Canada. "Our city has so much to offer meeting delegates in winter,” says Lesley Mackay, Ottawa Tourism’s Vice President, Meetings and Major Events. “So, with some organizations hesitant to meet in a winter destination, we’re offering added incentives for them to give it try. We think when they do, they’ll experience winter the way it’s meant to be.”
A centre of excellence for life sciences, technology and aerospace, Ottawa is among Canada’s top meeting destinations; one that embraces and celebrates the best of the winter season. Here’s what’s in store when organizations choose to meet in the capital this winter:
- Beginning in December, the historic Parliament Buildings and other national sites across this capital city’s downtown are illuminated in dazzling light displays of the season. This year debuts the Ottawa Christmas Market, a European-style holiday market with unique vendors, food, drink and live entertainment in the city’s bustling Lansdowne district.
- Famously, Ottawa is home to the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is resurfaced nightly (weather permitting) and welcomes thousands daily–including many who strap on their blades and use it to commute to work. Adjacent to the Shaw Centre, Ottawa’s 192,000 ft2 convention center, the Skateway is the perfect fresh air break before or after, conference sessions.
- Ottawa’s annual winter festival, Winterlude is another amenity conference-goers may enjoy when they meet in Ottawa. Featuring breathtaking ice sculptures by artists from around the world, a giant snow playground, outdoor bars and restaurants the city comes to life each year during the first three weeks of February.
- For those into outdoor recreation, Ottawa offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing throughout their urban parks, while downhill skiing and winter fat bike trails are just minutes away in the nearby Gatineau Hills.
While the great outdoors offers lots of opportunity for team building, the capital also features plenty of indoor attractions that serve as ideal venues for networking receptions, gala dinners, kick-off meetings and more.
Equally as important, Ottawa, with its leadership in advanced industries offers plenty of local ambassadors to champion your meeting, connect you with the local industry ecosystem to help enrich your conference agenda, or aid in delegate marketing.