Skip to main content

Ottawa invests to keep up momentum of 2017 with major events and convention funding

May 23, 2018

Ottawa– The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Ottawa Tourism and the Shaw Centre to ensure that the nation’s capital remains a destination of choice, building on the momentum of 2017 to keep attracting major events and conventions to Ottawa.

The new Municipal Accommodation Tax, approved by City Council in December and effective January 1 of this year, will ensure investments are made to promote and grow Ottawa’s tourism industry and build on the success of 2017. An estimated $500,000 of the projected tax revenue will go towards the Convention Development Fund, which will be used by Ottawa Tourism and the Shaw Centre to attract more large international and corporate conventions to Ottawa.

A further $1 million of the projected tax revenue will be invested in the Major Events Fund, which Ottawa Tourism uses to attract large-scale events that draw tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year. This is in addition to the City of Ottawa’s existing $1.5 million annual contribution to the Major Events Fund, increasing the fund’s capacity to $2.5 million annually.

These strategic funding decisions will be approved annually by the Tourism Development Council (TDC), which is composed of the following local tourism and business leaders:

Geoff Publow, Ottawa Senators (Chair)
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
Michael Crockatt, Ottawa Tourism
Nina Kressler, Shaw Centre
Michael Tremblay, Invest Ottawa
Ian Faris, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce
Joel Tkach, Ottawa International Airport Authority
Jonathon Harris, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport
Mark Kristmanson, National Capital Commission (NCC)
Darlene Upton, Parks Canada
Steve Ball, Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA)
Ross Meredith, Westin Ottawa
John Smit, City of Ottawa
Mark Goudie, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG)
Jim Kyte, Algonquin College
Mark Monahan, RBC Bluesfest Ottawa (Chair, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition)
Andrew Campbell, Canadian Heritage
Ottawa 2017 featured incredible signature events, such as Red Bull Crashed Ice, La Machine and Picnic on the Bridge, as well as important legacy events like Ottawa Welcomes the World and Agri 150. These signature events, combined with our world-class attractions, festivals, venues and exemplary front-line customer service, delivered a memorable visitor experience for 11 million visitors and elevated Ottawa internationally as a must-see destination.

With the programming and marketing assistance of Ottawa 2017, our tourism sector delivered outstanding results. Ottawa hosted more than 11 million visitors, an increase of 8.8 per cent, and total visitor spending surpassed $2.3 billion, an increase of 10.3 per cent, or $225 million, over 2016.

The Convention Development Fund and Major Events Fund will support the growth of our local tourism industry through destination marketing and sales, and development activities promoting Ottawa internationally as a premiere venue for major events and conventions.


“Tourism is Ottawa’s third largest sector in job creation, and one that we can continue to grow to the benefit of our economy and our community.We are building on the incredible momentum of 2107 by investing in these funds that will help us promote Ottawa as the ideal destination to host conventions and major events.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

“Major events and conventions are a smart investment, leading to greatly increased economic activity in our region. The tourism industry is multifaceted and far-reaching; by encouraging these events to choose Ottawa, the entire city benefits.”

Michael Crockatt, President and CEO, Ottawa Tourism

“Strategic funding that supports destination marketing and sales for international and corporate conventions helps attract world leaders to our city. Conventions generate valuable and tangible economic impact showcasing Canada’s capital as a place of innovation, excellence and opportunity to its international delegates. We look forward to supporting the growth of our tourism industry while promoting the Shaw Centre as a premiere venue for major events and conventions.”

Nina Kressler, President and CEO, Shaw Centre

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.