20 Years of Be A Host

Launched in 1996, Tourism Vancouver’s Be a Host program has seen over 1,000 local hosts bring their meetings, conferences, congresses and symposiums to Vancouver in the past 20 years. We’re proud to have supported some of Canada’s most influential researchers, industry leaders and innovative thinkers in bringing their colleagues to meet in our city, shining the spotlight on locally-led research and academic advancements, often with major announcements and launches made at their Vancouver meeting.

One of the program’s very first local hosts was Dr. Julio Montaner from the University of British Columbia, who brought the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention to the city in 1996, and again in 2015. At that first conference, Dr. Montaner announced the discovery of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV, which went on to become the new global standard for treating the virus. Since then, conferences in Vancouver have been the stage for many other announcements such as the launch of Vancouver-developed smartphone technology that enables patients to monitor skin cancer at the 2015 World Congress of Dermatology.