BEC predicts major spike in international MICE Business as Canada prepares to turn 150

31st May, 2017

With more than 1,000 events and activities taking place across the country through 2017 to help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary the country is set to bask in the international spotlight as never before, providing an unprecedented opportunity for its MICE industry to showcase its offering in front of the international marketplace.

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director, Business Events Canada said: “The Canada 150 celebrations are not just a great opportunity to celebrate and shout about all that is great and good about our country but a massive opportunity for our BEC partners to showcase to the World what the country can offer, not least our proven ability in organising major international events.”

She added: “With the surge in international visitors expected this year we strongly believe the celebrations, combined with the BEC’s own promotional activity, will have a significant positive impact on the meetings and events market in Canada not just in 2017 but for many years to follow.”

Emma Cashmore, Managing Director of Axis Travel Marketing, European GSA for Business Events Canada, said: “It’s a very exciting time for Canada and all eyes are on the country as it prepares to ‘Welcome the World’ as part of the year-long Canada 150 celebrations.

Here at Axis we’ve already seen a spike in enquiries about holding events in the country on the back of Canada 150 and we very much look forward to leveraging the increased exposure and interest being generated by this pivotal anniversary year.”

Canada 150 will see a whole host of diverse celebrations and events take place across the country throughout the year, involving all provincial partners of the BEC, with a strong focus on Canada Day on July 1 and the packed summer programme of activities.

For its part the BEC has organised a campaign of promotional initiatives highlighting the country’s strong meetings and events industry and the country’s unique strengths, from World-class facilities and infrastructure to the country’s rich culture, culinary offering and its jaw-dropping nature.

Further details on the programme of events surrounding Canada 150 can be found on the newly-launched Passport 2017 website ( and free mobile app. 

Many of the largest events will be held in the capital Ottawa, including MOSAÏCANADA (July 1 - Oct 15) which will see 35 to 40 large-scale ‘living sculptures’ line a one-kilometre walking path around the gardens of Jacques-Cartier Park; YOWttawa (late August), a two-day outdoors live music event, with headliners including Guns N’ Roses; Canada’s Table (August 27), a spread of all-Canadian products served to guests seated at a 305-metre (1,000 feet) long table by great Canadian chefs; and La Machine (July 27 - 30), which will see Downtown Ottawa ‘invaded’ by a series of oversized moving, mechanical creatures. Other 150th highlights include Rendez-Vous 2017 which will see more than 40 Tall Ships from around the world setting sail for Québec City via stops in Ontario, Québec and the Maritimes (June 30-Aug 20, 2017).

Montreal, meanwhile, will be celebrating its 375th anniversary this year as well as Canada’s 150th birthday with planned activity including the opening of a new wing at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Les Hivernales, a winter programme of outdoor sports and activities such as the world premiere of an opera created from Pink Floyd’s cult classic, The Wall.

Other activities planned across the country include Canada: Day 1, an exhibition describing the early immigration experience to Canada at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Art Express’d, where three mobile travelling art studios made from shipping containers by the Winnipeg Art Gallery will travel across Canada for 12 weeks in the summer, making stops in 15 cities (Jun 17-Aug 17). 

New LED lighting has been unveiled that will illuminate Niagara Falls at night as never before starting at dusk each day while The Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton will reopen as the largest museum in Western Canada in the autumn.

Annual events featuring special Canada 150 programming elements include The Calgary Stampede (July 7-16) and The Toronto Festival of Beer (July 28-30, 2017), which will have a pavilion showcasing Canada's rich history of beer and food, including samples from every province.

As Chantal Sturk-Nadeau adds: “With so much going on this year there really has never been a better time to come and see for yourself what the country has to offer and to talk to the BEC about how our partners can help turn your international event from a memorable one into a truly unforgettable one.”   

Visitors to Canada this year will also enjoy perks such as free admission to all National Parks of Canada, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites throughout 2017 using Parks Canada’s Discovery Pass.

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