President’s Blog

Nina Kressler, CEO And President of the Shaw Centre
Presidents Blog - Looking Back at 2019

A Look Back at 2019

Published on January 8, 2020

I sometimes wish we had a video camera set up by our main entrance so we could put a quick time lapse clip together of all the people who walk through Shaw Centre’s doors each year. In 2019, approximately 280,000 people spent time in our beautiful facility, venturing in from the national capital region, across Canada and around the globe. We welcome everyone with the same steadfast mandate, which is to provide an exceptional hospitality experience that serves to make their time with us as positive and memorable as possible.

Nina IAFF

Ours is a highly competitive, global marketplace so it is always exciting when we are able to secure bookings with national and international organizations. Among the notable events we hosted this year were a range of industry and association meetings in various technical, scientific, educational and medical fields, such as the International Leadership Association’s 21st annual global conference which brought luminaries from around the world to Shaw Centre.

GoMedia2019

 

A particularly exciting event was the GoMedia Canada conference, connecting international media with Canadian tourism organizations to drive stories that inspire travel. We were proud to serve as ‘home base’ for this busy series of meetings, networking events and tours. The United Way’s Community Builder of the Year Awards was a heartwarming event that recognized the contributions help make our region a better place. We also teamed up with Ottawa Tourism and Invest Ottawa to present the first annual ThinkOttawa Gala, celebrating the exemplary leadership of local industry ambassadors.

 

It’s not all business here at the Centre; we also enjoy welcoming groups for fun social and charitable events. The first ever Tea and Tiaras for the Starlight Children’s Foundation was an elegant and inspiring party while the Welch Legacy Foundation’s fourth annual Grand Casino was a spirited event that raised funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. The 25th edition of Ringside for Youth took place in June; it was bittersweet as it was the final edition for an event that has raised over 3.5 million dollars to support programs for youth in need across the city. Other notable charitable gatherings at Shaw Centre included the Chocolate Affair Gala, held in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region and Wine for Wishes, a gourmet food and wine tasting event to support Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario.

Ringsideforyouth

There were many notable individuals among the nearly 300,000 visitors who walked through our doors this year, including:

  • Her Excellency Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada
  • Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
  • Business moguls Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary
  • Television star and U Ottawa graduate Alex Trebek
  • Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; Lisa MacLeod, Ontario MPP and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health; Steve Clark, Ontario MPP and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
  • Kirby Whiteduck, Chief of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
  • Andrea Horwath, MPP, Leader of the Official Opposition in Ontario and Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party
  • Loretta LaRoche, internationally renowned author and stress-management consultant

In addition to welcoming so many visitors, we also focused on some operational improvements at the Centre, including the launch of our By55/Lazy Mondays supper club, implementing various infrastructure upgrades to improve the Centre’s eco-footprint and welcoming the opening of the Confederation Line of the LRT including nearby Rideau East transit station, making our Centre more accessible than ever.

While our focus is on ensuring our clients have successful, unforgettable events at Shaw Centre, as a team we are fortunate to enjoy many memorable occasions as well. One that stands out for me was the launch of B55 Lazy Mondays It is new initiatives like this which make my job so interesting every day. I cannot wait to see what 2020 has in store for us at Shaw Centre.