence Inn Kingston also proudly received the Gold Circle Award, placing it in the top 5% of Residence Inn properties for overall guest satisfaction. This accolade reflects its impressive score and consistent year-over-year growth in revenue per available room.

The TownePlace Suites Red Deer earned the Silver Circle Award, distinguishing it among the top 20% of hotels in overall guest satisfaction within its brand.

Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 30 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has over 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended-stay properties.

The company has built a reputation for offering comprehensive accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, strategic revenue-generating sales and marketing plans, and award-winning revenue management programs. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Ltd., owns and operates over 100 hotels throughout the United States. Together they make up the fifth largest privately-owned hotel management company in North America, operating independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, IHG and Hilton. For more information, please visit

Hannah Rastrick or Mindy Cummings
Aerial Communications Group
647.401.8792 / 647.280.9978 /

June 20, 2024
Accor Launches Global Leadership Council to Shape the Future of Corporate Travel

The global hospitality Group and representatives from 17 international corporations form an advisory council to design and shape a new era of corporate travel and meetings for 2025 and beyond

Paris—Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, together with executive travel managers and buyers from 17 leading international corporations, have launched the Accor Global Leadership Council (GLC), an innovative advisory board aimed at reimagining the future of corporate travel and meetings. Established to create a forward-looking vision for business travel and corporate meetings, the GLC connects business leaders responsible for corporate travel across diverse industries with senior executives from Accor. Council delegates include representatives from sectors such as financial services, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, energy, professional services and technology.  

The first session, which was hosted earlier this month in Paris by Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor, discussed shifting corporate and traveler expectations; the importance of recognition, personalization and B2B-focused loyalty; the evolving importance of sustainability; emerging traveler trends; the role and impact of distribution and pricing; and a deep-dive on the hosting hotel brand, Sofitel.  

The Council delegates, who have a combined employee base of over 2.7 million travelers, unanimously agreed the top three priorities for business travel are: 

1. Traveler experience and well-being – including corporate employee engagement, wellness, traveler security and digital efficiencies

2. Cost management and optimization – including program compliance, pricing, cost-reduction and cost avoidance

3. Sustainability – including sustainable action, carbon budgets and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) 

Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor and host of the GLC, commented: “The dynamics of corporate travel are evolving rapidly. It is essential for both our clients and hospitality businesses to adapt to new demands and priorities. The GLC is a critical forum for sharing insights and collaborating on solutions that meet the changing needs of business travelers and delegates.” 

The GLC aims to generate valuable insights and actionable strategies to drive and transform business travel, impacting the sector globally. Accor will compile the council's findings into a comprehensive report to be released later in the year. 

Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Premium, Midscale & Economy Division for Accor, concluded: "Corporate travel is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by an increased focus on flexibility, sustainability, and personalization. Today's business travelers seek more than just efficiency and comfort; they prioritize sustainability, personalized experiences, and seamless technology integration. Throughout our business, Accor is committed to not only meeting these needs but also anticipating them, ensuring that every journey is as enriching and impactful as the destination and travel intent itself."

Accor is a world leading hospitality group offering experiences across more than 110 countries in 5,600 properties, 10,000 food & beverage venues, wellness facilities or flexible workspaces. The Group has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems, encompassing more than 45 hotel brands from luxury to economy, as well as Lifestyle with Ennismore. Accor is committed to taking positive action in terms of business ethics & integrity, responsible tourism, sustainable development, community outreach, and diversity & inclusion.  Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information, please visit or follow us on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.   

Source: Accor

June 20, 2024
A New Restaurant is Blowing the Roof Off of Toronto's Waterfront!

Toronto/CNW/—Introducing Queens Harbour, a sprawling 23,000-square-foot dining destination nestled in the heart of Toronto's vibrant waterfront area. At the heart of Queens Quay lies a historic brick building that is being reimagined into a new hospitality landmark. This project, located on Harbourfront Centre land, will be one of the largest restaurant investments in the history of the waterfront.

This concept is being introduced by experienced restaurateurs Kevin Jazexhi, Ali Badreddine, Iris Jazexhi, and Chef Robert Balint. These founders are from parts of the world where Mediterranean influences are strong, and they want to bring that ethos to Queens Harbour: cherishing family and friends over shared meals combined with hospitality that is so authentic and sincere, it feels like you've come home.

Up and coming Chef Robert Balint has collaborated with local, world-class chef Julien Laffargue to create a combination of Mediterranean and Asian flavours they affectionately term MediterrAsian cuisine. MediterrAsian food emerges when the jungles of Asia and the waters of the Mediterranean connect.

Steeped in classical cooking techniques, both chefs are curating a menu specializing in mezzes for sharing, charcoal-grilled dishes, and a full raw and sushi bar. The impressive culinary program is complimented by handcrafted cocktails aimed to surprise and delight with fun and exciting textures and flavours.

Combining the eclectic food and beverage menus with a dynamic, multifaceted experience in distinctly different spaces throughout this 800 seat restaurant oasis by the water.

With the largest restaurant retractable roof in the nation, multiple private dining spaces, an outdoor terrace, and three uniquely designed dining spaces with unparalleled views of the CN Tower, the Harbour, and Lake Ontario, this will be unlike any other dining destination in Toronto.

Join us next spring for the unveiling of Queens Harbour, located at 245 Queens Quay Way West (North Building).

SOURCE Queens Harbour

June 12, 2024
Canadian Hotel Association Join Forces to Combat Human Trafficking

In a groundbreaking initiative to combat human trafficking, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA), Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality Saskatchewan, Manitoba Hotel Association (MHA), and Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop and deliver human trafficking awareness and prevention training and resources to hotels - with the goal of training every hotel employee from BC to Ontario.Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada, with thousands of victims being exploited annually. The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking estimates that over 1,400 cases were reported to law enforcement between 2011 and 2019. These numbers continue to increase, and many incidents go unreported. Hotels can become venues for traffickers, making it imperative for the hospitality industry to take a proactive stance in recognizing and preventing human trafficking.

"Since trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses—many in the tourism supply chain—to sustain their illicit and illegal operations, hoteliers are uniquely positioned to identify and disrupt this terrible practice. This MOA empowers our members to be the first line of defense against trafficking activities, reinforcing our dedication to protecting human dignity." Tracy Douglas-Blowers, President & CEO, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

About the Initiative
The MOA outlines a commitment by the 5 provincial hotel associations to:

• Develop training materials that raise awareness of human trafficking among hoteliers.

• Educate hotels, motels, and other accommodation providers about recognizing the signs of human trafficking.

• Equip hotel owners and managers with the tools to train their staff on preventing and responding to potential human trafficking situations.

Training Resources and Implementation
Partnering with NotInMyCity, the associations will create a "Not in Our Hotel” toolkit, which will include:

• Sample policies for hotels and guidelines for employee orientation. • Best practices for accommodation providers.

• Training materials for management and staff, including online courses that provide certificates of completion.

• Posters and quick reference guides for employees.

• Resources to help employees discuss human trafficking with their children and support staff impacted by trafficking.

Commitment to Prevention
Hotels are committed to creating safe environments for all guests and staff. By signing this MOA, the BCHA, AHLA, SHHA, MHA, and ORHMA demonstrate their dedication to combating human trafficking. This initiative not only aligns with federal and provincial efforts to eradicate human trafficking but also supports the safety and well-being of the communities’ hotels serve.

"Not In Our Hotel sends a loud and clear message: we will not tolerate human trafficking in the hotel industry. Thanks to our dedicated members and their staff, we already have a strong track record of combatting trafficking and supporting survivors. There is still much more to do, and our commitment to training and education will continue to make the difference." Jim Bence, President & CEO, Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association

Media Inquiries
Laurie Chandler
Vice President, Public Affairs
Alberta Hotel & Lodging

Source: British Columbia Hotel Association

June 05, 2024
BMO Centre at Stampede Park Welcomes the World to Western Canada's Largest Convention Centre

$500M expansion officially opens its doors and puts Calgary on the map as a world-class convention destination

Calgary, AB/CNW/—Today, Calgary's BMO Centre at Stampede Park is ready to welcome the world, officially becoming Western Canada's largest convention centre with the grand opening of its 565,000 sq. ft. expansion. Following decades of planning and four years of construction, the over 1M sq. ft. Tier 1 convention facility opens its doors for the first time, not only creating an architectural landmark for Calgary, but making gatherings even greater with the ability to host a scale of convention the city hasn't been able to previously accommodate.  

"For four years, we have been promising that the expanded BMO Centre will offer Calgarians, southern Albertans and visitors to our city a greater way to gather. Today, it is with immeasurable pride that we open the doors to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park," said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede.  "The BMO Centre expansion was built for Calgary and southern Alberta, with the vision of creating a world-class facility both in terms of design and the ability to provide exceptional guest experiences through our signature western hospitality. With the interest we've seen from the meetings and conventions industry before the doors have even opened, we know that this facility is going to have a positive impact on Calgary's economy by bolstering the tourism and hospitality sectors. We built this for our future, and we look forward to realizing the success of the expansion in the decades to come."

The expansion's first major event, the Global Energy Show, is already loading into the expansion's exhibition halls in preparation for their June 11 event, and there are another 500 conventions and events booked into the expansion post-opening to date. This also translates to filling restaurants, shops, rideshares and other attractions that make Calgary unique. The economic impact to Calgary will equate to approximately upwards of $100 million a year and provide thousands of jobs.

"We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of this remarkable expansion – brought to life by collaboration, partnership, and true dedication," said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. "A milestone for Calgary, the BMO Centre will be a beacon of community pride, offering new spaces for gatherings, exhibitions, and experiences, while making the city a destination for national and international meetings and events. We are excited to see the countless opportunities it will bring to Calgary."

"In recent years, we've been seeing Canada and the world choose Alberta more and more as the place to live, work, invest, and raise a family. The new BMO Centre is going to help keep that trend going by bringing more business and industry events to the heart of Calgary where they'll experience so many things that make this city great," said the Honourable Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta. "This project is a testament to what we can accomplish when every level of government comes together. With its first major event just around the corner, I'm excited to see how the BMO Centre – now Western Canada's largest convention centre – shows the world all the reasons Calgary is the prime destination to host their events."

"With an increased ability to compete for world-class conventions and meetings thanks to the expanded BMO Centre, Calgary's reputation on the global stage cannot be understated," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "The expanded BMO Centre is unique to Calgary, unique to the Calgary Stampede and unique to the industry. This is an architectural icon as well as a community gathering place, and Calgarians can be proud that we built this second-to-none facility right here in the heart of The Culture + Entertainment District."

The building, designed by leading design team Stantec, Populous and S2, represents the next generation of convention facilities, one that promises best-in-class guest experience, boasts precedent-setting design architecture, and serves as a gathering place for convention attendees and the local community alike.

"When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience, and every decision we made from that point on was with that goal in mind," said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Development Manager for the project. "CMLC is incredibly proud to have delivered this project on time and on budget, and to have delivered on the world-class promise we and our partners set out to achieve. With the completion of this catalyst project, we have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together."

Cowley continued, "The Calgary Stampede is grateful to our partners at CMLC for their expert delivery of the project, and to our generous funding partners – the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary – for their $500M investment in this world-class facility. We are also grateful to BMO for their 10-year extension of the naming rights for this beautiful building as well as their partnership with the Calgary Stampede that dates back more than a century."

After more than 124 years of working together, the Calgary Stampede and BMO have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, through until the end of 2033. As a part of this agreement, BMO has extended the naming rights of the BMO Centre to the BMO Centre expansion, which will welcome guests from our community and around the world.

