News from Media Marketplace Recently, the Canadians visited the U.S. with their Media Marketplace in New York. Here are some of the highlights gathered at that exposition.

There was lots of news from Vancouver, British Columbia, where the 229-suite Delta Vancouver Suites Hotel has just broken ground in the downtown area. The luxury, 21-story hotel is scheduled to open in fall 1997 with six meeting rooms accommodating from 20 to 150 persons. The hotel will be directly connected to Simon Fraser University's new, state-of-the-art conference facility.

Meanwhile, the city's Waterfront Centre Hotel, another upscale property, has embarked on a comprehensive renovation program that is scheduled for completion in 1998.

The British Columbian provincial government has announced that it has opted for expansion of the convention facilities at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre rather than building a casino.

For the first time, both American Airlines and Canadian Airlines are offering nonstop flights from JFK Airport in New York City to Whistler, 75 miles north of Vancouver, helping to make the world-class ski destination an all-year destination. In just four years, there has been $2 billion worth of investment here, according to Canadian tourism executives.

Both Canadian Pacific's Chateau Whistler and Delta's Whistler properties have spas, meeting space, and their own destination management staffs to coordinate events for planners. New Marriott and Sheraton properties in Whistler are on the way. Whistler also has a conference center that seats up to 1,800 persons.

Summer offers music and wine festivals in this "pedestrian village," which has formed an incentives association to emphasize its excellent golf courses, designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The newest championship course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, opens in August.

Two new venues will be bringing a lot of attention to Ottawa and sister city Hull. The Casino de Hull, a world-class gaming establishment, opened in March on the shores of Lake Leamy. The third casino in Quebec since the provincial government authorized gaming, the casino has 45 gaming tables and 1,250 slot machines and a banquet hall for up to 300 guests, plus two restaurants. Also new this year in Ontario is the Palladium, a large-scale sports and entertainment complex with seating for 18,500. It is home to the National Hockey League's Ottawa Senators. The facility also has a wellness center and a sports medicine center.

Ottawa is, of course, a major Canadian city, but not everyone is aware of its tourist attractions, such as more than 60 festivals a year, 29 museums, a Chinatown and an Italian neighborhood, and many venues for special events. Just outside this city are more than 85,000 acres of wilderness and 111 miles of groomed trails.

Toronto claims the crown as Canada's number one meeting destination for corporations and associations, but it is growing as an incentive travel choice as well. The city, known worldwide for theater and fine dining, is now emphasizing programs that combine sophisticated city experiences with access to Niagara On The Lake, the Canadian wilderness, and nearby world-class ski resorts. Experienced incentive travel suppliers based here work with destination management companies and nearby convention bureaus in the region outside the city to provide exceptional service.

Most of the hotels and the convention center in Winnipeg, Manitoba are within walking distance, with skywalks and underground shopping to defeat winter weather in this "big small town." In this part of Canada, where beautiful scenery does not depend on mountains, but on lakes, parks, and two rivers that flow through downtown. Its midcountry location, with good access from both San Francisco and Washington, DC through Chicago, makes it a desirable convention site, as does its affordability.

People in the News Victor J. Burt has been appointed hotel manager of the 1,400-room ITT Sheraton Centre Toronto, the company's flagship property. Burt joined ITT Sheraton in the autumn of 1994 as director of marketing for the Sheraton Centre Toronto. With more than 13 years experience, Burt has extensive background in hotel operations and marketing with Westin Hotels and Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts.

The Paragon Conference & Event Group, based in Toronto, has just been formed by two Certified Meeting Professionals, each with 16 years experience in the industry. Paragon is a partnership between independent planners Alysone J. Will, CMP, and Elizabeth M. La Fontaine, CMP. Paragon will concentrate on meetings, special events, and road shows for the international, association, and corporate markets.

Ruth Abrahamson, CMP, has been appointed the vice president and director of Base Services Canada Inc., an association management and conference planning firm based in Willowdale, Ontario. She will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the company. She was formerly the director of conference services for Base Services. Cheryl E. Platts is another new appointment at Base Services. Platts will be responsible for business development. She held similar responsibilities in her former position with Coordination Plus.