Take advantage of all the Alberta has to offer, from urban and mountain escapes to cultural festivals and events. April 26, 2011
Meetings & Incentive Travel Advertising Feature
Combine business with pleasure in Alberta. Meet in the province’s cosmopolitan cities and play in the great outdoors.
Alberta presents the opportunity to design retreats and incentive trips that use a combination of urban and mountain escapes, because the province’s major meeting destinations—Calgary and Edmonton—are close to the Rocky Mountains. Calgary is a scenic hour-and-a-half drive from Banff and Edmonton is a three and-a-half-hour transfer from Jasper, making it possible to tack on an incentive trip or board retreat before or after the company’s sales meeting.
Alberta’s major cities offer many options to meet, entertain and stay. The province’s robust economy has led to the development of new properties and the renovations and expansions of existing ones.
Last year, luxury hotelier Groupe Germain entered the Calgary market. Hotel Le Germain Calgary is located in the downtown core, one block from the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, and offers 143 guestrooms and 6,000 sq. ft. of meeting space spread over six rooms. The Edmonton Exposition and Conference Centre has undergone a convention expansion, and now offers 522,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space, making it the largest exhibition venue outside of Toronto, capable of hosting 25,000 visitors at one time.
The Banff Centre recently completed its expansion for the meetings and conventions market. The new Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation is part of the Banff Centre’s revitalization project and encompasses 21,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. By summer, 2011, the Shaw Amphitheatre, seating 1,600, will be completed immediately west of the Kinnear Centre.
Functional, modern spaces make meeting in Alberta’s cities worry-free. But when business is finished, retreat to the Rocky Mountains and experience the beauty of Banff or Jasper. Getting there has never been easier or faster. Newly completed ring roads from the Edmonton and Calgary International Airports provide increased access to parts of the city and cut 20 minutes off the commute from both airports to the mountains.
Banff and Jasper are ideal locations for team-building activities and outdoor adventures. These four-season destinations may be enjoyed year-round and provide opportunities for activities such as crosscountry and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sightseeing and hiking.
Alberta prides itself on its experiential team-building, including a high ropes course to work on a team’s trust, risk and results; orienteering, to work on planning, implementation and results; as well as interpretive and meditative hikes, which focus on exploration, examination and experience. All activities can be implemented in urban and mountain settings.
Beyond team-building, Alberta offers planners a range of entertainment options. The province hosts numerous cultural events year-round. Whether it’s the Calgary Stampede (July 8-17, 2011), Edmonton Indy (July 23-24, 2011) or Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival (Oct 29-Nov 6, 2011), there is always something exciting being celebrated in Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton each host more than 30 festivals and events, and Banff runs another 15 festivals. These events provide an opportunity for planners to create itineraries that incorporate festivals into their meeting in a variety of ways.
The Travel Alberta team can assist planners in securing guest speakers who are participating in the province’s cultural events; hiring performers for a private show and obtaining tickets to any of the festivals happening during their event. In addition, the experienced team at Travel Alberta can help planners incorporate the province’s festivals into their group itineraries or theme their special event.
Whether your group is looking to work, meet or relax, they’ll find all that they need and more in Alberta.