BMO has been a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede. In 1899 BMO became the official bank of the Calgary Exhibition, predecessor to the Stampede, and has been an official sponsor since 1914. From sponsoring prizes like a $5 bank account for best dressed and best window decorations in downtown Calgary during the 1923 Stampede, to hosting square dancing and street entertainment outside of their Stephen Avenue location in the early days, to hosting Stampede historical displays in BMO bank branches across the city in 2018 and 2019, BMO has always been a champion of the Calgary Stampede and community spirit.

"Developing strong partnerships within our communities is at the heart of what BMO does to boldly grow the good in business and life," said Mike Bonner, Head, Distribution, Canadian Personal and Business Banking, BMO. "It's an honour to be the naming sponsor of BMO Centre and to celebrate our partnership dating back to 1884 as the oldest business relationship in Western Canada. This landmark facility will serve as a gathering place the community and have a strong impact on the economy, further showcasing BMO's commitment to driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society for Calgary and beyond."

Calgarians are invited to tour the expanded BMO Centre for the first time on Saturday, June 8, during the Calgary Stampede's Community Round Up, presented by ENMAX, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join us for FREE pancakes, FREE parking and FREE family fair fun!

For More Information:

Emma Stevens
Director, Communications & External Relations
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Christine Thompson
Corporate Communications Manager
Calgary Stampede

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme, We're Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

About CMLC
Created and owned by the City of Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) exists to achieve the City's objectives for urban densification and community renewal, infrastructure investment and placemaking. An entrepreneurial group of hands-on doers and placemakers, CMLC's approach is rooted in community participation and designed to strengthen the connections between places, experiences and people. As the master developer behind Calgary's East Village and new Culture + Entertainment District, CMLC is leading over $1 billion in city-building projects and is the project lead on pillar projects in Calgary including the Arts Commons Transformation and the BMO Centre expansion. CMLC is delivering the 17th Ave SE Extension and Victoria Park/Stampede LRT Station Rebuild project on behalf of their partners at Calgary Transit and the Calgary Stampede.

About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.4 trillion as of April 30, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

June 05, 2024
Sphere Names Chandra Allison Executive Vice President, Sales & Service

Las Vegas—Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) today announced that Chandra Allison, a sales and marketing leader with 30 years of diverse experience in the hospitality and events industries, has joined the Company as Executive Vice President, Sales and Service for Sphere – a next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas that is redefining the future of entertainment.

In this new role, Ms. Allison will be responsible for driving Sphere’s sales strategies and ensuring exceptional customer experiences at Sphere. Working with executive leadership, Ms. Allison will develop and implement sales and service strategies aligned with the Company’s overall business objectives and strategic direction, including developing a corporate conference business for product launches and other events. As part of her role, she will oversee the sales and service teams to achieve continued revenue growth, market expansion, and outstanding customer satisfaction. She will also work to develop and execute comprehensive sales plans, optimize service delivery, and build strong relationships with key clients and stakeholders in the Las Vegas market and beyond.

“Sphere has established itself as a destination for immersive experiences unlike anywhere else, but we’re just scratching the surface of what this new medium can offer,” said Jennifer Koester, President, Sphere Business Operations. “Chandra has been working with our team as a consultant, and we are excited to make her an official part of our Sphere family as we continue raising an already high bar for what artists, brands, and customers experience at Sphere.”

“Throughout my career I have focused on delivering major events and exceptional hospitality experiences in Las Vegas,” said Ms. Allison. “Sphere is a game-changer in this dynamic market, and this is a tremendous opportunity to continue working with the team to develop one-of-a-kind experiences that enhance Sphere’s presence in Las Vegas across a range of event categories and guest experiences.”

Ms. Allison brings extensive experience in developing exceptional meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and entertainment events, with a focus on the Las Vegas market. Most recently, Ms. Allison served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Growth at Oak View Group (OVG). In this role she was responsible for overseeing strategy and growth across the OVG360 portfolio, including the design and development of meetings spaces, business strategy and programming for OVG's planned Las Vegas hotel and casino project. Prior to joining OVG, Ms. Allison served in roles of increasing responsibility over nearly 25 years with The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. In her last role as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ms. Allison led sales and marketing efforts for group, convention, tradeshow, and leisure sales. Ms. Allison’s experience prior to The Venetian Resort includes events and sales roles at Las Vegas hotel and casino properties.

Ms. Allison is an active member of several industry trade organizations, including Meetings Professional International and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

About Sphere Entertainment Co.
Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) is a premier live entertainment and media company. The Company includes Sphere, a next-generation entertainment medium powered by cutting-edge technologies to redefine the future of entertainment. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023. In addition, the Company includes MSG Networks, which operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet, as well as a direct-to-consumer and authenticated streaming product, MSG+, delivering a wide range of live sports content and other programming. More information is available at

Sphere Entertainment –

June 04, 2024
Hyatt to Rebrand Hyatt Regency Indian Wells to Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort and Villas After $64 Million Renovation

Famed Southern California resort to introduce transformed guestrooms, suites, and luxury villas, as well as new restaurant concepts and an enhanced pool experience

Indian Wells, Calif.—Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Trinity Investments are proud to announce the planned rebranding of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa to Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Villas, slated for September 2024. The rebrand will be timed to the culmination of a $64 million property-wide renovation and ushers in a new era of luxury for the iconic desert resort with redesigned guestrooms and luxury villas, an expanded lobby experience, elevated accommodations, refreshed meeting and event spaces, two new dining concepts and a reimagined pool complex with extended cabana offerings. A resort steeped in Indian Wells’ tennis history, the property is also a short drive away from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which plays host to the BNP Paribas Open, the first of nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments each year.

“Grand Hyatt hotels showcase bold and vibrant design and architecture, creating captivating destinations within a destination. The newly renovated and rebranded Grand Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Villas will introduce guests and members to an elevated level of hospitality,” said Susan Santiago, President, U.S. and Canada, Hyatt. “Located in a key destination for leisure and business travelers looking to experience the best of Coachella Valley, the refreshed resort will help guests celebrate magnificent moments and create memorable experiences throughout their stay.”

Elevated Guestrooms, Suites and Villas
Grand Hyatt Indian Wells' refreshed design, overseen by the renowned Southern California firm, IndiDesign, will reflect the serene beauty of its locale and offer an upscale resort experience. Inspired by the dramatic geography and date farms that surround the property, Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ new look and feel combines a neutral color palette and tasteful wood accents with mid-century modern design elements. The property’s newly enhanced 531 accommodations, including 39 spacious suites have completed renovations, while 43 one- and two-bedroom private villas, are set to debut by November 2024.

Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will provide large guestrooms, with 550 square feet of luxurious living space. Guests can choose from various configurations, including one king bed, two king beds, rooms with full-sized bunkbeds, and more. Each room features a multi-functional living space, a spa-inspired bathroom, and a private patio or balcony. The resort’s newly renovated suites also offer spacious accommodations designed for families and groups. These suites include a separate living area with a sleeper sofa, a wet bar with a full-size refrigerator and microwave, and dual private balconies offering breathtaking views of the golf course, pool, resort grounds and surrounding mountain backdrop. Suites on the ground floor feature patios, offering convenient pool access.

As the premier offering at Grand Hyatt Indian Wells, the resort’s luxury villas will be transformed to seamlessly blend into the desert locale with sophisticated interiors that layer artisanal details like natural tones and muted hues with new landscaping to provide an intimate sense of place. Hand-crafted furniture will be mixed with modern decor and artistic lighting fixtures to bring character into each living space. Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ new villas will offer an array of exclusive features and premium amenities for guests, including a private backyard with a hot tub, plunge pool or firepit, kitchenette with refrigerators, access to an adults only spa, and golf cart escorts around the property. Guests will also have access to an exclusive arrival experience and dedicated villa concierge to provide effortless service throughout their stay.

Inventive Dining Concepts
Aheads of its grand opening this fall, the property will offer a late summer preview introducing two new restaurant concepts - Tía Carmen and Carmocha – in collaboration with the acclaimed Chef Angelo Sosa. Renowned for his bold cooking, Chef Sosa brings over 25 years of experience that has taken him from three-star kitchens in Europe and beyond. A protege of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef Sosa has worked with some of the industry's most renowned restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto. He has opened several restaurants in New York City, San Diego, and most recently Phoenix, with Kembara, as well as the first location of Tía Carmen. Like the original location, Tía Carmen at Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will pay homage to Chef Sosa’s aunt (tía) Carmen, and celebrate the local landscape, farmers and community of the Southwest reflecting a mix of tradition and modernity, this time with modern Californian flair.

Carmocha is a new concept that reimagines global small plates from the perspective of Angelo’s tía Carmen if she had traveled around the world and came back from her journeys to put her own spin on some of the dazzling array of international flavors she experienced. For a casual dining option, the resort also enhanced its lobby marketplace, providing several all-day culinary offerings for either grab-and-go or sit-down settings with a coffee bar and selection of teas, sandwiches, and treats as well as wine, beer and more.

Destination-Driven Pool Experience
The anchor of the resort guest journey is its popular pool experience, and the new Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will unveil enhancements to the spacious outdoor recreation area with expanded cabanas fit for large groups and families, as well as new dining options including a food truck, Palmadoro’s, serving pizza and signature Italian bites, and a refreshed café, offering poolside favorites. Grand Hyatt Indian Wells’ pool experience also features the largest waterpark in the Greater Palm Springs desert, HyTides, which includes nine expansive pools, a set of 30-foot high (150-feet in length) dueling waterslides, a 450-foot lazy river and family-friendly favorites, such as an expansive splash pad.

Grand Gatherings
A top destination for events in Greater Palm Springs, Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will offer 88,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space. Recently revitalized ballroom, meeting rooms and boardrooms will give way to terraces and lawns with breathtaking views, ideal for weddings, special events and corporate retreats. With offerings that are nothing short of grand, the resort’s renovated Mezzanine level includes meeting and events space, allowing guests to create memorable gatherings for any moment or milestone.

Unparalleled Wellbeing Offerings 
As a hospitality company focused on care, Hyatt takes pride in setting a new standard of wellbeing for travel, making sure every touch point is crafted to support all facets of wellbeing. Therefore, the property will introduce new programming and offerings to care for guests.

For a relaxing wellbeing retreat, the 30,000-square-foot Agua Serena Spa will unveil new enhancements this Fall. The property also recently collaborated with Kalologie MedSpa  to open their newest location on property in Indian Wells. Situated adjacent to Agua Serena Spa, the new facility includes four private treatment rooms and an IV lounge with a variety of renewing services, including IV hydration therapy, B12 energy boosts, and more.

Grand Hyatt Indian Wells will also offer tennis and pickleball courts and two adjacent world-class golf courses. The resort is a short drive from the Palm Springs International Airport, placing guests just minutes from the best shopping, culture, and entertainment offerings in the Coachella Valley area.

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. 

For further information:

About Grand Hyatt 
Around the world, Grand Hyatt hotels bring travel dreams to life by celebrating the iconic in small details and magnificent moments. Located at the crossroads of local culture and global business within major gateway cities and resort destinations, each Grand Hyatt hotel is uniquely designed to be a captivating destination within a destination. Grand Hyatt hotels deliver welcoming and elevated service, first-class accommodations, and an abundance of options within a multicultural backdrop of dramatic architecture and bold and vibrant design. Grand Hyatt hotels boast inventive restaurants, luxury spas, fitness centres, and business and meeting facilities. For additional information or to make a reservation, please visit Follow @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram, and tag photos with #GrandHyatt.

