MAKE WAVES AT RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA

MAKE WAVES AT RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA

What’s big, watery, and filled with fish? More like 20,000 of them, including invertebrates and two green sea turtles. And no, it’s not Lake Ontario. Instead, you’ll find all these eclectic sea creatures happily swimming along the vast water-filled habitats of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. With nine galleries of salt and freshwater environments, there are aquatic specimens from around the world and Canada that live here – including sharks! The Dangerous Lagoon (where sharks reign), is the largest exhibit with 2.9 million litres of salt water. Rainbow Reef, just as colourful as it sounds, is the most diverse exhibit with over 100 different species of tropical fish.

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SEA AND BE SEEN
The masses just can’t get enough. Who doesn’t love petting string rays and taking selfies in front of a giant wall of glowing jellyfish? Earlier this summer, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada surpassed 10-million visitors after opening its doors to the public just four years ago! From day one tourists and locals line up to see and be seen with the aquarium’s exotic and photogenic marine life, conveniently located in Toronto’s downtown core, near most iconic attractions. It’s become a vital Toronto landmark in attracting both tourists and business to the city. One of Toronto’s most popular spots on social media, it’s a sought-after corporate event venue for galas, celebrations, fundraisers, holiday parties, meetings and more.

UNDER THE SEA AND OVER THE MOON
Plan the corporate event of a lifetime, leaving your delegates in constant awe of their surroundings. In between cocktails and bites, guests can roam fish-filled tunnels, play around with over 100 interactive exhibits, and fill their brains with fun facts from the aquarium’s knowledgeable education team. When it comes to events, Ripley’s goes above and beyond in creating a truly unique experience for guests.

For larger events with a capacity of up to 1,200 people, the Aquarium Rental is ideal as it gives delegates full access to all exhibits. Rental times begin at 7 PM from Sunday to Thursday, excluding late June, July and August. Event planners can customize the space to their liking with food stations and bars throughout, and ample space for varied entertainment opportunities. The possibilities are endless. For a more formal vibe, the lobby can host seated dinners of up to 200 guests, with intimate dining options available in the Rainbow Reef and Ray Bay galleries (up to 80 and 60 guests respectively).

DRINK WITH THE FISHIES

On Thursday, September 27 from 8pm-12am, Ripley’s is hosting their annual Octo-berfest where beer aficionados can raise a stein of craft beer and enjoy live music, all under the magic of charming sea creatures. The ten local breweries taking part in the festivities are: Steam Whistle, Cowbell Brewing, Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewery, Lost Craft Brewing Co., Muskoka Brewery, Railway City Brewing Co., Lake of Bays Brewing Co., and Collective Arts Brewing. Admission costs $30+HST and you must be 19 years old or older to attend. The evening includes Bavarian entertainment by Matt Lebar Ensemble, food, and of course, lots of fun! Purchase your tickets here.

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CANTRAV: PARTNERS IN YOUR SUCCESS

CANTRAV: PARTNERS IN YOUR SUCCESS

The most crucial part of planning a successful event is ensuring that a well thought out idea is executed properly. Enter Cantrav Services Inc., event planning experts who know that a healthy dose of creativity plus strategy makes for a seamless event that not only reflects a client’s vision, but is fun! On top of conveying a meaningful message, an impactful gathering still offers attendees a great time that they won’t soon forget.

EXECUTION IS EVERYTHING

Cantrav is one of Canada’s most reputable business events experts and leading ‘Destination Management Company’ (DMC). They serve as event whizzes who know the destination like the back of their hands, and can creatively marry their knowledge to the client’s needs. Cantrav offers this in spades, coupling their passion for Toronto with an innovative team that’s unafraid to push boundaries. Their formula is simple: a dash of creative vision with strategic insight, blended with their client’s goals, and remarkable execution.

KNOW YOUR MARKET

Especially when it’s the Prime Minister of Canada! Recently, Cantrav was the chosen DMC for an elite conference of 263 leading philanthropists from all over the world. Every detail throughout the three-night program was to reflect high level opulence. With a VIP guest list including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and U.S. President George W. Bush, the pressure was on.

