OTTAWA – Since the Ottawa Convention Centre opened its doors April 13, 2011, the new facility has hosted 562 events including 40 national and international conventions, including 2 national political conventions, Northern Lights 2012 and of course the NHL All-Star Weekend. The OCC has also welcomed back many popular events such as the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival and the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show.
“These events have had a major impact on Ottawa” noted OCC president Patrick Kelly. “We are starting to reap the benefits of our aggressive marketing outreach in the global marketplace.”
The 40 conventions held at OCC over the past year attracted close to 35,000 out-of-town delegates and exhibitors to Ottawa. These visitors experienced a unique cultural and historical experience that no other Canadian city can offer. The total economic impact generated by these conventions was over $83 million.
“The McGuinty Government’s support of the OCC is helping Ottawa compete in the national and international convention market, drawing in thousands of delegates, generating millions in tourism spending and supporting jobs for Ontarians. As we mark the first year anniversary of the OCC’s opening, we can all celebrate in its success – promoting our province as a premier destination to visit, work and do business,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
“Being a G8 capital, Ottawa needed a new convention centre that could accommodate large scale events.” said OCC chair, Jim Durrell. “OCC is a ‘stay-at-home export’ because it attracts business to our nation’s capital that would otherwise go elsewhere. Not only is OCC doing well from a business perspective, but the citizens who live here benefit as well.”
This is evidenced by the 1,100+ jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) that are supported solely by the convention business accommodated by OCC over the past year. And the future outlook is very encouraging as well: OCC has so far confirmed 95 conventions between 2012 and 2017, which will bring over 87,000 delegates to Ottawa and generate in excess of $30 million in taxes.
Says OCC chair Jim Durrell, “OCC will generate a minimum of $257 million in economic impact for our city over the next five years. We said if we built it they would come – and they are coming.”
Ottawa Convention Centre is an Agency of the Government of Ontario.