Media Contact:
Emily Mekstan

Source: Hyatt Corporation

June 04, 2024
Philadelphia welcomes Québec City travellers with the launch of a direct seasonal American Airlines flight starting June 5th before changing to twice daily flights as of August 6th

Québec City, QC—Québec City travellers will now have an easier time to get to Philadelphia as the destination is pleased to share that American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, will be offering daily nonstop seasonal service from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) starting June 5th, 2024. Flights can be booked through American Airlines

Running through October 26th, 2024, the flight will switch from a daily flight to a twice daily flight as of August 6th, which will is convenient for French Canadians to have more flexibility in their planning options to maximize their time in the City of Firsts.

“Philadelphia shares a number of similarities to Québec City, from our historical and cultural attractions to our award-winning culinary experiences to the charm of the locals,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This seasonal flight will help us continue to increase Philadelphia’s visibility as an accessible and welcoming destination for Canadians, who are our strongest international market.”

“We are excited to continue expanding our footprint from Québec City with our upcoming flights to Philadelphia,” added José A. Freig, VP of International Operations, American Airlines. “Our daily service to the City of Firsts further provides customers the opportunity to explore everything that this popular metropolitan city has to offer – from the culinary treats to the rich arts and cultural scene to the historical significance.”

Whether visitors are interested in discovering iconic exhibits rich in history and culture or looking to indulge in world-class dining, there is something for everyone when visiting Philadelphia. Recently named ‘one of the best cities to visit for 2024’ by Lonely Planet AFAR, it is no surprise that Philadelphia is on the top of the bucket list for Canadian travellers.

Philadelphia is particularly rich in history and culture that showcase America’s beginnings. For visitors who are curious about American history there’s no better place than “America’s most historic square mile.” In the Old City historical district, visitors can walk the same streets and enter the same buildings as America’s Founders. At Carpenters’ Hall, visitors can step into the site of the First Continental Congress, where the Founders met to debate independence. Nearby, is Independence Hall — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. And, of course, see the iconic Liberty Bell, an international symbol of American freedom, just a few steps away from Independence Mall.

For foodies and culinary connoisseurs, Philadelphia is also recognized for winning a number of annual James Beard awards, which recognizes talented top chefs and restaurateurs.

Additionally, the city was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the U.S. by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and consistently ranks among the nation’s most walkable cities. From museums and street art to beer gardens and riverfront views, Philadelphia’s immersive experiences are just footsteps away from each other.

“We are very pleased with the return of this seasonal daily flight to the beautiful and historic city of Philadelphia,” said Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). “This direct service offered by American Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, is in line with our mission to offer more options to local travellers, as well as to facilitate accessibility for American tourists to the magnificent Québec City region.”

For more information about the twice daily flights from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, visit

For further information about Philadelphia and everything there is to discover, visit

About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB’s work engages our partners, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit

June 04, 2024
Iberostar to Open its First Hotel in Aruba

Iberostar Beachfront Resorts will open on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world 

Palma de Mallorca, SpainIberostar, a leading family-owned Spanish hotel chain renowned for its commitment to responsible tourism, unveils plans for its first hotel in Aruba – JOIA Aruba by Iberostar. Nestled on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the property is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Queen Beatrix International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown Oranjestad, and six minutes from the shopping area of Palm Beach. This exclusive luxury resort aims to redefine the island experience with its premium service, quality and commitment to sustainability

“We are delighted to introduce Iberostar’s inaugural resort in Aruba, a stunning destination that shares our passion for quality and commitment to a model of responsible tourism,” said Phil Mc Aveety, CEO, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. "JOIA Aruba by Iberostar is a testament to our promise of providing guests with exceptional experiences. We are very pleased to expand Iberostar's presence in the Americas, aiming to contribute positively within the local community with a shared sense of prosperity and commitment to sustainability."

Set to welcome guests late 2024, the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar stands as a five-star haven featuring 240 suites with breathtaking views as the U-shaped architectural jewel was strategically designed to showcase Eagle Beach.

The property is designed to appeal to guests of all ages and intends to serve as an attractive option for weddings, honeymoons, special occasions and family getaways. Guests at the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar will be able to indulge, concierge service, as well as butler service and select rooms with swim-up features and jacuzzis in the terrace. The property also features a state-of-the-art 10K+ square foot Convention Center, a spacious spa, a casino, and a fully equipped Fit & Fun gym. Moreover, golf enthusiasts can enjoy Iberostar’s Tierra del Sol championship Golf Course, featuring 18 holes and breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea and recently recognized with USA Today’s 2024 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Caribbean Golf Course. 

True to Iberostar's culinary reputation, the resort will offer three main dining options, including a buffet-style restaurant and two themed restaurants specializing in Caribbean cuisine and open fire cooking for meats and seafood. Furthermore, the hotel features a terrace bar where guests can enjoy the spectacular sunsets of Aruba.

The hotel, which will open as 100% electric, was developed using passive design principles to enhance energy efficiency, collaborating with international and local construction teams to reduce environmental impact. Following Iberostar's commitment to sustainability, the hotel will also implement lower-impact operations, progressive waste management techniques, with efficient energy management to minimize emissions, aligning towards its decarbonization goal.

The contemporary coastal interior design and the striking exteriors are inspired by the vibrant colors of Aruba´s marine life and Iberostar´s passion for the oceans. Hues of greens, turquoise and earthy tones have been expertly combined to convey a feeling of luxurious island living. The interior of the property features many locally inspired design elements, including a Divi-Divi tree sculpture in the main lobby, manta ray skin design in the swimming pool, and custom artwork and installations. The exterior of the building was inspired by the scales of the parrotfish, the hero of the coral reef that cleans away the algae. Reflecting Iberostar’s commitment to responsible tourism, the resort has integrated lower-impact features and sustainable elements into its design and operations. 

About Iberostar Group
Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company with a rich history of over 67 years in the tourism industry and business origins dating back to 1877. It currently has two divisions: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, its hotel division and largest business unit, whose portfolio totals 100 4- and 5-star hotels in 14 countries; and World2Meet, its travel division, a vertically structured tourism group comprising 17 brands specialising in the entire tourism value chain. 

The Group has earned recognition for its efforts in promoting a responsible tourism model that prioritizes the well-being of both people and the environment. With quality and sustainability embedded throughout the business, the company positions the circular economy as the cornerstone of its strategy. Pursuing its own 2030 Agenda, goals include becoming waste-free by 2025, attaining carbon neutrality by 2030, ensuring complete responsibility in its seafood supply chain by 2025, and enhancing the health of the ecosystems that surround its hotels, among other objectives.

Iberostar Group has a global team of over 35,000 people from 95 different nationalities. Their unwavering commitment to quality serves as a key differentiator, driving continuous improvement, innovative products, and exceptional customer service.

Find out more about us at

June 04, 2024
Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton Debuts in the Entertainment District

Owned and operated by Easton's Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group, Revery marks the premiere of Curio Collection by Hilton in Toronto

Toronto and McLEAN, Va./CNW/—Hilton,Easton's Group of Hotels, andThe Gupta Group announced the opening of the Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton. Each hotel in the Curio Collection portfolio is handpicked for its distinctive design, world-class food and beverage, and curated experiences in exciting global destinations. Revery officially invited guests into its theatrically themed, 224-room hotel on June 4th, 2024, at 92 Peter Street, Toronto, Ontario.

"We're delighted to launch Ontario's first Curio Collection by Hilton property in Toronto. Revery will bring a bespoke blend of sophistication, design, and hospitality," said Reetu Gupta, author of Auspicious and ambassadress, The Gupta Group and Easton's Group of Hotels. "With its prime  location, Revery is more than a destination; it's an alluring and captivating experience."

With its fast-growing portfolio of over 160 properties in top destinations, each Curio Collection by Hilton is celebrated for its remarkable character and one-of-a-kind experiences," said Jenna Hackett, senior vice president, Hilton Lifestyle Brands. "As the first Curio Collection hotel in Ontario, Revery's guests will soon enjoy immersive, remarkable stays in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District." 

Design Takes Centre Stage
Revery's design acts as a discovery that reflects the lights, drama, and sociability of the neighbourhood. Muse Lobby Bar is full of mystique and fashioned in bold ruby-red textures with white statement lighting. With its entrance on bustling Peter Street, Muse is a modern "concession stand" where hotel guests and neighbours meet for social exchanges over bespoke cocktails, coffee and small bites.

Behind the velvet curtains, guests will step into the "Box Office" under the marquis lights and monochromatic checkerboard concrete tiles. There, they can explore the modern check-in pods, with big screen backdrops playing classic black-and-white movies and historic images of Toronto's landmarks.

Revery's nod to the theatre continues in its guestrooms with curved full-length mirrors and clever lighting applications which create a glamourous "dressing room" look. Guestrooms are sleek with ultra-high-gloss lacquered finishes, marble accents, and automated touches to suit the needs of sophisticated travellers.

"Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton is where guests can daydream and indulge in meditative relaxation, whether in our glamorous guest rooms or in our captivating restaurants," said Dr. Steve Gupta, founder & executive chairman of The Gupta Group. "Revery highlights vivid theatre and crafted film concepts, reflecting unique nuances from backstage to dressing room themes, inspiring our guests to experience their own state of "reverie." Curated moments of celebration will become our guests' lasting memories."

Star Studded Food & Beverage
Continuing the cinematic theme and Hollywood glamour, anticipation awaits at Deauville Club, Revery's French-inspired restaurant. The hues are subtle and refined, with oak herringbone floors and violet-infused marble accents. Chef Tom Chlebek's cuisine brings unique expertise and authenticity to every dish. With a keen understanding that mood is paramount, he has crafted culinary experiences that evoke a sense of wonder and delight.

Adjacent to Deauville Club, heavy velvet drapes lead you to the Gupta Room—a private space for meeting and entertaining. Rich in texture and accessories, the mood is set with deep eggplant and dark purple accents. For intimate meetings and events, Revery has two thoughtfully curated spaces to engage and exchange: the Cinema Room and Easton's Boardroom. Additionally, for larger private parties, Deauville Club is the perfect stage to welcome up to 100 guests.

Situated just a quick walk from the renowned TIFF Lightbox and The Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office, Revery invites guests to take in the bustling energy of one of Canada's most vibrant cultural hubs featuring countless dining, nightlife, shopping and cultural experiences along its way.

Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's world-class portfolio of distinct hotel brands which boasts over 180 million members. Members who book directly will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, exclusive member discounts, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app.

For more information about Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton, visit their website or contact Pamela Valerio at 

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 22 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms, in 123 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for six consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 150 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 145 individually remarkable hotels hand-picked to immerse guests in one-of-a kind moments in the world's most sought-after destinations. Each hotel in the Curio Collection evokes a bespoke story through distinctive architecture and design, world-class food & beverage and curated experiences, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors—Experience Curio Collection by Hilton by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app.

