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March 21, 2017

Business Events Up 220 Percent in Ottawa, Canada

yoga on parliament hill in ottawa
Yoga on Parliament Hill // Photo by Ottaway Tourism

Ottawa’s business events sector has posted strong numbers as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation. 

According to statistics just released by Ottawa Tourism, large-scale business events (with over 500 delegates) have increased 220 percent over the last two years. In total, 45 large-scale events had booked Ottawa for 2017 as of this January. 

The increase in Ottawa’s popularity for meetings follows significant investment in the destination and, in particular, the development of the city’s purpose-built convention center, Shaw Centre, which is celebrating its sixth year in 2017, Ottawa Tourism said. Over the last few years, billions of dollars have been invested in infrastructure and facilities in the city, including a $863m renovation of Parliament Hill's West Block, extensions to Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) and a major investment of $725m in redeveloping Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International airport.

“We have been steadily building on our strong reputation for hosting outstanding large-scale international congresses in Ottawa and we are excited about this continued growth,” said Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, in a written release. 

Crockatt also said that the celebrations for Canada’s 150th year of confederation in 2017 would continue to drive bookings, as a rich program of events and investment in facilities would benefit the destination’s meetings offerings. 

In 2016, 31 large-scale business events were held in Ottawa, with corporate events representing approximately 15 percent of the total. International events continue to show the biggest increase year on year. Association events held in Ottawa in 2016 include One Young World, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the World University Service Canada International Forum.

In 2017, Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation with an array of events, celebrations and investment planned across the country. In Ottawa, a program of activities is under way throughout the year, including Ignite 150, a series of 17 epic stunts and gatherings throughout the capital including: a yoga session on a barge floating down a local waterway accompanied by a live orchestra; a movie on a downtown terrace rooftop; and Canada’s Table, an outdoor dining experience featuring all-Canadian dishes served by the country’s top chefs to 1,000 guests, with Parliament Hill’s Sound and Light Show as a backdrop.

The 150th anniversary celebrations also include a series of legacy projects for Ottawa, such as: the new Global Centre for Pluralism; a brand new Canada Science and Technology Museum which is set to open in November 2017; a new, permanent Arctic Gallery for the Canadian Museum of Nature; and the new Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History.

Visit www.ottawatourism.ca

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