Meeting Venues

Alberta

Banff Centre

13,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 60 meeting rooms; www.banffcentre.ca

This year, the Banff Centre celebrates 75 years as a cornerstone of art and culture. A revitalization is under way, with phase one improving the pathway system and natural landscapes, and adding an outdoor amphitheater. The center will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for all new buildings.

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

47,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 34 meeting rooms; www.calgary-convention.com

The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre has earned BOMA Go Green certification: Go Green is given by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Canada in recognition of best practices in building operations.

British Columbia

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre

316,225 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 72 meeting rooms; www.vcec.ca

Committed to “green” technology, the VCEC is in the midst of an expansion that will triple its capacity to 473,523 sq. ft. by early 2009.

Manitoba

Winnipeg Convention Centre

78,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 26 meeting rooms; www.wcc.mb.ca

Ontario

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

460,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 64 meeting rooms; www.mtccc.com

With more than 600,000 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space, MTCC is the first in Canada to offer clean renewable power to planners to reduce the environmental footprint of events; the center also plans to use renewable electricity to power its own administrative offices. This past fall, MTCC debuted a renovated Constitution Hall, the center's 28,000-sq.-ft. ballroom.

Toronto Congress Centre

1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, 73 meeting rooms; www.torontocongresscentre.com

In January, the center debuted the Toronto Congress Centre North, adjacent to the existing building, which added 500,000 sq. ft. of space. The new portion was built with a focus on eco-friendly design.

Direct Energy Centre

Formerly Toronto's National Trade Centre, Direct Energy Centre is adding a 75,000-sq.-ft. conference facility that is scheduled to open in spring 2009. The centre now has 24 meeting rooms and more than 1 million sq. ft. of space.

Québec

Montréal Convention Centre

200,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 65 meeting rooms; www.congresmtl.com

Québec City Convention Centre

100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 33 meeting rooms; www.convention.qc.ca

In spring 2007, the center launched three eco-friendly packages: Zero Waste Event, Zero Waste Event with Offsets, and Carbon Neutral Zero Waste Event.

Hotel News

Alberta

Fairmont Banff Springs

This spring, the resort will add Fairmont Gold, the brand's boutique-style hotel-within-a-hotel concept, featuring 72 Fairmont Gold guest rooms and a private reception area. Modeled after a Scottish castle, the resort's 778 guest rooms range from cozy corner rooms to spacious suites, and 76,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in 23 rooms and halls.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

In the heart of Banff National Park and within a UNESCO World Heritage site, this resort will add 19 Gold rooms (see description above), for a total of 43 Gold guest rooms and suites. The resort has 550 guest rooms and 36,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Le Germain Calgary

This 150-room property, part of a 20-story office tower in the city's central district, is expected to open in 2009.

Ontario

CN Tower

At 1,815 feet, Canada's National Tower is one of the country's most visited sites. Now, the CN Tower has introduced four new meeting rooms equipped for AV presentations adjacent to the 144-seat Maple Leaf Cinema. A variety of room layouts hold up to 90 people for meetings or working lunches. Receptions in Horizons Café or the award-winning Restaurant at the CN Tower are also available. Other areas, such as the Lookout Level, can hold larger groups.

Crowne Plaza, Toronto Airport

A 473-room Crowne Plaza opened at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in September 2007, after a renovation and conversion from a Park Plaza. A club floor, 24 suites, and a fitness center were added. Other amenities include 24-hour complimentary shuttle service, high-speed wireless Internet access in guest rooms and public spaces, and 12,500 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences, Toronto

The 53-story Ritz-Carlton property will combine a 267-room hotel, conference and meeting facilities, restaurants, and a spa. Construction is slated for completion in 2009.

Québec

Fairmont Château Laurier

The hotel, in Québec City, has added 92 rooms to its existing 168 guest rooms. The expansion increased the meeting rooms from 6 to 16, including a new ballroom that holds 275 guests.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello

The rugged luxury resort recently renovated 174 guest rooms with an intimate ambience that complements the red cedar log chateau. This latest update follows the 2006 addition of a 3,800-sq.-ft. spa and renovation of the resort's 14,200 sq. ft. of meeting space.

British Columbia

Fairmont Empress

This ivy-covered chateau-style hotel overlooking Victoria's Inner Harbour celebrates its 100th birthday in 2008. A renovation project this year provided new carpeting, wall coverings, and paint for the Crystal Ballroom, one of five meeting rooms that total 10,525 sq. ft. The hotel adjoins the Victoria Conference Center, which provides flexible meeting space for up to 1,200 people and is slated for its own upgrade this year, including the addition of 25,000 sq. ft. of event space. The hotel honors its history with walls lined with archival photos, but it also keeps up with the times, offering such amenities as upgraded attic rooms and suites, a full-service Willow Stream Spa, business center, and wireless access.

Four Seasons Vancouver

In the city's downtown business core, the Four Seasons Vancouver completed the first stage of a renovation, including enhancements to the main lobby and a new restaurant called YEW, with a menu of regional Pacific cuisine. The second stage includes a renovation of the lower lobby while the final stage, set for completion by spring 2009, will see a complete softgoods renovation of all 372 guest rooms and suites, two floors at a time. Renovation of the meeting rooms — the Park Ballroom, which seats 500 for dinner, and 10 breakout rooms — is scheduled for the same time period. In addition to traditional on-site catering, the hotel has full kosher banquet kitchen and catering facilities, as well as off-site catering capabilities.

Shangri-La Vancouver

A 119-room Shangri-La Vancouver is slated to debut in January 2009 on the first 15 floors of what will be Vancouver's tallest building, with 61 stories. Each of the hotel's elegant meeting rooms has been named for a character from James Hilton's Lost Horizon: The Conway Room will seat 80 guests for dinner, the Mallinson Room 30, and the Barnard Room 20. Groups will also be able to use the hotel's library, with fireplace, for coffee breaks; the high-level Blue Moon Theatre, with seating for 40; or an outdoor canopied terrace for dinner. A restaurant serving Modern Pacific cuisine will accommodate 60 attendees; it will also feature two smaller private dining areas for 10 to 12 guests each. The hotel will have a 5,000-sq.-ft. fitness center and the first CHI spa in North America, with a holistic approach based on healing traditions from China.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver

A recent $40 million renovation of all 644 guest rooms and public spaces has been completed. Guest rooms have wall-mounted LCD TVs and bathrooms outfitted with slate, rain showers, backlit mirrors, and deluxe amenities.

Loden Vancouver

The 77-room upscale and contemporary boutique hotel Loden Vancouver will open this year overlooking the waterfront. Its 1,600-sq.-ft. Penthouse Suite can be converted to a meeting or dining space for 20 or a reception venue for 60, and Voya Restaurant will be able to seat 18 in a private dining area.

Ritz-Carlton, Vancouver

Plans also call for a 127-room Ritz-Carlton, Vancouver that will occupy the first 20 floors of a new 58-story twisting tower being built at 1133 West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver.

Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

Coast Hotels plans to open a new 220-room hotel in downtown Vancouver in the fall of 2009.

Executive Hotel Vintage Park

The new wine-themed hotel offers 130 guest rooms and meeting space for up to 120 guests.

Fairmont Pacific Rim

The 415-room hotel, the city's third Fairmont, is set to open in late 2009 adjacent to the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Nita Lake Lodge

Opened in January 2008, the resort includes 77 studio and one-bedroom suites, a spa, and 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Oswego Hotel

Opened in June 2007, Victoria's first contemporary boutique hotel has 80 rooms and a boardroom that can accommodate 24 people.

Sidebars

Culture Notes: Canada

On Location: Vancouver