About The Gupta Group
The Gupta Group is a beacon of innovation and excellence in the global investment landscape, spearheaded by visionary entrepreneur Steve Gupta. At the heart lies Easton's Group of Hotels. With 22 hotels and four under development in prime locations spanning Ontario and Quebec, the flagship properties, including renowned brands like Hilton, Marriott, and IHG, redefine the standards of hotel experiences. Under The Gupta Group's unified banner, they continue to redefine the hospitality landscape, real estate development, and beyond. With a legacy built on vision, passion, and integrity, we embark on exciting new ventures propelled by our unwavering commitment to excellence. Every endeavour, from lifestyle hotels to transformative residential developments, reflects our dedication to delivering unparalleled quality and service. With over 1500 residential units completed between Dundas Square Gardens and Rosedale on Bloor, Yonge City Square, at the corner of York Mills and Yonge, is now on the market. Being the first condominium built in the neighbourhood in over 20 years, with direct subway access, it will be the primary head office of The Gupta Group. Visit and connect with us on Facebook,Instagram, andLinkedIn.

SOURCE Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

For further information:
Media contact: Pamela Valerio, and Hotel Contact:

June 03, 2024
SITE Crystal submissions open now, with new award category for 2025

Today marks the launch of SITE’s 2025 Crystal Awards program, with submissions accepted through August 2, 2024

Considered the highest honor in the incentive travel industry, each year’s SITE Crystal Awards recognize creative, practical, and truly memorable incentive travel programs that keep employees engaged, drive business results, and improve the bottom line for global corporations.

The 2025 Awards will include the return of five ever-popular “Excellence” categories, which highlight top programs operated in Africa or the Middle East; the Asia-Pacific region; Europe; North America; and Latin America or the Caribbean. Other returning award categories recognize sustainability or CSR efforts, efforts to overcome adversity, and destination-based experiences crafted for incentive groups. 

New for the 2025 awards is a category that will celebrate the best marketing and promotions campaign undertaken by a destination or marketing agency — an excellent category for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) or convention and visitor (CVB) teams to submit a winning entrant for. 

This new category will spotlight organizations that have done a truly effective job at marketing and promoting a destination to corporate and/or agency decision-makers through print and digital marketing or through in-person campaigns like educational or familiarization (FAM) trips.

Full details about all award categories, and a link to this year’s submissions platform, is available on SITE’s Crystal Awards web page

We’ve also asked this year’s SITE Crystals Chair Cate Banfield to share some of her top tips to help you shape the perfect submission. 

Best of luck to all of this year’s Crystal Award entrants — we can’t wait to share and celebrate your incredible incentive programs! 

May 30, 2024
Colombia, The Country of Beauty, is among the top 10 countries that host the most international events in Latin America

In the list published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the country ranked 34th in the world. Colombia occupies the third place in the South American ranking, only behind Brazil and Argentina.

Bogotá—The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has published its latest ranking of countries that organized the most international events in 2023, highlighting Colombia's performance. Globally, Colombia ranks 34th, establishing itself as an attractive destination for meetings and events tourism.

As for the South American ranking, Colombia is in third place, with a total of 103 events, only behind Brazil and Argentina, while in the Latin American context, it is within the top 10 countries in the region.

“We are very proud of Colombia's performance in the ICCA ranking. This recognition is the result of joint efforts between ProColombia, the National Network of Bureaus, and the promotion offices of each city, which work tirelessly to position the country and its regions as top-tier destinations for international events. We are confident that Colombia, the Country of Beauty, will continue to be a preferred destination for the meetings and events industry”, said Carmen Caballero, President of ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country.

Colombian cities have also stood out in the ICCA ranking. Bogotá ranks as the third city in Latin America, hosting a total of 46 events. Cartagena, in turn, ranks 9th regionally with 25 events. Meanwhile, Medellín occupies the 11th position in the Latin American context with a total of 15 events.

To be considered in the ICCA ranking, events must meet specific criteria: have more than 50 attendees, rotate between at least three countries, have a defined periodicity, be organized by non-governmental or corporate associations, and have held more than one edition, with the third edition confirmed.

These criteria ensure that the events included in the ranking have a significant impact and international relevance. It is important to note that many more events are held in Colombia than those recorded by ICCA, but only those that meet these strict requirements are included in the ranking.

Colombia is trending!
The year 2023 saw a significant increase in the arrival of travelers for meetings, with over 220,000 people, 32% more than in 2022. The United States, Mexico, and Brazil are the main sources of these travelers, representing more than a third of the total. Additionally, countries such as China, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile, and Mexico showed notable growth in the number of travelers to Colombia.

The most visited cities for meetings are Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla. Meanwhile, in the first two months of 2024, more than 36,900 foreign visitors have arrived for this purpose, which is 22.3% more than in the same period of 2023.

Why Colombia is an ideal destination for hosting events, meetings, and conventions?

Colombia offers multiple reasons to be chosen as an event destination:

1.          International Air Connectivity: With 29 international airlines connecting 11 Colombian cities to 51 cities in 28 countries, in May the country has more than 1,300 weekly frequencies and 242,000 available seats.

2.          Competitive Prices: According to a study by ProColombia and STA Consultores, the cost of organizing an event in Colombia is considerably lower, being 60% more cost effective than in Mexico and 75% more than in the United States.

3.          Event Infrastructure: Colombia has 27 convention centers and 455 hotels with meeting rooms, suitable for large-scale events.

4.          Hosting Experience: The Country of Beauty has hosted important international events such as the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, One Young World, and the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, among others.

5.          Non-Traditional Venues: With 117 unconventional spaces, Colombia offers unique locations for events, ranging from public spaces to historic sites.

6.          High-Quality Accommodations: The hotel infrastructure includes over nine thousand hotels and more than 228,900 available rooms, featuring international brands such as Accor, Hilton, and Marriott.

7.          High-Quality Service: The friendliness and professionalism of Colombians ensure the successful development of events, with unique attention and experience in the meetings industry.

8.          Unique Experiences: Colombia offers transformative, sustainable, and meaningful travel experiences, including but not limited to sensory activities with coffee, fruit tastings, and unique cultural events.

9.          Investment Destination: Colombia stands out for its ability to attract foreign direct investment. There are key sectors such as agribusiness, technology, tourism, manufacturing, and services, among others, that offer a wide range of opportunities for international investors.

For more information, visit:

May 29, 2024
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Reaches Key Milestone Toward Delivery of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance

Toronto—As the latest step in a more connected Toronto, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is pleased to announce the selection of Pomerleau as the construction management firm and Alstef Canada as the baggage handling system provider for facilities work associated with the introduction of United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) Preclearance in late 2025. Executives from the airport, Pomerleau, and Alstef Canada were at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to make the announcement at a media event earlier today.

“We are pleased to welcome Pomerleau and Alstef Canada to the implementation team, and recognize this important milestone in bringing US Preclearance to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in late 2025. As the 5th-busiest Canadian airport serving the US, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is ideally positioned to offer US Preclearance and anticipates significant enhancements to passenger experience, destination offering, and economic impact as a result of the introduction of this service,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “I would like to once again thank the Federal Government for its commitment to the long-term future of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and its investment of $30 million in capital funding to make US Preclearance a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with all levels of government to ensure Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport remains a vital piece of transportation infrastructure and an economic driver for Toronto and the surrounding region well into the future.”

“The benefits of Preclearance have been demonstrated at 15 airports around the world, and recent research by York Aviation indicates that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has the potential to deliver $5.3 billion in economic output through the increased aviation activity that Preclearance will bring about,” said Neil Pakey, President and CEO, Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “Set to open ahead of FIFA 2026, Preclearance fulfils our promise of continually enhancing the passenger experience, and will allow Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to be the front door to Toronto for even more visitors in the years to come.”

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a critical hub for those traveling for business or pleasure throughout North America,” said Sean Smithson, Toronto Regional Vice President at Pomerleau. “Pomerleau is pleased to be delivering this project with our partner Alstef Canada, who will implement the baggage handling system, with mobilization plans well underway. Construction will start mid-July and we look forward to this best-in-class facility going live by fall 2025.”

“We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on this important project,” said Steven Tanguy, Managing Director at Alstef Canada. “Our expertise in completing baggage handling upgrades in operational airports, as demonstrated by the successful completion of 50+ baggage handling projects across Canada, will help ensure seamless integration of US CBP Preclearance processing.”

Beyond increased efficiency and choice for US-bound passengers, US CBP Preclearance drives visitor spend through increased tourism and business activities, boosts employment, and strengthens ties between the United States and Canada. Below are supplementary quotations from stakeholders across Toronto and beyond that highlight the transformative impact that Preclearance will have on the city and the region.

Supplementary quotations:

“Toronto’s downtown airport is an outstanding feature of the value proposition we offer to businesses, visitors, and travellers alike. Having Preclearance to the United States just adds to the convenience and efficiency offered to North American companies looking to access the business, financial, and tech capital of Canada. Congratulations to our colleagues at PortsToronto and Nieuport Aviation for all you do to sell our city to the world.”

  • Stephen Lund, President & CEO, Toronto Global

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport connects our city to key North American markets, international investment, and tourism, currently generating $2.1 billion in GDP. It is a vital part of this city’s transportation infrastructure, one that will only grow in importance as we welcome FIFA, the WNBA and other new opportunities in the coming years. Today’s news demonstrates exciting progress in delivering this much-needed Preclearance facility—another step forward to support the airport’s continued success and downtown’s ongoing economic recovery.”

  • Giles Gherson, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a competitive advantage for Ontario—a critical link between our largest city and communities across Ontario as well as North American business destinations. That’s why the Ontario Chamber of Commerce welcomes today’s announcement to boost the airport’s capacity and capabilities for US preclearance. We have three OCC members to congratulate today: Nieuport Aviation and PortsToronto for their leadership, and Pomerleau for its selection as the construction management firm for this project.”

  • Daniel Tisch, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“As a global destination for major meetings, business, and leisure travelers, Toronto’s air access is a vital competitive advantage. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides strategic connectivity from high-volume U.S. markets, and Preclearance is an important step that will help attract more visitors and the powerful economic impact their visits bring to our community.”

  • Andrew Weir, President and CEO, Destination Toronto

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 100 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway that will offer US Preclearance in 2025. The airport is a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served its community for 85 years from its iconic location on the Toronto waterfront, where it facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is committed to achieving its vision of cleaner, greener and quieter operations, and is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency, and customer service, having won a host of passenger-driven and environmental achievement awards. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto. To learn more, visit

About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $28 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. To learn more, visit

About Nieuport Aviation
Nieuport Aviation is the owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Backed by Canadian and international pension funds and supported by significant international expertise in managing aviation operations, we are committed to world-class customer service for the millions of customers using the airport. In addition to managing the passenger terminal, Nieuport Aviation offers passengers a free bus shuttle service between the airport and downtown Toronto, helping to provide a seamless travel experience. For more information, please visit Since acquiring the airport terminal, Nieuport has invested $60 million in upgrades, recently opening the Aspire Business Lounge for Canadian travellers. Nieuport is further investing in the development of the US Customs pre-clearance facility, to be opened in 2025. For more information, please visit

About Pomerleau
Pomerleau is one of Canada’s largest construction companies, with over $4.8 billion in revenues in 2023. The company delivers buildings, civil and infrastructure works, and major projects using alternative models. With its research and development lab, Pomerleau integrates innovation into more than 70% of its projects and constructs sustainably to build the living environments of tomorrow. Its subsidiary, Borea, executes 50% of the country’s renewable construction projects, and ITC Construction Group, acquired by Pomerleau in 2022, is the largest residential construction company in the West. Pomerleau also owns Pomerleau Capital, a subsidiary specializing in private infrastructure investment and financing. Founded over 60 years ago, Pomerleau has approximately 5,000 employees on over 200 sites from coast to coast. The company has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers since 2020 and one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies.

