Jill Brewer (City of St. John’s) and Seamus O’Keefe (STEP St. John’s) joined a group of almost fifty participants, from all four Atlantic provinces, in Moncton on June 8&9, 2015 for the first ever Atlantic Canada Event Summit. The Summit was hosted by the City of Moncton and Events Moncton and was held in conjunction with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 ™ which was appropriate given that it was the first ever truly nationally hosted international sporting event.
The Summit featured a series of information sessions and best practice sharing with attendees including a mix of mayors and staff from all four Atlantic Provinces plus tourism, economic development and sport industry members.
“The spirit of cooperation and collaboration in Atlantic Canada is strong,” said Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc. “Events can help our communities and economies to grow and showcase our culture of success to the country and the world.”
The Summit also included a roundtable discussion that resulted in the following outcomes:
- The Summit was a positive step but we must capitalize on the momentum that has begun in order to be more strategic and proactive and work better together for regional success.
- The conversation regarding major events should continue with the next potential opportunity being a presentation to the Atlantic Mayors Congress in October in Shediac, NB.
- There are opportunities to share information between now and the next meeting and this will include the assets and infrastructure that we currently have in Atlantic Canada, along with the companies that currently supply events so that local businesses can also participate in this growth.
- Research should be undertaken to determine how we can best organize and establish regular and ongoing communication and systematic collaboration.
- Economic impact is an important measure of success however in order for it to be more reliable and effective, we have an opportunity to examine consistent tools and methodology to increase the standards and validity of economic impact and other measures.
To ensure that Atlantic Canada can be more successful in attracting and staging events, this was seen as the first step in a process that will engage all Atlantic municipalities and provinces and the event industry.