Cantrav meticulously managed all the logistical details including branding, transportation, entertainment, offsite event production, hospitality suites, activities and more. An opening gala dinner was held at the Liberty Grand, with guests transported from their hotels via luxury coaches. Picture the scene: a lush red carpet welcomes guests as they’re greeted by two Royal Canadian Mounted Police on horseback. Inside the ballroom, the décor was tastefully elegant with white tones, gold accents, and florals.

Morning sessions were also top of mind, as Cantrav ensured that the impact from the previous evening’s gala would continue into the following day. An exquisite lunch was organized for guests at the Royal Conservatory of Music where once again the space was minimalist, chic and always elegant. With custom curated activities, conference members were entertained with a post-lunch sightseeing tour of Toronto’s most cultural and awe-inspiring attractions. No impressionable opportunity was left behind.

THE CHERRY ON TOP

Consistency is key when hosting a successful conference. As the final evening approached, Cantrav knew that the ambiance had to remain in line with the previous events, while being even more impactful. Why? This would be the delegates’ final impression. Did we mention Justin Trudeau would be there? Held at the Royal Ontario Museum, the evening’s tone would be modern-day elegance combined with traditional flair. Once again, opulent simplicity would take precedence with high and low floral arrangements, cirque-inspired centerpieces, and other regal details. Guests were entertained by cirque performances and soft musical performances, so as not to overpower interpersonal mingling.

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A CONFERENCE WELL DONE

The end result was a highly-successful conference and a very happy client. Cantrav hit all their targets in seamlessly organizing a high-level three-day event, from transportation and activity logistics to food and beverage coordination and event produciton, all while showcasing Toronto as a world-class destination.

Cantrav understands that impression is everything. They also know Toronto well, and there’s a lot to know about this eclectic city. With a variety of venues, local offerings, and different elements to consider, it takes an experienced DMC with the right industry leaders to navigate all the essentials efficiently, and craft a successful gathering. Luckily, Cantrav Services Inc. is both passionate about Toronto and what they do, so clients know they are in good hands when working with their team.

Learn more about the Cantrav team and how they can help elevate your next event here

Toronto Tops the List in Canada for Meetings & Events

Toronto Tops the List in Canada for Meetings & Events

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Toronto has been named the top city for meetings and events in Canada, in Cvent, Inc.’s inaugural rankings. The rankings are compiled based on sourcing activity through the Cvent Supplier Network.

In 2017, more than 40 million room nights worldwide and $14.7 billion of business were sourced through the Cvent Supplier Network – helping to support more than 715,000 events around the globe.

“We’re thrilled to have been named the Top Meeting Destination in Canada by Cvent, a recognition of our passionate community that is an industry leader in the meetings and events industry,” said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Known as ‘Canada’s Downtown,’ Toronto is a city renowned for big-ticket events, top attractions, unique restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. We’re excited to share the energy found in our destination with each of the 400,000 delegates we welcome to Toronto every year.”

Additionally, Mississauga ranks 6th on the list, bringing even more accolades and recognition to the region.

“When we first launched Top Destinations in 2012, the only cities highlighted were located in the United States. Now, six years later, Top Destinations includes six lists covering every region in the world,” said Chris McAndrews, Vice President of Marketing for the Cvent Hospitality Cloud.

The top 10 cities in Canada for 2018 are:
1. Toronto, Ontario
2. Vancouver, British Columbia
3. Montreal, Quebec
4. Calgary, Alberta
5. Ottawa, Ontario
6. Mississauga, Ontario
7. Banff, Alberta
8. Edmonton, Alberta
9. Whistler, British Columbia
10. Quebec City, Quebec

“The cities featured in this year’s Top Destinations lists have invested significant time, energy, and resources into building premier locations that entice organizations, large and small, to plan meetings and events in their areas,” said McAndrews.

Methodology
Destinations around the world compete on a variety of factors including the accessibility of the destination and facilities for events, price and price flexibility, quality of facilities, quality of services, personal safety for attendees, and having a point of differentiation.