About Alstef Canada
Alstef Group designs, integrates and supports automated turnkey solutions for the airport, intralogistics and parcel markets. Its mission is to create intelligent solutions that not only meet the needs of its customers, but also provide them with the long-term benefits of a tailor-made automated system that is eco-designed, efficient, scalable and innovative. Alstef Group emphasizes building lasting relationships through collaborative efforts with customers and proactively promotes ongoing support services and maintenance to ensure sustained efficiency and performance of their solutions. With a local presence in sixteen countries and a wide range of systems installed in 93 countries, Alstef Group has 950 employees. The group generated revenue over €220 million in 2023.

Jessica Pellerin, Senior Manager, Communications, PortsToronto

Ryan White, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affair

Source: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

May 28, 2024
Montréal Still Number 1 Destination for International Association Meetings in North America

Montreal/CNW/—Montréal has been crowned the best destination for international association meetings in North America for an eighth consecutive year, according to the prestigious rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which includes some 10,000 events held around the world in 2023.

Montréal is confirming its place as a leading figure in North America based on the total number of events held. Indeed, the city tops the list in the northern hemisphere, ahead of major destinations such as Toronto, Boston, Chicago and Miami, in terms of association delegations welcomed. The city comes second behind Buenos Aires, for the Americas, and 25th in the world, surpassing cities like Sydney, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Kyoto and Munich.

This resounding success is the result of the close collaboration between Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès de Montréal as well as the common vision shared by all of the city's stakeholders. Thanks to their dynamism, their know-how and their dedication to service excellence, these teams have contributed to hosting around thirty major events such as the Annual Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis with 5,300 delegates, the International Council of Nurses World Congress with 4,900 delegates and the InCyber Forum with 2,500 delegates.

When considering the full picture of business tourists in the city, more than 870,000 Canadian and international visitors and delegates were welcomed at the Palais des congrès, in universities and in hotels in 2023. In total, 475 business events took place in Montréal, including 288 at the Palais des congrès alone, contributing to economic impacts of around $425 million for Montréal and Quebec.

"The fact that Montréal is at the top of the list for the eighth consecutive year testifies to the vigor and dedication of the teams at the Palais des congrès and Tourisme Montréal. Business travels is greatly beneficial for the city and the province from an economic point of view, but also in terms of the cross-pollination of scientific knowledge that it allows between our institutions and researchers around the world. I am honored by this recognition, and I congratulate the teams who have allowed us to distinguish ourselves this year again. " – Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

" This recognition not only reflects the expertise of all the players in the Montreal tourism sector but also highlights the commitment of professionals from the scientific, academic, and research sectors with whom we closely collaborate in hosting international association events. By taking place here, these events allow our key industries and their specialists to shine on a global scale. I thank our Ambassadors for their valuable involvement, which helps generate significant economic, intellectual, and social benefits for Montreal and Quebec." – Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
A creative solutions centre and a showcase for the city's spirit and expertise, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has been promoting and hosting large-scale events since 1983. Generating significant economic, social and intellectual benefits, it encourages innovation and acts as a force for progress for both Montréal and Québec. The Palais is firmly committed to sustainability and takes numerous innovative, concrete steps to make it a central component of its business development. With one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, the Palais actively contributes to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city for international events in America for six years in a row.

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. To this end, the organization is piloting innovative hospitality strategies with a two-fold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a memorable experience and maximizing tourism economic spin-offs in a sustainable way with long-term impacts for the city. 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

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

May 27, 2024
Calgary's new hospitality frontier: PBA Group of Companies begins construction on Element Hotel by the Westin through office conversion project

The new hotel aims to enhance the city's Downtown West, setting a benchmark for urban revitalization

Calgary, AB/CNW/—PBA Group of Companies (PBA) and its partner Concord Hospitality have officially started converting the former 12-storey office building, Canadian Centre (833 4th Ave. SW) into an Element Hotel by Westin. PBA saw an opportunity to satisfy the growing demand for additional room capacity in Downtown Calgary and to drive economic impact. As a 226-suite hotel, with fully furnished extended stay units, and a sophisticated design aesthetic, the Element Hotel will offer guests a warm and hospitable experience infused with cultural touches and elevated details. 

"We're honoured to help take one of the first steps in transforming our downtown into a differentiated residential and recreational district that serves as a symbol of progressive inner city planning with this conversion," says James Scott, Senior Vice President, Planning and Development, PBA Group of Companies. "We're proud of our trusted partnership with Concord Hospitality and look forward to continuing the momentum with this novel conversion project which will have a notable impact in the community."

Announced in November as one of the City of Calgary's downtown office conversion partners, the Element Hotel is the first hospitality project as part of the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program. It will remove 170,000 square feet of unused office space from the city's core. This conversion project exemplifies the pivotal role that repurposing buildings plays in advancing sustainability principles within real estate, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and urban revitalization – two key priorities in building resiliency in Calgary's downtown community.

By offering extended-stay hotel units, PBA is adding to a range of choices within the hospitality sector, while supporting Calgary's greater economic transition and welcoming a diverse mix of people to the downtown core. This development is expected to introduce a best-in-class model of flexible hospitality into the downtown market. Embracing a sustainable, nature-inspired aesthetic, the hotel offers expansive studios and one-bedroom suites, which are outfitted with fully equipped in-room kitchens, spa-inspired bathrooms and the Priority Bicycles program, where hotel guests can borrow bikes free of charge during their stay.  

Infusing flexibility and convenience for groups, the Element brand pioneers a unique communal space known as Studio Commons. Centred around four guest rooms, this innovative concept promotes community by allowing guests to cook, gather and unwind together within shared kitchen and living room areas, fostering a sense of togetherness and relaxation.

"Coming off the success of our first hotel development, The Dorian, this project brings a particular level of excitement for us at PBA as we look to create another dynamic, Calgary-centric property, but this time, in the west end of downtown, where our company began its nearly 60-year history," says Scott. "Projects like this will help inject vitality into the community and contribute to Calgary's reputation as a global city."

Element Hotel by Westin Development Profile 

Building Overview: The building is a 12-floor, 170,000-square-foot office building constructed in 1982. PBA is converting the building's existing office space and common areas into 226 fully appointed hotel suites, dining facilities and hotel guest amenities. 

Location: As a gateway to Calgary's city centre, the Element Hotel is located on the west edge of Calgary's downtown core. Earmarked as an emerging hub, it offers convenient accessibility via transit, car, walking or biking. Its optimal location provides immediate proximity to the picturesque Bow River, versatile multi-use pathways and the West Eau Claire Park, the 8th Street urban improvement corridor and stunning views overlooking the iconic Louise Bridge and Kensington Village area. 


  • An elevated lobby lounge and café: Featuring a clean, modern aesthetic where hotel guests and passersby will feel welcome to settle in and capture the character of Calgary's downtown while enjoying high-quality, specialty coffee using local and artisanal ingredients.
  • An upscale casual dining experience on the 12th floor: Located just blocks away from the Bow River, the rooftop restaurant boasts a striking view and promises a distinctive ambiance that seamlessly blends urban innovation with nature's beauty. The menu showcases the finest ingredients from Alberta, featuring an elevated twist on dry-aged elements, delicious shareables and bites, craft cocktails and a selection of local beers.
  • Common areas: Promoting a sense of community, guests will have access to various shared spaces to cook, gather and unwind within shared kitchen and living room areas.
  • Meeting rooms: Guests can access meeting rooms for all their business and work needs to promote flexibility and convenience.
  • State-of-the-art Fitness Centre: Embracing the spirit of Calgary's active lifestyle, guests can access premium fitness equipment and movement space to make the most of their stay.

Sustainability and Value-add Features: 

  • Use of recycled materials in design and construction
  • The project has diverted 572,000kg of demolition waste from the landfill, which equates to 65 percent of the project's total demolition waste.
  • Water conservation through low-flow fixtures
  • Vehicle charging stations
  • Motion Fitness Centre
  • Bikes to borrow

With Tourism Calgary forecasting to welcome 8.7 million visitors in 2024 and $3.2 billion in tourism revenue for the local economy, new hospitality options like the Element Hotel will help cater to the increase in tourism and the diverse preferences of travellers. PBA continues to honour its mission of building possibility and community by offering a range of hospitality options that meaningfully contribute to the transformation of Calgary's downtown and the sustained growth and prosperity of the city's tourism industry.

Demolition is completed, with construction now underway, and project completion slated for the summer of 2025.

To learn more about PBA's latest development, visit:

About PBA Group of Companies
PBA Group of Companies (PBA) is a full-spectrum real estate company based in Calgary, Alberta, providing integrated commercial real estate solutions. PBA envisions a world in which their partners connect through shared values and inspire a new sense of discovery and identity in the communities they touch. PBA's mission is to connect people every day to make space for dreams. Celebrating over six decades in operation, PBA takes pride in being women-owned and led. In 2021, PBA expanded its offerings by introducing a hospitality portfolio with the unveiling of The Dorian, a $110 million, 27-storey, dual-brand Marriott Autograph Collection and Courtyard Marriott hotel. Recognized globally as one of North America's premier hotels by Fodor's Travel, The Dorian has received numerous accolades for its exceptional design, culinary offerings and guest experience. Looking ahead, PBA remains committed to creating vibrant communities that both its partners and tenants take pride in calling home.

SOURCE PBA Group of Companies

May 24, 2024
New IRF Attendee Preference Study Reports Most Motivating Destinations and Program Design Elements

According to a recent IRF survey of North American employees, the appeal of group incentive travel remains strong. A group incentive travel experience to an appealing destination was rated ‘very’ or ‘extremely motivating’ by 91% of respondents for the third year in a row. 2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel explores trends in attendee preferences, factors in destination selection, and how incentive travel program design can impact employee motivation.

“The motivational impact of incentive award travel remains high, and attendees find appeal in a broad array of destinations, program attributes, and trip features,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF President. “The insights provided by attendees will ensure incentive planners can feel confident in designing programs that capture the interest and enthusiasm of their attendees while balancing their budgetary and business realities.”

2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel looks at destinations and program design to determine the elements that provide maximum inspiration to earn the award. Key insights include:

  • Motivational appeal of group travel continues to be extremely high, especially among Gen Z and Millennials, and signals the continued relevance of incentive travel programs.
  • 2024’s top North American destinations preferred by qualified employees include past favorites such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Florida.
  • Preferred international locations include countries in Western Europe and Central America.
  • Incentive travel attendees want free time to relax, opportunities for unique experiences, and luxury accommodations and experiences.
  • Previously visited destinations that qualified employees recommend returning to for incentive award travel include Hawaii, The Caribbean, Central America, and Western Europe.
  • Attendees are excited about cruising, with 75% indicating a cruise experience is desirable regardless of the destination.
  • Cvent booking data illustrates Mexico and The Caribbean are still trending high for incentive destinations with nine out of the top ten booking destinations being in those regions.

To download the full study and white paper, visit the 2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel webpage

Source: Incentive Research Foundation

May 24, 2024
Bingemans Catering Becomes First Canadian Caterer to Join Elite Catering & Event Professionals

Kitchener, ON—Bingemans Catering, is the first Canadian caterer to be accepted into the membership of Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP), a remarkable achievement in culinary excellence to be included as peers alongside these titans of the catering hospitality world.

Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP) is a by-invitation, international organization that recognizes caterers and industry leaders with exceptional standards of quality and service.

With stringent criteria and a rigorous selection process, ECEP membership is reserved for the best of the best in the hospitality industry worldwide.

"We are thrilled and honoured to be the first Canadian catering company welcomed into Elite Catering & Event Professionals," said Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. "This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our team and our unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect of our service.” 

