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In The Community

Economic Impact 2018-2019

Shaw Centre attracted over 59,000 out-of-town visitors during the 2018-2019 fiscal operating year, beginning April 1, that boosted Ottawa’s economy by $141 million in 2018-2019.

The Centre hosted 44 events in which the majority of the participants came from outside of the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

These conventions and tradeshows attracted 32,000 delegates and attendees from outside Ottawa, over 7,000 staff members that represented more than 1,800 non-local exhibitors. These events also generated tax revenues for the federal and provincial reserves estimated at more than $30 million.

“Following the success of Canada’s Sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017, the Ottawa Convention Centre, along with many of our industry stakeholders, felt a significant “post-party letdown” may occur in subsequent years,” said OCC President and CEO Nina Kressler. “While 2017/2018 was our most profitable year, 2018/2019 did not disappoint. We experienced significant short-term business increases in all market segments.”

The newly re-built Shaw Centre opened in April 2011. Being a G8 capital, Ottawa needed a new convention centre that could accommodate large scale events. The centre is a ‘stay-at-home export’ as it attracts business to our nation’s capital that would otherwise go elsewhere. The aggressive marketing outreach in the global marketplace that has taken place over the past few years in partnership with local hotels and Ottawa Tourism has paid off. This is evidenced by the 1,213 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) that are supported solely by the convention business accommodated by the Shaw Centre in the eighth year of operation and the $141 million estimated in economic impact to the city of Ottawa.

Economic Impact – Direct Spend Broken Down

The $141 million in direct spending includes:

  • $110 million in attendee spending
  • $20 million in exhibitor spending
  • $11.4 million in production spending


Benefits of Shaw Centre – Tourism & Hospitality Sector

The 2018 – 2019 fiscal year in review

  • 486 events;
  • Over 300,000 attendees;
  • 44 conventions including national and international conventions;
  • The direct spending on convention centre events including out-of- town delegates, exhibitors and production is estimated at $141 million;
  • This direct spending contributes approximately $117 million to Ottawa’s GDP; and
  • Approximately 1,625 jobs are supported resulting in $73 million in labour income. This includes $45 million in labour income that stems from 1,213 jobs that are supported directly by events held at Ottawa Convention Centre.


Benefits of a new Ottawa Convention Centre – Taxation Revenues

  • In total, $52M in taxes for all three levels of government was generated in 2018/2019.


Meetings and Convention Sectors Affected by Shaw Centre Business

Major industries affected:

  • Accommodation Services
  • Food and Beverage Services
  • Retail Trade, Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  • Information and Cultural Industries
  • Ground Passenger Transportation
  • Other Transportation and Warehousing
  • Car Renting and Leasing
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate and Renting & Leasing

Other benefits of meeting

  •  Meetings promote investment, trade, communications and technology
  •  Meetings bring education and professional development to the community
  •  Meetings promote and support other business sectors
  •  Meetings attract global expertise
  •  Meetings build community profile
  •  Meetings represent the high end of visitor spending


Our Annual Reports provide additional information on previous fiscal business years
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