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There's never a dull moment at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre – and here’s our way of keeping you up to date.

New Developments
November 8, 2004 Construction Underway for Convention Expansion
April 8, 2004 Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre gets a boost thanks to signed contribution agreement
December 16, 2003 Agreement advances convention centre expansion
July 21, 2003 VCEC's General Manager Re-Elected President of International Convention Centre Organization
Feb 17, 2003 Province Buys Convention Centre Site
Jan 31 , 2003 Mendelssohn Joins Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre As Official Supplier
Jan 30, 2003 Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre a Founding Member of Convention Centres of Canada


Construction Underway for Convention Expansion
November 8, 2004

VANCOUVER – Construction is now underway on the $565 million expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC).

The VCEC expansion is made possible by a funding partnership of the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, and Tourism Vancouver. Tourism Vancouver is contributing $90 million and the federal and provincial governments are each contributing up to $222.5 million. Revenue contributions from the VCEC will add a further $30 million.

The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia and the Honourable John Les, Minister of Small Business and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the convention centre were joined by the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Stuart McLaughlin, Deputy Chair of Tourism Vancouver, Senator Jack Austin and Mayor Larry Campbell of Vancouver for a groundbreaking ceremony this morning.

“Today we're taking a major step toward providing the extra space that's needed to keep Vancouver among the top convention destinations in the world,” said Premier Campbell. “This expansion, combined with the project's incredible Coal Harbour location and increasing exposure as we prepare for 2010, will further strengthen Vancouver's reputation as a world-class convention destination.”

“With construction underway, we look forward to realizing the benefits of the new and expanded convention space. Vancouver is Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway, and the Government of Canada's funding for this project will be a key contributor to the economic growth of British Columbia and will enhance our trade opportunities,” said Minister Emerson.

“The expanded convention centre will further enhance Vancouver's international reputation as a destination of choice and will help build a stronger tourism industry,” said Minister Owen. “In supporting this expansion project, the Government of Canada also shows how it is moving forward on its commitments to the 2010 Winter Games.”

“Today demonstrates the partnership that makes Vancouver such a strong competitor in the international meeting and convention arena — industry and government working together,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “Combined with our exceptional industry standards and the wonderful pre- and post convention travel opportunities throughout British Columbia, we have a meetings destination that is moving from strength to strength.”

All environmental permits necessary for the 102,600 square metre project were recently granted, clearing the way for construction to begin. The project is to be completed by 2008.

The expanded VCEC will generate a significant increase in tourism and is striving to meet the highest environmental standards for convention centres worldwide. The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre will also serve as the broadcast centre for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The expansion project will more than triple the Convention Centre's available space, adding an additional 35,470 square metres of function space to the VCEC's existing 12,400 square metres. Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd. is wholly owned by the Province of British Columbia and is responsible for the expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), the Government of Canada works with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. The CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further sustainable growth. The fund also contributes to the Government of Canada's New Deal for Cities and Communities, which will help make Canada a world leader in developing vibrant, creative and prosperous cities and communities. Since 1994, the Government of Canada has contributed $12 billion to over 20,000 infrastructure projects in Canada's communities. This has helped leverage over $30 billion from all partners. In British Columbia, the Government of Canada has committed a total of $1.25 billion in infrastructure pojects since 1994.

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Media
contact:

Norman Stowe
Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project
604 646-3556

Mike Morton
Press Secetary
Office of the Premier
250 213-8218


Visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services

Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre gets a boost thanks to signed contribution agreement
April 8, 2004

RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES OF Vancouver and the surrounding areas will benefit from an improved and expanded Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This is thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and Tourism Vancouver.

The Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, together with the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of State (Infrastructure), the Honourable John Les, British Columbia Minister of Small Business and Economic Development and Mr. Terry Bubb, Chair of Tourism Vancouver, today confirmed their joint commitment towards the construction of the new facility for the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. The partners announced that details of the joint contribution agreement have been successfully negotiated. Tourism Vancouver will contribute $90 million and the federal and provincial governments will each contribute up to $222.5 million.

"The improved Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre will generate economic benefits in the province through the creation of thousands of new jobs and a significant increase in tourism and new visitors to the city," said Minister Anderson. "The Government of Canada is pleased to be part of this project, which will ensure that Vancouver's international reputation as a destination of choice gets a well-deserved boost. This project is also demonstrating leadership in green building design and technology. It is striving to meet the highest environmental standards for convention centres worldwide."