As a member of Elite Catering & Event Professionals, Bingemans Catering gains access to a global network of top-tier catering professionals, industry resources, and cutting-edge insights to further elevate its offerings and set new standards of excellence while utilizing these resources for the benefit of our clients here in Ontario and beyond.

Sales Director Laurie Schell states, “Joining ECEP opens up exciting opportunities for us to collaborate with industry leaders and continue raising the bar for catering excellence nationally and beyond.”

For more information about Elite Catering & Event Professionals, please visit ECEP's official website.

About Bingemans
Waterloo Region’s leader in hospitality and tourism, Bingemans is the entertainment destination, multi-use amusement park, camping resort, full-service caterer, and conference centre located in Kitchener, Ontario. With so many year-round entertainment options for the whole family, you are guaranteed to create memories to last a lifetime. Make a splash at our Big Splash waterpark, featuring a heated wave pool, Spray “n” Play for kids and huge waterslides. Explore FunworX all year long with a three-level indoor playground for children of all ages, an arcade, a suspended ropes course and more. The camping resort features campsites for tents, trailers and RVs, seasonal camping, log cabins, container cabins and a new luxury container cabin. Bingemans is also home to Canada’s largest Boston Pizza, 28 lanes of 10-pin bowling at Kingpin Bowling, Ontario’s only augmented reality bowling experience and state-of-the-art arcade games. Get competitive with a round of mini golf or try your luck with Axe Throwing or EscapeworX escape rooms. Celebrate North America’s largest Bavarian celebration at Bingemans’ Oktoberfest and experience Canada’s most terrifying attraction, Screampark. Create memories with a team of event professionals by your side and host your next social or corporate event at one of our featured venues or catered by our exceptional culinary team. With over 80 years in operation, we are your destination for a grand experience.

About Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP)
Elite Catering + Event Professionals (ECEP) was founded in 2021 by industry experts and leaders from the world's top catering and hospitality organizations, united by a common goal of propelling the global catering and events industry forward through innovation and bold new ideas. The collaborative global network represents a powerful voice in the market with more than $615 million in annual revenue among them.

 For more information on ECEP and its members, please visit

May 23, 2024
VIA Rail Unveils its Plan to Transform Passenger Rail in Canada

Montreal/CNW/—Mario Péloquin, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail), unveiled today the Corporation's strategic plan: VIAction 2030. Through this ambitious plan based on concrete objectives, VIA Rail aims to become a best-in-class operator in North America and a leader in integrated mobility at the heart of the passenger journey in Canada.

Among its 2030 objectives, VIA Rail is committed to:

  • Generating savings equivalent to 15% of its operating deficit;
  • Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2005;
  • Increasing its capacity by 18%.

"Canada was built by rail, and I fundamentally believe in the transformative potential of this industry," said Mario Péloquin. "I have the ambition to act now to create meaningful change for our passengers, and this plan gives us a clear roadmap which allows us to aim higher and transform the way we operate."

The train is the way to the future to, among other things, meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Over the past five years, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 billion in the modernization of VIA Rail, including the replacement of its Québec City – Windsor corridor fleet to offer a more modern, comfortable, and accessible travel experience. This strategic plan is the logical next step of this major modernization effort and will allow VIA Rail to open the next chapter of its history.

"The five pillars of this plan will enable us, among other things, to improve our operations through innovation and continuous improvement and to collaborate with the various players of the transportation industry to better serve Canadians from coast to coast. Thanks to this five-year strategy, we are convinced that even more people will choose the train as the comfortable, sustainable and accessible transportation solution," said Vanessa Cherenfant, Chief Strategy Officer.

VIA Rail has already initiated efforts on several central aspects of this plan and is well positioned to meet its objectives.

  • New trains from coast to coast: the federal government's latest budget confirmed support for VIA Rail to replace its long-distance, regional, and remote trains across the country. Over the coming years, our passengers from coast to coast will be able to enjoy new modern and comfortable trains meeting the highest accessibility standards.
  • Integrated mobility at the heart of our vision: VIA Rail aims to position itself as a unifying force for integrated mobility in the country, particularly by contributing to the integration of its stations with the cities' various transportation networks and by helping densify surrounding neighbourhoods.
  • Always improving the customer journey: As part of this plan, VIA Rail wants to improve its service and offer the best passenger experience by, for example, meeting the diverse accessibility needs of its customers and offering one of the first zero-waste experiences on board a train in the world.

To learn more about our strategic plan, we invite you to visit our website:

About VIA Rail
VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to operate the national passenger rail service on behalf of the Government of Canada, and to provide a safe, accessible, efficient, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally responsible service that meets the needs of Canadian passengers. VIA Rail operates intercity trains connecting over 400 communities across Canada and ensuring rail transportation services to regional and remote communities. The Corporation safely transported over four million passengers in 2023 and has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada. For more, visit our website:  

Follow VIA Rail
Twitter @VIA_rail
Facebook: viarailcanada
Instagram: @viarailcanada
VIA: the blog

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

May 23, 2024
Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Takes Steps to Develop a Headquarters Hotel

New Orleans—The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (the Authority) has approved two resolutions critical to moving forward with the development of a 1,000-room headquarters hotel for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC). In addition to accepting a formal letter of intent (LOI) with Omni Hotels & Resorts (Omni) to own and operate the headquarters hotel, today the Authority voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement for property at Convention Center Boulevard and Andrew Higgins Boulevard. The site, currently operated as the Sugar Mill event venue, is immediately across the street from the Convention Center and is the preferred site for the new headquarters hotel.  

“In case anyone needed another reason to travel to New Orleans, this is it. I am ecstatic that the Authority has taken the next step to develop a new hotel for the New Orleans Convention Center. My sincere thanks goes to Omni Hotels & Resorts, the Authority, and all who worked to make this a reality. This hotel will bring more people and events to our State, and it gives us greater opportunity to showcase all that New Orleans has to offer,” said Governor Jeff Landry.

The hotel will be strategically positioned to help attract events that have previously passed on New Orleans because the city lacks a modern, upscale headquarters hotel adjacent to the Convention Center. Having a new headquarters hotel will increase New Orleans' destination appeal nationally and regionally, bringing opportunities for continued growth and success for the city, region and state. This important asset will help meet a growing demand in the contemporary meetings market and strengthen New Orleans’ position as a top-tier meeting and events destination – one that is Built to Host.

“Today’s votes signal the Authority’s approval to move forward with a plan that will finally give New Orleans the new, dedicated headquarters hotel it deserves. This is the right time, at the right place and with the right partner,” said Russell Allen, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority President. “Partnering with Omni Hotels & Resorts will help us transform this visionary concept into a reality and seize a unique opportunity to propel our community forward while making a lasting impact on our economic landscape.”

Consideration of a headquarters hotel began several years ago and has been closely evaluated for nearly a decade.

“The Authority’s actions take us one step closer to attracting the trade shows, conventions and events that only an adjacent headquarters hotel can,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President and CEO. “It will introduce a new market and mean more events, bring more jobs, generate new demand for rooms for other hotels in the market and more spending at local restaurants and other businesses. Building a headquarters hotel will be transformative for New Orleans tourism and realize a vision many years in the making.”

Omni has been the Authority’s selected partner since 2018 and a leading expert in convention center headquarters hotels, having seven similar properties it has developed in other cities, all exceeding expectations. Omni demonstrates its commitment to deliver the hotel by investing $500 million to finance the project.

“We are excited to begin negotiations with the Authority, as we work together to develop the new Convention Center headquarter hotel in New Orleans. Omni Hotels & Resorts is a recognized leader in the convention center hotel market, and we excel at developing hotels that reflect the dynamic local culture of a destination. The City of New Orleans is a premier destination and an American treasure, so we are thrilled at the prospect of creating a hotel that embodies its character and culture,” said Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  “Our vision is to create memorable experiences inspired by the heart and soul of a destination, and we look forward to collaborating with the Authority as well as the government and business leaders of New Orleans toward this end and to further cement New Orleans’ position as a world-class convention and major-event destination,” added Alexander.

With today’s actions, the Authority clears the way for a project that will support approximately 1,100 permanent jobs, generate roughly $282 million in annual impact on the local economy and add a combined $24 million in annual tax revenue for the city and the state.

Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, the official destination sales and marketing organization for the New Orleans tourism industry added, “Today’s action will make New Orleans’ an even more competitive destination for meetings and conventions.  New Orleans is Built to Host, but it’s critical that we develop new product offerings to remain competitive, especially when cities such as Las Vegas, Dallas, Nashville, Austin Orlando and others are making significant investments in new hotels, convention centers and major tourist attractions.  We are grateful for Omni Hotels & Resorts’ investment in New Orleans. This new hotel will generate jobs for our residents, strengthen Louisiana’s economy, create more business for existing hotels and companies across the community that thrive when we have a robust convention calendar.”

Negotiations will continue and conclude with final agreements being ready for the Authority to review and consider at the end of 2024. Design and construction will begin in 2025, with an expected opening in 2028-2029.  

About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority
The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, ten appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC)
New Orleans is Built to Host! With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space on one level, all under one roof, NOENMCC is the sixth largest Convention Center in the United States and provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. NOENMCC is a 2023 IAVM Venue Excellence recipient and is consistently named a regional top workplace by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Our recent LEED Gold certification makes NOENMCC the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana and the largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, as well as the first convention center in the world to be awarded initial certification under LEED Gold v4.1 O+M. A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, NOENMCC event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts:
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct hotels and resorts in the most popular leisure and business destinations across the United States, as well as in Canada. With 26 iconic golf courses, including multiple short courses, 25 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination.  Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA of America. For information or to book accommodations, visit or call 1-800-The-Omni.

May 22, 2024
Driving a sustainable future: a Journey to Tomorrow

IHG Hotels & Resorts calls for collaboration across the hospitality industry, as it reiterates commitment to doing business responsibly

Responsible for one in 10 jobs and contributing more than $7.7 trillion to the world’s GDP, the travel and hospitality industry supports economies across the globe by helping local communities to thrive. And it’s growing, with more than one billion international travellers last year and even more forecast to follow.

Of all hospitality’s long-term drivers, perhaps the greatest is people’s fundamental desire to travel – whether it’s for leisure, business, or both (“blended” travellers are also on the up). It’s what makes us human; travelling to meet family and friends in person, and creating memories, together.

The scale of our industry provides us with an important opportunity to make a positive impact on our world. But it comes with a challenge – the need to adapt our existing infrastructure to be more sustainable and ensure that, as we continue to grow, we do so in the right way.

At IHG Hotels & Resorts, that’s what we’re focused on. After all, caring for our people, communities and planet has been at the heart of what we do for many years; it’s how we operate and it’s what we’re known for. And it’s why we’re a proud partner of Vision 2045.

With more than 6,300 hotels across the globe, we value our opportunity to positively impact the lives of millions every day, supporting local economies, helping build prosperity and acting as a force for good in those communities. All while understanding the heightened expectations of our hotel owners, guests, colleagues and investors when it comes to the relationship between business and the ESG agenda.

At the centre of our actions is Journey to Tomorrow – IHG’s 2030 responsible business plan, aligned to our purpose of True Hospitality for Good and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Within it are wide-ranging commitments to champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive, improve the lives of 30 million people, and help protect our planet through the reduction of carbon, waste and water usage.

We’re proud of the progress we’re making – as depicted in our annual Responsible Business Report – but recognise that one company can’t do it alone. It requires a collective effort to make a net positive impact at scale, so we’re collaborating to achieve long-term change – such as with our hotel owners, who we’re supporting in many ways, including with guidance and tools to measure sustainability metrics.