Cvent evaluated more than 11,000 cities worldwide featured on the Cvent Supplier Network to compile the seventh annual list. Activity was tracked from January 2017 through December 2017 and the ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria consisting of:

  • Unique Request For Proposals Received
  • Total Room Nights
  • Awarded Request For Proposals
  • Awarded Room Nights
  • Percentage of Qualified Meeting Venues
  • Number of Profile Views

The HUM Awards are coming to Canada’s Downtown

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The stars of Pakistan are set to take over the Toronto region later this month with the arrival of the HUM Awards. The Toronto region will play host to the 6th annual HUM Awards, a celebration of the best of entertainment in Pakistan. The awards showcase Pakistan’s prominent celebrities, actors, musicians, dancers and performances on Saturday, July 28th.

HUM Television Network is Pakistan’s leading entertainment television channel which airs dramas and lifestyle programs. HUM Television is frequently rated as the prime entertainment channel in the country, and one of the top rated television channel in the South Asian sub-continent.

Previously held in Karachi, Dubai and Lahore, this will be the first time that the awards will take place outside of Pakistan, bringing the pageantry and glamour to Canada’s Downtown. Pakistanis from around the world eagerly await the HUM Awards which has established itself as the country’s chief awards show. The Toronto region is a natural fit for the HUM Awards as it is home to the largest Pakistani-Canadian community in the country.

Performers to include Atif Aslam, Mahira Khan, Bushra Ansari, Humayun Saeed,  Kubra Khan, Ahad Raza Mir and Mikaal Zulfiqar.

Event highlights include:

  • More than 100 artists, performers, media personalities and celebrities will be attendance
  • An exclusive red carpet event, followed by four hours of non-stop performances and award presentations
  • Approximately 15,000 attendees are expected at the awards show
  • The event airs on television to HUM Network’s viewers globally

HUM Network is a pioneer of entertainment, fashion and style in Pakistan. It has always been regarded as a grand platform to promote content related to style, glamour, lifestyle, media, and entertainment.

The HUM Awards are presented by Digital Media Limited (DML), bringing the Hum Network’s viewers to the Toronto region. DML is an exclusive sales and distribution partner for HUM Television Network in Canada. HUM World airs locally in the Toronto market on Bell Channel 830, Rogers Cable Channel 688 and Cogeco cable channel 102.

For more information and to book tickets to the show visit www.humawards.com.

Rotary Brings the World to Toronto

Rotary Brings the World to Toronto

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Starting this weekend, the 109th annual international Rotary convention arrives in Toronto, bringing 24,000 Rotary club members from over 175 countries to the city. This will be the largest convention that Toronto has hosted in the past five years, as well as the largest multi-cultural gathering based on the country of origin of attendees. It is expected that an estimated $48.5 million will be injected into the local economy.

This will be the fifth time that Rotary has chosen to host their meeting in Toronto, and the first that the city has hosted since 1983. Rotarians will get to experience a much different city this time around, while still experiencing the Canadian hospitality that helps the city stand out.

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Often described as a “mini-United Nations”, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Air Canada Centre will be transformed into a cultural mosaic as the organization’s global network of volunteers gather to exchange ideas on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world.

At a time when there is a tremendous amount of political and cultural tension around the world, the meeting presents an opportunity to encourage conversations about how individuals can impact positive change in their communities – and within Toronto.

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Rotary clubs address community needs at home and connect with clubs abroad to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children and grow local economies. The Rotary convention will exhibit innovative and lasting solutions to these and other humanitarian challenges and inspire others who share a passion for enhancing and improving lives around the world.

Organized by Rotary in conjunction with the Toronto Host Organizing Committee, the convention provides registrants with opportunities to savor the many tourist attractions in Toronto. An ideal location based on its diversity, inclusivity and the safety of the city, Rotarians will have the opportunity to experience Toronto’s hospitality throughout the four day event with events taking place across the city including at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the historic Distillery District and Exhibition Grounds.

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Perhaps one of the most unique and welcoming concepts of the conference will see Rotary members around the city will be hosting dinners in their homes, at their hobby clubs and at their favorite restaurants to welcome fellow members that come from away and learn more about their lives and cultures while breaking bread. 2,400 people are participating in these dinners around the city sharing, laughing and learning over a good meal.

A portion of the convention will highlight Rotary’s top priority, the global eradication of polio. This paralyzing yet vaccine-preventable disease is now 99.9 percent eliminated from the world and is poised to be only the second human disease ever to be eradicated. The Rotary convention will feature international health experts and Rotary members from around the world who have immunized children in developing countries.