"This funding agreement under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund is the result of a successful partnership between our two governments and is a prime example of how infrastructure investments reflect locally established priorities and contribute to sustainable community development," explained Minister Scott. "This agreement demonstrates how the "New Deal for Communities" is a real deal for Vancouver."

"The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre has long been one of this province's top infrastructure priorities," said Minister Les. "The project confirmed today will have a positive impact on this community as it will surely increase tourism, boost the economy and create new jobs."

The funding will allow the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre to increase exhibit, meeting and ballroom capacities from 12,400 square metres to 47,870 square metres creating an unparalleled convention facility in Western Canada. The expanded facility will be available for use during the 2010 Olympics. The project will include the construction of new facilities on the Burrard Landing Site, west of Canada Place, the renovation of existing leased facilities within Canada Place and the linking of the two sites to form an integrated convention and exhibition centre. Western Economic Diversification Canada will administer the federal contribution.

"We are very excited about the changes that will be seen here in the next few years," added Vancouver Tourism Chair Terry Bubb. "We will officially be on a level playing field with some of the best convention facilities in North America and we look forward to welcoming the world to our great city."

Through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), the Government of Canada works with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. The CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further sustainable growth. The fund also supports the Government of Canada's 'new deal' for communities that will help make Canada a world leader in developing vibrant, creative and prosperous cities and communities. Since 1994, the Government of Canada has contributed $12 billion to over 20,000 infrastructure projects in Canada's communities. This has helped leverage over $30 billion from all partners.

In British Columbia, the Government of Canada has committed to invest a total of $1.25 billion since 1994 for a wide variety of infrastructure projects that provide a better quality of life and support sustainable development. These infrastructure projects have included or will include water, wastewater, solid waste, municipal energy improvements; public transit and cultural, tourism and recreational infrastructure; broadband connectivity; local roads; national highways; and safe and efficient borders.

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For further information contact:
Rod Cameron

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre
ph: (604) 689 8232
fx: (604) 647 7232


Agreement Advances Convention Centre Expansion
December 16, 2003

THE VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE Expansion Project passed an important milestone today with the signing of an agreement between Tourism Vancouver and the Government of British Columbia, Premier Gordon Campbell and Tourism Vancouver chair Terry Bubb announced today.

"With this agreement, the Province, the tourism industry and Ottawa are on track to provide a world-class facility that reflects B.C.'s reputation as one of the world's top tourism destinations," Campbell said. "In addition to the construction and tourism jobs generated here in Vancouver, the expanded convention centre will support growing tourism opportunities across the province and enhance B.C.'s international profile as we move toward 2010."

The agreement formalizes the partnership between Tourism Vancouver and the provincial government and confirms funding arrangements for the expansion project. Tourism Vancouver will contribute $90 million to the $495 million expansion, which will be built on the Burrard Landing site, west of Canada Place. The federal and provincial governments will contribute the remaining $405 million on a cost-shared basis. The expanded facility is expected to open in 2008.

"British Columbia's tourism industry is proud to support this project," said Tourism Vancouver chair Bubb. "The expanded centre will be a magnet for international events, both in the run-up to 2010 and in the years beyond. This is an exciting time for British Columbia tourism, and we're encouraged by government's ongoing commitment to the industry."

"The expansion project will generate up to $5.1 billion in economic activity," said Competition, Science and Enterprise Minister Rick Thorpe. "Combine that with hosting the 2010 Olympic Games, and British Columbians can look forward to potentially $10 billion in total economic activity and more than 200,000 new jobs."

The Government of Canada's financial commitment is through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. The Province formed the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd., a provincially owned corporation with responsibility for delivering the completed expansion in 2008.

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Media Contact:
Mike Morton
Press Secretary to the Premier
250-213-8218

VCEC's General Manager Re-elected President of International Convention Centre Organization
July 21, 2003

VANCOUVER - Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre General Manager Barbara Maple has been elected to a second term as President of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) at their recent Annual Conference in Mannheim, Germany. AIPC is an organization representing over 130 major convention centres in 49 countries world-wide, and is based in Brussels, Belgium.

Maple first assumed the presidency of AIPC in July 2001 and has seen the organization through some of the most challenging times in the history of the meetings and convention industry. Her new term of office extends into 2005.

"We are very pleased to welcome Ms. Maple to her second term as AIPC President and look forward to another two years of steady progress for our Association", said AIPC Secretary General Marianne de Raay. "Our membership has appreciated her strong hand in guiding the Association through a very turbulent period of economic and political disruptions that posed some serious challenges to our members' business. During this time, AIPC has not only provided a strong global voice for the industry but increased its membership and base of activity significantly, and we attribute a great deal of that to her leadership".

Other Board members are Vice President Juan Garaiyurrebaso of the Ferio Internacional de Bilbao, Spain; Treasurer Edgar Hirt of the International Congress Centre Munich in Germany and Board members Warren Buckley of Suntec Singapore, Pierre Gilliot of the Centre International de Conférences in Geneva Switzerland, Antti Vihinen of Sibelius Hall Congress and Concert Centre in Lahti, Finland and Steve Piper of the Brighton Centre in the UK.

Founded in 1958, AIPC is a professional, non-profit association of 130 of the world's leading meeting facilities. Its mission is to encourage and recognize excellence in congress centre management, and it supports this mission with activities designed to assist members in improving their level of management expertise in such areas as operations, finance, technology, staff development, marketing, client relations and environment. It is based in Brussels, Belgium.

Maple says that her role with AIPC delivers significant profile and benefits to the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre at an important time when there is a need to build new business for the expansion now underway. "The VCEC has an extensive involvement in the international convention market, and working with this leading organization allows us to keep abreast of and even influence issues that are of great importance to our future business prospects here in Vancouver".

"Last year, for example, we won the 2002 Apex Award for the World's Best Convention Centre against competitors from all over the world. That's helped our profile and business prospects enormously in the highly competitive convention market, and is something we couldn't have done without the kind of international experience and exposure we get through organizations like AIPC".

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For further information contact:
Rod Cameron

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre
ph: (604) 689 8232
fx: (604) 647 7232


Province Buys Convention Centre Site
February 17, 2003

VANCOUVER - The province is completing the purchase of land for the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion in Coal Harbour for $27.5 million. Minister of Competition, Science and Enterprise Rick Thorpe and Graeme Stamp, executive vice-president of Marathon Developments Inc., made the announcement today.

"Buying the land shows British Columbia's commitment to completing this expansion project on time and on budget," said Thorpe. "The expansion is important to the future of British Columbia and will make Vancouver an even more attractive place to host the 2010 Olympic Games."

"This purchase is a very positive conclusion to our six-year commitment to this project and represents what we believe to be a great investment for the province," said Stamp. "The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion will be one of the final components in the highly successful Coal Harbour project and a very welcome addition to the neighbourhood."

"We committed to working in partnership with the federal government and the private sector to open up British Columbia to the world, to create jobs, to provide a world-class convention centre and to attract visitors from around the world to all regions of British Columbia," added Thorpe. "The convention centre expansion will mean up to $5.1 billion in economic activity and 6,000 person years of employment in construction."

Thorpe thanked Marathon for its support of the project over the last several years.

The province also announced the creation of the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd., a provincially owned corporation with responsibility for delivering the completed expansion in 2008. Thorpe said interested parties should watch the BCBid Web site at www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca, as new opportunities will be posted there beginning this week.

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Visit the province's Web site at http://www.gov.bc.ca/ for online information and services.

Media contact:

Gayle Downey

Public Affairs Officer
250-952-0152

Mendelssohn Joins Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre As Offical Supplier
January 31, 2003

The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre has entered into an agreement with Mendelssohn, Canada's oldest and most experienced customs broker specializing in the trade show industry, as the facility's new Official Supplier of International Freight Forwarding and Related Services. In this role they will be joining six other private companies who comprise the Official Suppliers of VCEC, offering event clients a fully integrated range of event services from audio visual and presentation technology to specialty lighting and display.

Mendelssohn is Canada's oldest and most experienced trade show customs brokerage firm, having served U.S., International and Domestic markets for more than 25 years. Mendelssohn's parent company, Livingston International Inc., is Canada's leading customs brokerage and trade-related services provider, offering cross-border transportation services, international freight forwarding and customs and tax consulting as well as high-tech solutions for managing trade information and processes.