When it comes to our guests, we’re just as committed, offering them more sustainable choices when they stay in our hotels. Collaboration with expert organisations is also vital, and we’re supporting those responding to natural disasters, delivering skills training and tackling food poverty across the globe.

But if we want to drive large scale change, it’s vital that businesses, trade bodies and governments also work together. So we’re playing an active role here, too, such as by co-ordinating our efforts with the World Travel & Tourism Council, and supporting the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

As IHG and our industry continue to grow, so does the opportunity in front of us. By working together in the right way, we’ll make a sustainable difference for generations to come.

About IHG
IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,300 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a development pipeline of over 2,000 properties.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 375,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG One Rewards. To download the IHG One Rewards app, visit the Apple App or Google Play stores.

For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedIn.

May 14, 2024
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in Yorkville Elevates Luxury Experience with Newly Redesigned Rooms and Suites

Toronto, CanadaFour Seasons Hotel Toronto announces the completion of an extensive, multimillion dollar guest room renovation, enhancing the luxury experience for its guests from around the world. With a focus on elevating comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, the redesign encompasses all 259 guest rooms including 42 suites within the Hotel.

“We have an unwavering commitment to providing guests and residents with the best luxury experience in Toronto, and this fresh, holistic update has surpassed all expectations,” states Shahid Khan, owner of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. “We ensured that every detail was considered, and refined many iterations of the model room until it was absolutely perfect. It is important to reinvest in Four Seasons Hotel Toronto through the elevation of our guest room product and experience, and this organic and warm update underscores our promise to offering the preeminent Hotel in the market.”

The importance of maintaining the Hotel's distinct architectural character was paramount, and the refresh introduced many enhancements while respecting the existing design framework. Every aspect of the rooms and suites has been meticulously reconsidered, from carpets to furnishings, lighting to artwork. All furniture has been designed and manufactured in Canada, utilizing local artisans and fabrics throughout the rooms.

Patrick Pollak, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, expresses his enthusiasm for the new rooms and suites, stating, "We are thrilled to unveil our newly renovated rooms and suites, which reflect our unwavering commitment to excellence and providing guests a luxurious experience with genuine heart. This revitalization represents a significant investment in enhancing the guest stay, ensuring that every moment at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is nothing short of exceptional."

The design inspiration behind the remodel draws from Toronto's unique juxtaposition of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Colours and textures celebrate the distinctly Canadian surrounding landscape, while furniture designs and surface patterns bring forth the energizing asymmetry found in the natural world. Local artists play a pivotal role in the aesthetic narrative of the renovated rooms and suites. Works by Canadian artists such as Emma Enright, Dahae Song, Deborah Moss, and Andrea Soos adorn the walls, adding a distinctive touch of regional flair to the guest experience.

DesignAgency led the design and creative vision, infusing the rooms with a sense of timeless elegance and contemporary sophistication. The aim was to create an environment that seamlessly blends the urban vibrancy of Toronto with the tranquil beauty of its natural surroundings. Every design element was carefully considered to evoke a sense of harmony and sophistication, providing guests with an elevated experience that resonates with the spirit of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

Adding to the allure of the newly redesigned spaces are several thoughtful additions. Guests now enjoy programmable temperature control kettles by Corvo, Nespresso machines, press steamers in every room, and exclusive wine labels sourced from the nearby Niagara wine region. Technological upgrades include a new dimmable, LED and energy efficient Lutron lighting system, automated drapes, and increased power outlets throughout the rooms. Wireless chargers are available at each nightstand, ensuring convenience and connectivity for modern travellers.

The bespoke private bar, aptly named "MyBar," has been thoughtfully curated to include a selection of local products, showcasing the best of Canadian craftsmanship and culinary delights. Guests may indulge in artisanal SOMA chocolate crafted in Toronto, Covered Bridge potato chips from New Brunswick, and organic, Nos Cananes pure maple syrup from Quebec, offering a taste of Canada to take home and enjoy. Additionally, guests can choose from a variety of wellness beverages, including Sap Sucker maple sap sparkling water, hibiscus and rose hips Rise Kombucha brewed in Montreal, and Nom Nom nitro cold brew coffee from a local Toronto coffee roastery. In the suites, guests may enjoy a seasonally updated Manhattan cocktail kit featuring house made ingredients including infused Canadian rye, vermouth and bitters curated by Four Seasons mixologists with the flavours of the season.  

In addition to the guest rooms and suites, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto has previously renovated public spaces ensuring a cohesive and seamlessly updated guest experience throughout the property. With the completion of this renovation project, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto reaffirms its commitment to providing unparalleled luxury and hospitality, inviting guests to indulge in a refined retreat amid the vibrant heart of Toronto.

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is offering up to CAD 400 per day in Hotel credit with the Experience More package. For more information or to make a reservation, click here.

Source: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

May 14, 2024
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Proudly Announces New Hotel and Restaurant Openings

Toronto, ON—The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is delighted to announce exciting new Grand Cayman hotel and restaurant openings including luxury eco-adventure resort, VIDA Cayman Islands, the all-new Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman, as well as newly renovated guest rooms at the beloved Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The new properties and renovations are complemented by several recent restaurant openings and a recent increase in non-stop airlift from Toronto to Grand Cayman. With so many new experiences in the Caribbean hotpot, there’s no better time to visit than 2024. Newly opened and renovated hotels include:

VIDA Cayman

Opened on April 1, 2024 , VIDA Cayman is a luxury, boutique hotel where eco-adventure and wellness meet elegant accommodations, warm hospitality and world-class facilities. Located off-the-beaten-path on Grand Cayman’s western tip, the 12-suite property is immersed in the natural beauty of Barkers National Park where guests have the chance to explore secluded wilderness, adrenaline-fueled adventure and the opportunity to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. VIDA sets itself apart with its genuine commitment to sustainability as evidenced by its environmental practices, socially responsible programming and economic support of the local community. 

VIDA's sanctuary-like suites offer large, sea view, decks and patios as well as the possibility to unwind with in-room spa treatments. The property is a playground equipped with best in class amenities including a pool set amongst tranquil local foliage, stillness and movement decks, a modern gym, private chef services, push bikes and e-bikes, outdoor hot tub and outdoor fire pit. Rounding out VIDA's amenities is its onsite eatery, Nourishshowcasing the local flavours and ingredients that capture the essence of the Cayman Islands. Nourish offers daily breakfast (included in room rates) and  lunch. Come dinner, guests can book special food experiences such as farm-to-fork dinners or holistic cooking classes led by locally loved Chef Maureen Cubbon. With a full range of weekly scheduled movement sessions ranging from meditations to yoga, to kite surfing to cycling trails, nature guided runs and sunrise kitesurfing sessions there is truly something for everyone to at VIDA. Rooms at VIDA start from $550.00USD per night.

Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman

Now accepting reservations for June 1, 2024, Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman is the first Hotel Indigo in the Caribbean and the newest property along the celebrated Seven Mile Beach strip. A unique oasis enhanced by local elements, bohemian design, and attentive service, the property will feature 282 guest rooms and suites, a multi-concept epicurean hub for dining, outdoor deck with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, over 7,500 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as the island's first rooftop lounge, which will feature innovative cocktails and Latin-inspired fare.

The hotel’s design incorporates Grand Cayman's unique culture, embodying the island's lush topography through warm and cool color palettes. Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman’s art and design pay tribute to the island's natural landscapes, historical figures, and cultural traditions, featuring hand-made pottery vessels and curated artwork by local Caymanian and Caribbean artists. This vision has already garnered accolades, winning the Cayman Islands Hotel Architecture Award and the Cayman Islands New Hotel Construction & Design Award for 2023-2024. 

The hotel’s culinary hub offers five new dining concepts, each catering to different occasions. Cafe Aula is the ideal breakfast spot with a selection of fresh coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks while those seeking cold poolside refreshments, fresh, locally sourced seafood and craft cocktails and dinner plates will enjoy Pom Pom rooftop bar. Catalina's seasonal menu showcases the island’s freshest ingredients throughout its clean, vibrant cuisine inspired by the tastes of California while Milkberry is the place for fresh sushi rolls and Asian-inspired small plates. Rasa caps the dining collection with its one-of-a-kind exhibition kitchen exploring the richest international culinary traditions throughout its global fare enjoyed through tasting menus. Rooms start from $474.00USD per night.

Grand Cayman Marriott Resort

Due for completion during summer 2024, Grand Cayman Marriott Resort has embarked on an exciting journey of re-imagining its beloved facilities which have captured the hearts of so many over the years. The hotel's 301 guestrooms are nearing completion of top-to-bottom renovations that will seamlessly bring accommodations into harmony with the endless summer vibes of the property's beloved front of house. Inspired by Grand Cayman’s natural environment of clear waters and white sandy beaches, guestrooms rooms will be infused with sea blue, sand, and wood tones capped with plush Kings and double Queen beds. The breathtaking landscape inspired palette will be rounded out with bespoke, high-quality furnishings and upgraded technology and lighting. In addition to standard guestrooms, the property includes 15 Junior Suites upgraded to include a residential feel with defined sitting areas. The resort has also added four all-new Family Suites, furnished with bunk beds and a King bed for families looking for a fun and unique stay. Two new, one-bedroom Ocean Suites round out the accommodation offerings. The renovations will ensure a holistic summer house setting throughout the entire property and that Grand Cayman Marriott Resort continues to serve as a place where guests can relax, unwind, and reconnect. Room rates start from $304.00USD per night.

“The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is thrilled to see so many new hotel and dining options come to fruition which feels like the true sign of fully emerging from the effects of the pandemic,” said Raymond Mathias, Business Development Manager for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “We saw Canadians return to the destination in droves in 2023 and we’re excited to offer even more product that will serve their keen interest in sun, sand and sea fueled by beauty, adventure, sustainability and luxury.”

In addition to the healthy fare at VIDA's Nourish and the new dining concepts at Hotel Indigo, Grand Cayman's local and seasonal restaurant scene has grown to include newcomers Fresca and Island Naturals The Grove. Travellers visiting Cayman and looking for lighter fare will enjoy the all-new Fresca which prides itself on simplicity, fresh ingredients, great vibes and good food spanning smoothies, bowls and plates traversing Caymanian and global culinary traditions. The Island Naturals brand is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the recent opening of its new location at The Grove, a trendy new residential and retail complex along Seven Mile Beach. Island Naturals is locally loved for its colourful menu filled with nourishing smoothies, bowls, baked goods and plates that defy expectations of what “health” looks like. While the original location focuses on vegetarian and vegan fare, Island Naturals The Grove has introduced some healthful fish, meat and even cocktails and mocktails to its menu. 

For more information please visit

About the Cayman Islands
A quick, 4-hour, nonstop from Toronto, and located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for discriminating travellers, divers, honeymooners and families. Known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, world renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognised as a sophisticated, diverse and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to or call your local travel agent.

Media inquiries:
Mindy Cummings or Hannah Rastrick /

May 14, 2024
IRF and SITE, along with research partner Oxford Economics, launch 2024 edition of incentive travel survey

Long acknowledged as the industry’s most comprehensive and globally extensive survey, ITI is back in the field to capture the state of the incentive travel nation for 2024 and beyond

Frankfurt—Incentive Research Foundation IRF) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), along with research partner Oxford Economics, are proud to announce the 2024 edition of their joint survey of the global incentive travel market.

