City of Charlottetown is not resting on its laurels

Events development officer predicts big year in 2016

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 26, 2015
Wayne Long, events development officer with the City of Charlottetown, accepts the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Canadian Sport Tourism Organization of the Year Award in recognition of the city's sport tourism brand SCORE earlier this year. From left are Reggie Lang, representing sponsor WestJet, Long and Jennifer Hedger, representing event host Prestige.
SUBMITTED PHOTO

Nurturing a historic relationship with Quebec City is one of the priorities for the City of Charlottetown in 2016.

Fresh off winning the 2015 Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance's tourism organization of the year, the city's events development office isn't resting on its laurels in the year ahead.

Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017. Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume have been meeting and will continue to chat in the year ahead about plans for the big celebration.

"The partnership includes a number of heritage, culture and tourism initiatives,'' says Wayne Long, Charlottetown's events development officer.

While 2017 remains a work in progress, the calender for sports tourism events is filling up for the year ahead.

Charlottetown's SCORE brand beat out a number of large cities to win the alliance award, including past winners Edmonton and Toronto. Sports tourism, for example, brings in $40 million annually for the local economy.

Long said event attraction and hosting continues to prosper.

"Our strategic approach to sport tourism will guide us through the next decade and a number of high-profile events have already been secured.''

One of the bigger events in 2016 will be the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's annual session and draft.

But the list includes the CSA under-16 national soccer club championshiops, Softball Canada's under-18 women's fast pitch championship; the CCAA national women's volleyball championship; the Canada East short track speed skating championships; Eastern Canadian Ringette Championship; Sail East Championships; NBA all-star tour and a convention that will bring together all the big players in Atlantic Canada's events industry.

In addition to annual signature events such as the Jack Frost Children's Winterfest as well as festivals that celebrate jazz and blues as well as the shellfish industry, there are numerous high-profile events.

A few of the highlights in 2015 include Rogers Hometown Hockey; the Acadian Games, the under-18 national soccer championships; the national health leadership conference; Transportation Association of Canada Conference and Exhibition; Canadian Society of Internal Medicine annual meeting; May Run Music Festiva; Waterfront Concert Series featuring Kim Mitchell and April Wine and Contact East.

"Charlottetown continues to excel and be recognized nationally as a premiere event-hosting destination,'' Long said.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart