Vancouver- Our Playground- Venue Educational

Posted by admin on Wed, Jan 01, 2011 @ 10:29 AM

We all love Vancouver and everything it has to offer, but when was the last time you played tourist in your own city or went night skiing on a local mountain? This month we set out to conquer both.

On a quiet Thursday afternoon in January, we invited our local hotel partners on a city tour of what’s new and great in and around our magnificent city. Our goal was to become reacquainted with and educate those who are unfamiliar with all that is great outside our doorstep. While we had some long-time Vancouver residents, we also had a guest who had just landed from Banff, and another from Egypt, and since we love showing off our city, this was a bonus for us!

On the Venue Educational Tour  we saw some awesome venues (more details are below):

  • Vancouver Art Gallery’s Rooftop Pavilion, created when it became BC House during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, perfect for groups of 40 – 100
  • Awesome local yachts, perfect for 30 – 260 to get out on the water
  • The crazy new “Cliffhanger” at Capilano Suspension Bridge and updated outdoor dining space for up to 140 here
  • Grouse Mountain and all it offers beyond the views, with options from 25 to 600 guests
  • Commodore Ballroom and its art deco feeling that always lends itself to a party, excellent for seated from 150 up to a reception and dancing for 900+
  • Coast Restaurant, with spaces that can be private for 12, or up to 350 with the whole restaurant – a Vancouver hot-spot


We started the afternoon by viewing the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new Rooftop Pavilion. This unique space overlooking Robson Square, in the heart of the downtown core is a great new, much needed event space. With its modern indoor room and the tented patio; the pavilion is a great addition to the already fabulous Vancouver Art Gallery.

Our next stop led us to the harbour to view the newly refurbished Sunset Bay II, Magic Moment and Magic Charm yachts. These stylishly designed boats are a wonderful option for group receptions or dinners along the extensive Vancouver coastline. Every voyage is distinctive with spectacular 360 degree views, and superb cuisine.

Continuing on, the group journeyed to the North Shore. Our first stop was Capilano Suspension Bridge to view the NEW and ‘almost complete’ Cliffhanger. This heart stopping, thrilling attraction has guests traverse along a walkway anchored to the side of a cliff. This is a great addition to Vancouver, and we look forward to its opening in the spring of 2011.  This will certainly augment nicely the TreeTops adventures, stunning bridge and the opportunity to dine in the midst of a true west coast rainforest.

Further up the mountain, we traveled in the Super Skyride gondola to the Peak of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain. With endless views and a many great activities, Grouse offers its guests a variety of adventures and stunning scenery, from a hike to a Feast House, or a reception in the Eye of the Wind, the windmill that provides power for parts of this mountain operation, to fun with an old-style logging show, or even seeing the rescued bears and wolves in their retreats.

Our second to last stop was at Vancouver’s most adored entertainment venue, the Commodore Ballroom. Following a quick site inspection and slide show of past events, the group was invited back the following night to enjoy a live rock show with the legendary Canadian Band, ‘Loverboy’.

For the grand finale, the group was treated to delicious food and drinks at the posh and sophisticated Coast restaurant, O Lounge, on Alberni Street. With drinks in hand and appetizers aplenty, the group reminisced about the day and marveled at “How Truly Spectacular Our Playground, Vancouver Is”.

And Yes. We also made it out for a night ski.


Face to Face Meetings – an investment in team building

Posted by Tahira Endean on Sat, Oct 10, 2010 @ 02:32 AM

We came across this article today and are so excited about this research, we wanted to share it with you. It seems so obvious, when we create environments for connection, your business will improve. When you have to consider the investment in a meeting that brings people together, across a city, nation or the globe, there needs to be value gained. This looks in particular at some of the intangibles, tougher to measure, but of ultimate importance in sustaining success.

Why Invest in Face to Face Meetings?

This is an area our team is especially passionate about, and one we would love to hear about how we can help you.

-Onsite Meeting Management

Vancouver Event Planning Tips

Posted by Tahira Endean on Tue, Jan 01, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

It’s January 2010 and Vancouver, Canada is preparing for the world’s largest winter sporting event – the 2010 Games (we can’t use the “O” word found in Olympic Peninsula). Event planning for “The Games” in Vancouver is a massiveundertaking with estimates of:

  • 135,000 spectators a day in the city
  • 58,000 in nearby Whistler, and
  • 60,000 per day at Vancouver celebration sites.

Can you imagine the organizational headaches that this head event planner faces?! By the way, his name is John Furlong and word has it that he’s a bit tired these days.

Fortunately, we can help make make your Vancouver event planning a little easier by sharing some of Cantrav’s 27 years of destination management experience in this city.

5 Tips for Planning a Successful Event in Vancouver

1. Tie Your Corporate Message to an Authentic Vancouver Attribute

Authenticity comes naturally when planning an event in Vancouver. It’s unique combination of ocean, mountain, urban and cultural assets provides the depth necessary for creating messages that enhance value and results. Example – Potlatch events which has brought First Nation’s peoples together for 100′s of years: a Potlatch is an ancient gathering focused around sharing, celebration and relationship building.

2. Use the Season to Your Advantage

Vancouver has 4 distinct seasons with 3 distinct pricing levels! Is price your consideration? Activities? Visual impact? Know your goal and plan around it for increased success. Summer is traditionally more expensive and you can save a bundle in the off-season. Activities change significantly throughout the year and good planning will help maximize the current opportunities.

3. Select a Hotel to Match Your Group and Goals

Good news! All of Vancouver’s downtown hotels provide quick, convenient access to the finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues in the city. A relatively compressed downtown core surrounded on 3 sides by water, allows you to focus more on considerations of:

  • Waterfront vs. City Centre (only 4 blocks apart)
  • Independent boutique vs. larger, brand names
  • Meeting or convention space requirements
  • Food service and facilities needs

4. Leverage Non-traditional Meeting and Function Venues

There are traditional venues and there are “WOW!” venues. Vancouver event planners have access to a wonderful assortment of alternative spaces that lend authenticity and value…without added production costs! Consider meetings or events in an interactive aquarium, an architecturally significant West Coast First Nations museum, at the top of Grouse Mountain or aboard a yacht in English Bay.

5. Include Other Destinations

Great options exist for incorporating other exciting and appealing destinations or travel experiences into your Vancouver event including:

  • Whistler Resort
  • The Canadian Rockies – Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper
  • Victoria & Vancouver Island
  • Alaska
  • Cruise ships
  • Rail excursions

6. BONUS TIP: Use an Experienced Destination Management Company

Nothing replaces in-depth local expertise to guarantee a successful event. ‘Nuff said.

The Cantrav team is excited to welcome the world to Vancouver. We look forward to helping our clients achieve success in the programs that have been built around the 2010 Games, and wish you all the best of success in planning your next Vancouver event!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Sample Program Ideas for Vancouver and Whistler

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