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On June 26th, Toronto Rotary members will host fellow members to Rotary Fest at the CNE with food, drinks and entertainment. This celebration demonstrates how people from all walks of life can unite through common interests and good food.

With the spirit of true Canadian hospitality, a warm welcome to Rotarians from around the world to experience everything Toronto has to offer this week!

Toronto to host North America’s fastest growing tech conference

Toronto to host North America’s fastest growing tech conference

North America’s fastest growing tech conference will be moving to North America’s fastest growing tech region when Collision heads to Toronto in May, 2019. Toronto will play host for the next three editions happening in 2019, 2020 and 2021, building on the region’s momentum as a hub for technology and innovation and leveraging the strength of Ontario and Canada as diverse and inclusive.

All three levels of government, Business Events Toronto and Exhibition Place partnered for the bid, which is expected to bring more than 90,000 attendees to Toronto over the next three conferences with an economic impact of $147 million. The 2019 conference will take place at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place from May 20-23, 2019.

“Right now feels like a special moment for Canada, and for Toronto,” said Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit. “There is such energy in the city, such an open, cosmopolitan and global atmosphere. Great companies are being started and incredible talent is coming out of the region.”

Collision is the fastest growing tech conference in North America. Now in its fifth year, Collision has gone from 5,000 to an expected 25,000 attendees in 2018. Created by the team behind Web Summit, the world’s largest and most influential tech event, Collision attracts CEOs of the world’s largest companies, founders of exciting startups, leading investors and media, from more than 120 countries.

The conference is entering its third year in New Orleans from April 30 to May 3, following a two year stay in Las Vegas. This is the first time the conference will be held outside of the U.S.

“Collision is one of the most coveted conferences a destination can host,” said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Hosting a conference of this magnitude demonstrates how meetings and events can be a powerful catalyst for economic development for sectors like technology and innovation, showcasing and elevating the booming tech industry, people and companies that have made the Toronto region a tech powerhouse.”

The Toronto region ranks as the largest tech sector in Canada and the third largest in North America. The sector employs 401,000 people in 18,000 tech companies, accounting for 15 per cent of all jobs in the Toronto region. The growth of the regional tech sector outpaced that of New York City and San Francisco combined in 2016. Based on that growth rate, Toronto will have more technology jobs than Silicon Valley within two years.

Collision is just one of the latest organizations to choose to join the conversations happening in Toronto. Toronto’s Tech Community continues to be a global leader in this important vertical sector, one of the reasons Collision chose to meet here.

Overview of Toronto’s Tech Community

  • Fourth-largest tech sector in North America, with offices for Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Airbnb, Uber and more
  • Over 18,000 tech companies employing over 400,000 employees in the tech sector
  • Over 4,100 tech related startups
  • VC investment in tech has grown by 2.5 times between 2013 and 2016
  • 2017 was another record year for funding in Canada at $2.7B US with Toronto seeing the most deals
  • Toronto Ranks Among the World’s Fastest Growing Technology Innovation Hub

Looking forward to seeing everyone for #CollisionConf19 in Toronto!

Global Meetings Industry Day 2018

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Business Events Toronto celebrates Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2018 on April 12, 2018.

The Business Events Toronto team are proud to join celebrations around the world of Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) taking place on April 12, 2018. This event shines a light on the important impact meetings have on businesses, communities and economies.

As one of the top destinations in North America for meetings and events, the region will play host to 26 city-wide conferences and events this year, the most Toronto has hosted in a single year. Last year, the region hosted 951 meetings and events that brought 400,000 delegates and generated spending of $634 million. At the same time, the team and its partners booked 934 new meetings and events for future years.

GMID brings together leaders from across the meetings and events industry to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities. Meeting professionals across the world will participate in the international day of advocacy, with more than 120 events held across 6 continents in 2017.

Hosting an event, convention or trade show stimulates the region’s economy by bringing in new visitors, who stay in area hotels, eat in local restaurants, shop in neighborhood stores and bring new revenue to the destination.

A new report by Oxford Economics affirms that face-to-face meetings and business events not only play a critical role in connecting people and driving business results, they also support 5.9 million jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue.

For more information about GMID click here.