Mendelssohn was selected on the basis of a comprehensive review of proposals submitted by seven companies responding to a tender call. They are initially contracted for a three year term with two 1-year options for a total of 5 years. Along with freight handling, their services will include customs brokerage and facilitation of on-site customs clearance.

"We are delighted to welcome Mendelssohn to our group of Official Suppliers, and are confident that they will make a valuable and complementary contribution to the range of event services available to our clients", said Catherine Wong, VCEC's Director of Operations. "Their involvement will round out the seamless service experience we offer at the Centre, where every service need is delivered in an efficient, integrated manner."

Serving domestic, U.S. and international markets for over 26 years, Mendelssohn is a division of Livingston International Inc., Canada's leading customs broker and trade-related services company facilitating two-way trade between Canada and the United States. Mendelssohn's Canadian customs brokerage and air, ground and ocean transportation services are backed by Livingston's technology support and large network of Canadian and U.S. clearance offices.

Mendelssohn contacts in Vancouver are:
Bob Parker, Sales Manager, Western Region
Mark Fowler Operations Manager, Western Region

They can be contacted at (604) 687-5535 or through
VCEC Event Managers at (604) 689-8232.

For further information contact:
Catherine Wong, Director of Operations

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre
(604) 689-8232.

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre a Founding Member of Convention Centres of Canada
January 30, 2003

The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre (VCEC) has joined 16 other convention centres across Canada to create a new organization intended to advance the position of Canadian centres in convention markets world-wide and promote the importance of this sector to the Canadian economy. The group, named the Convention Centres of Canada, will be based in the offices of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre and represents 17 convention centres from coast to coast with a total of more than 6 million square feet of meeting and convention space.

"As convention centres, we represent the single most important element in a business sector that generates billions of dollars in annual economic impacts", said VCEC General Manager Barbara Maple. "However, convention centres aren't just about generating more visitor revenues. Along with their financial benefits, they also support professional development, trade and investment, education, culture and technology - all important areas to both our economy and our communities".

"As a result, the programs of the Convention Centres of Canada will focus on three areas of activity; the enhancement of facility and service quality, the development of a more strategic approach to marketing Canadian convention centres in key markets and the strengthening of the role convention centres play in the overall economy".

Activities to be undertaken by the group will include market research, industry communications, the development of benchmarking and performance measures, education and training, and the creation of industry marketing strategies. A major element in this process will be the creation of recognizable standards, delivered consistently in facilities across the country, which can form the basis for a "quality brand" that will distinguish Canadian facilities from their competitors and give clients more confidence.

A second major objective for the new organization is to exert more influence on decisions that affect the future of the industry and its ability to attract a greater share of the $40 billion spent each year in the global meetings and convention market.

"Canada is one of the most attractive convention destinations in the world, and provides a quality of service and accommodation second to none", said Convention Centres of Canada Manager Rod Cameron. "However, competition is tough and we need to ensure we not only have the best possible image in the market but also the required level of support from our respective communities. Through this new organization, we intend to work co-operatively to develop a better level of awareness at home as well as a more effective presence in the convention market in order to build more convention business for Canada.".

The Convention Centres of Canada is supported by funding obtained through the Product Club program of the Canadian Tourism Commission along with contributions from individual member facilities.

For further information contact:

Barbara Maple, General Manager
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre
Ph: (604) 689 8232
e-mail bmaple@bcpavco.com

Rod Cameron, Manager
Convention Centres of Canada
Ph: (604) 836 2123
e-mail criterion@axion.net


Members of the Convention Centres of Canada

Cleary International Centre (Windsor)
Halifax World Trade & Convention Centre
Hamilton Convention Centre
London Convention Centre
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Ottawa Congress Centre
Palais des Congres de Montreal
Penticton Trade & Convention Centre
Prince George Civic Centre
Le Centre des Congrès de Québec
Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium & Convention Centre
Shaw Conference Centre (Edmonton)
Telus Convention Centre (Calgary)
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre
Victoria Conference Centre
Whistler Conference Centre
Winnipeg Convention Centre

 



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