Now in its seventh year, the Incentive Travel Index (ITI) is the business event industry’s most authoritative study of the global incentive travel market and its impact on corporations, agencies and the supply chain in destinations.

"The Incentive Travel Index is our industry’s flagship global survey, providing insights from both source markets and destinations. The ITI is an important roadmap for our rapidly evolving industry, disclosing the threats and opportunities that lie ahead and providing indispensable direction as we navigate our way to the future," said Stephanie Harris, President, Incentive Research Foundation. "We are thrilled to once again collaborate with SITE on the ITI, and look forward to presenting this year’s results to the industry at IMEX America in October 2024." 

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, CEO of SITE, further commented, "This year, with vital input at the design stage from our global community, we’re going deeper with some lines of enquiry, providing more detail and clarity in the survey questions. While the survey will continue to pose the perennial questions around who, how, where and why, it will also focus on today’s emerging themes and the impact for incentive travel now, and in the future, of AI and technology; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as sustainability; geo-political instability; workplace changes; and inflation.”

The ITI survey is live between May 14 and July 25 and is available in English and Spanish.

Further details may be found on the ITI website and on the IRF and SITE homepages.

For further information, please contact:

Stephanie Harris
President, IRF

Aran Ryan
Director, Oxford Economics

Pádraic Gilligan 
Head of Marketing, SITE 

About Incentive Travel
Incentive travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the business events industry, with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain.

Accounting for about 7% of all business events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2023) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $112 billion globally.

About IRF
The Incentive Research Foundation ( funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.

About SITE
Founded in 1973, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is a professional association of 2,750 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain.

May 14, 2024
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Welcomes Susan Richardson as Vice President of Sales

Toronto, ON—The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Richardson to the role of Vice President of Sales, effective June 10th. Richardson joins the MTCC after serving as Vice President of Meeting and Conventions at Visit Detroit.

During her tenure at Visit Detroit, Susan led innovative sales initiatives that successfully helped reintroduce Detroit to the meetings and conventions market. Prior to this, she was the Director of Sales and Marketing Solutions at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, where she played a pivotal role in formulating the sales and marketing strategy for the Javits Center’s expansion in 2021.

Richardson has demonstrated strong experience managing international group sales initiatives, showcasing her robust ability to operate on a global scale. With a proven track record of success in sales and the hospitality industry spanning almost three decades, Richardson is poised to be a valuable leader at the MTCC.

“We are thrilled to welcome Susan Richardson to the MTCC team,” said Ron Pellerine, Interim President & CEO at the Metro Convention Centre. “Her wealth of knowledge and extensive sales leadership experience will propel the success of our sales team even further.”

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre:
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada’s number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 40 years, the Centre has hosted over 22,000 events and has added over $9.2 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit

Media contact: Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist:

May 13, 2024
Meet the 2024 Canadian Event Awards Recipients

We're Proud to Announce the Recipients of the 27th Annual Canadian Event Awards 

The 2024 award recipients were announced on May 8 at the spectacular Gala presented by Chair-man Mills and hosted by La Primavera Event Space.  The evening was filled with incredible performances produced by Cirque Revolution, stunning aesthetics by Stardust Events, production, staging and audio visual by Spotlight AV, augmented reality and interactive media by Awe-Nest, production by Eclectic Events and many more wonderful moments provided by our partners. 

A special thanks to hosts Shirley Happening and Rayn, the 2024 awards jury and everyone who contributed to this year's awards.  A gallery of event images will be posted online shortly.

2024 Award Recipients

The Gala, presented by Chair-man Mills, was held on May 8 at the beautiful La Primavera Event Space. Four hundred event professionals from across Canada attended this fabulous and chic affair. Thank you to all our amazing event partners, our sponsors, performers, team, and the venue for their support in making this community celebration a success. Please watch our social pages and magazine website,, for all the coverage.

Best Event By An In-House Team (Venue, Corporate or NFP)
♦ Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Toronto, ON, Toronto Maple Leafs Outdoor Practice

Best Event by an Association Board or Committee
♦ TIAO – Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Ontario Tourism Summit 2023

Best Conference – Social and Community Impact
♦ Bob, Montreal, QC, Dream the Impossible 2023
♦ CanPlan Event & Conference Services Inc., Richmond Hill, ON, 18th Deafblind International World Conference

Best Conference – Innovation in Industry
♦ Charlie & Sprocket Inc., Toronto, ON, Ripple Swell Global

Best Brand or Product Launch
♦ Bond Brand Loyalty, Toronto, ON, Mr. Porter’s House Party

Best Private Experiential Marketing Event
♦ YBIMC Inc., Toronto, ON, Kenada: Barbie Movie Fan Event
♦ prspktvMEDIA, Toronto, ON and Tania Pollack Design, Vaughan, ON, Snapchat FASHION HAUS at the CAFA Gala

Best Public Experiential Marketing Event
♦ Citizen Experiential and Citizen Relations, Toronto, ON, Vizzybility Booth Experience

Best Event for a Community-Based Non-Profit
♦ hala inc., Toronto, ON, Reconnect 2023: Community Foundations Conference Kick-Off Event

Best Event for a High Profile Non-Profit
♦ Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala – Teddy Bear Affair

Best Small-Scale Fundraising Event
♦ Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Ice Crystal Gala 2023

Best Large-Scale Fundraising Event
♦ OneWest Event Design & Production, Calgary, AB, L23K

Best Technical Support for an Event
♦ AV-CANADA INC., Mississauga, ON, and CanPlan Event & Conference Services Inc., Richmond Hill, ON, Deafblind International World Conference

Best Audio Visual for an Event
♦ bb Blanc, Vaughan, ON, Honda of Canada Manufacturing 2023 Holiday Party

Best Private Social Event
♦ Fab Fête Event Planning Boutique and Rock Paper Events, Thornhill, ON, Josh’s Bar Mitzvah

Best Cultural Event
♦ Niagara Casinos, Niagara Falls, ON, Fallsview Casino Resort Lunar New Year – Year of the Rabbit
♦ Reveal Events Group Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC, and GO2 Productions, Vancouver, BC, Aurora Spirits

Best Event For a City or Municipality – Community Impact
♦ City of Surrey and MRG Events Ltd., Vancouver, BC, Surrey Fusion Festival

Best Event For a City or Municipality – Cultural & Heritage
♦ Moore Carlyle Consulting and MCC Destination Management, Toronto, ON, 2023 Carbon Neutral City Alliance Annual Meeting in Toronto

Best Market, Fair or Festival
♦ Brandlive, Vancouver, BC and Squamish Nation, Squamish, BC, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation 100th Amalgamation Day Festival 2023

Best Event By an Academic Institution
♦ McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, McMaster Welcome

Best Corporate Team Building Event
♦ Sénik The Event Agency, Montréal, QC, 2023 MAXI Chef’s Challenge

Best Trade Show Booth, Display or Pavilion Design
♦ TK Events, Oakville, ON, Dell Technologies at Siggraph

Most Creative Floral Design
♦ Flower Artistry and Lynn Fletcher Weddings, Calgary, AB, A Dance in the Clouds

Most Creative Table Design
♦ Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, White Rock, BC, Alice – Curiouser & Curiouser – The Peace Arch Hospital Gala

Best Event Design/Decor Under $50,000
♦ Nulink Events, Ancaster, ON, BayBiebs World

Best Event Design/ Decor $50,000 – $150,000
♦ Fête Chinoise (PALETTERA INC.), Markham, ON, Fête Chinoise 2023 Lunar New Year Signature Gala + Showcase

Best Event Design/ Decor $150,000 +
♦ Decor and More, Oakville, ON, and Fluid Events, Toronto, ON, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala – Teddy Bear Affair 2023

Best Corporate Event Under $150,000
♦ Vocation Events Inc. Westmount, QC, 70s Roller Disco – Corporate Holiday Party

Best Corporate Event $150,000 – $450,000
♦ The Concierge Club, Toronto, ON, and SCA ( Sinclair Creative Agency Inc)., Collingwood, ON, Canadian Women Entrepreneur Industry Gala (CWE’s )

Best Corporate Event $450,000 – $750,000
♦ Citizen Experiential and Citoyen, Toronto, ON, Groupe Touchette- 2023 Innovation Summit

Best Corporate Event $750,000 – $1M
♦ OPC Événements, Montréal, QC, SNC-Lavalin rebranding to AtkinsRéalis : Employee Reveal

Best Corporate Event $1M+
♦ Debonair Corporate Events, The Creative Connoisseur and Events by Dionne, Toronto, ON, Multifamily Conference

Best Wedding Creative
♦ Fab Fête Event Planning Boutique, Thornhill, ON and R5 Event Design, Toronto, ON, A + G’s Italian Inspired Vineyard Wedding

Best Wedding Under $100,000
♦ Lynn Fletcher Weddings, Calgary, AB, Surrounded By Love

Best Wedding $100,000 to $300,000
♦ The Good Party, Victoria, BC, Aly & Julianne: A Wedding Story of Love, Logistics, and Creativity

Best Wedding $300,000 +
♦ Cava Rose, Montreal, QC, Dream Wedding in Santorini, Greece

Best Virtual Corporate Event
♦ TK Events, Oakville, ON, Race to Attach

Best Virtual Conference
♦ Reveal Events Group Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC, CSHP Together: Live From Banff

Best Entertainment Production for a Public Event
♦ e=mc² events, Calgary, AB and Jeffrey Latimer, Toronto, ON, Canada’s Walk of Fame presents Canada’s Rock of Fame

Best Entertainment Production for a Private Event
♦ DeAngelis Entertainment Inc., Toronto, ON, bb Blanc, & ARB Productions, Toronto, ON, John’s 80th Birthday Celebration

Best Entertainment Production for a Corporate Event
♦ BADANG inc., Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC, Beyond 100

Outstanding Logistical Achievement
♦ Event Strategy Partners (ESP) Inc., and Chair-man Mills, Toronto, ON, Bloor Street Entertains

Most Outstanding Event Under $450,000
♦ Cantrav Services Inc., Vancouver, BC, Québec Gold De Lys

Most Outstanding Event Over $450,000 +
♦ e=mc² events, Calgary, AB, and Jeffrey Latimer, Toronto, ON, Canada’s Walk of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration

Most Outstanding Spectacle
♦ BADANG Inc., Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC, Beyond 100

Event Industry Volunteer of the Year
♦ Jessilyn Forigo,  Vuepointe Group, Calgary, AB

Emerging Leader Award
♦ Luisa Alvarez, Reveal Events Group, Port Coquitlam, BC

Leslee Bell Spirit of the Industry Award
♦ Bob DeAngelis, DeAngelis Entertainment

Entertainer of the Year
♦ Lorie Hamel, Lorie Hamel Maquillage Artistique, Montréal, QC

Caterer of the Year
♦ Chef de la Mesa Inc., Thornhill, ON

Wedding Professional of the Year
♦ Saaraa Premji Virani, Blush & Co. Weddings and Events, Calgary, AB

Event Professional of the Year
♦ Dustin Westling, OneWest Event Design & Production, Calgary, AB

Congratulations to the Following Companies Awarded Best in Their Respective Categories:

Best Event Photography
♦ Magnolia Studio, Montreal, QC, Santorini Destination Wedding

Most Creative Food Presentation
♦ Chef de la Mesa Inc, Thornhill, ON

Best Video or Filmmaking for an Event
♦ Encore Canada, Mississauga, ON, PCMA CIC 2023 Wrap Video 

Source: Canadian Special Events Magazine