With the Canadian dollar hovering 25 - 30% below the U.S. dollar, planners can get more bang for their meeting buck in Canada. More and more meeting planners are choosing dual destinations for tiered meetings to better promote the exchange of ideas and treat employees or VIPs. Fly into Vancouver, BC from almost anywhere in the world, then jump across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria or head up the world-famous Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler for your next meeting or event.
CALL OF THE WILD
Not only is Vancouver known for being a stunning urban metropolis cradled by mountains, temperate rainforest, and the open ocean, but for being home to the world's first Double LEED Platinum certified Convention Centre, which features 466,500 ft2 (43,340 m2) of flexible meeting and exhibition space. If you want to get out of the boardroom for a 360 view of Vancouver, host your corporate event or gala evening at Grouse Mountain, also known as the Peak of Vancouver (and even treat your attendees to mountain ziplining, axe throwing, or a turbine tour)—a perfect veune for any time of year.
Partner your meeting in Vancouver and experience all British Columbia has to offer by hosting additional meetings at Victoria's stunning Butchart Gardens (which were founded in 1904!) or treat employees or VIPs to a cruise on Orca Spirit Adventures' luxury yacht excursion and whale watching tour. Or, travel 2 hours north of Vancouver to Whistler and experience BC's Winter Olympics legacy at Olympic Park, where you can host your small meeting or large gala for 10 to 10,000 attendees.
ARTS, CULTURE & HISTORY
Vancouver is a tapestry of natural attractions and cultural experiences with world class museums, festivals, and events. Take a break from hustle and bustle of the city at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first garden of its kind in North America, for as many as 250 at a reception, dinner, presentation, launch, or meeting. Let your attendees network in an inspiring setting while connecting with the land at the Museum of Anthropology, dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of cultural diversity and knowledge, where meeting planners can host an outdoor long table dinner with a stunning view of the Burrard Inlet or a presentation in the dramatic Great Hall surrounded by First Nations art.
Then, head to Whistler to learn more about First Nations history, diversity, and culture at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, a centre built to promote partnerships and animate an occasion with cultural enhancements—with performances, workshops, or indigenous catering—for groups as large as 900. In Victoria, British Columbia's capital, take a step back in time at Craigdarroch Castle, a Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion. At this National Historic Site of Canada, host as many as 200 attendees in a stand-up cocktail style reception or a larger party on the castle's 70,000+ square foot lawn with a full view of the city.
FOOD & DRINK
The best way to network is through the stomach—at least it is in Vancouver. Treat attendees to the city's vibrant and award-winning culinary scene (and support sustainable seafood!) any time of year at the Vancouver Aquarium, home to Canada's Ocean Wise Seafood Sustainability Program, for an intimate meeting or event for as many as 2,400 attendees. At Steamworks Brewing Company, a local brewery staple since 1995, celebrate the exchange of ideas with delicious food, beer, and local and international wine with as many as 600 attendees in the historic Gastown neighbourhood.
Skip the hotel ballroom and head straight to the mountaintop at Whistler Blackcomb's Roundhouse Lodge, a stunning venue perched at Whistler Mountain's summit (1,850 m/6069 ft. above sea level). Or, show appreciation for employees on historic and edible walking tour of Victoria's most epic eateries with Off the Eaten Track.
These are just a few suggestions on how to get the most out of your dual destination meetings and events experience in Canada. Explore even more meetings venues here.