Welcome to the Alberta Meeting and Event Planning Guide, a province-wide guide written for meeting professionals. Home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Alberta is arguably one of the most awe-inspiring provinces in Canada. With its geographic diversity, two international airports and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, it's no wonder Alberta meeting venues are popular with meeting planners worldwide. Affordable and accessible, Alberta is also the only province in Canada with no provincial sales tax.
Alberta enjoys a strong economy based in petroleum, agriculture and technology. The province is the largest producer of crude oil, synthetic crude and natural gas in the country; it is the 2nd largest exporter and the 4th largest producer of natural gas in the world. In addition, Alberta is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Athabasca University and the University of Lethbridge.
Getting to Alberta is quick and easy, with most major cities in the U.S. less than five hours away. In fact, it is less than a four-hour flight from Chicago to Calgary and under 3.5 hours from Los Angeles to Edmonton. The recently renovated Calgary International Airport is Canada's 3rd busiest airport and Western Canada's top rated airport for passenger satisfaction, while Edmonton International is Canada's fastest growing airport conveniently located just 16 miles from the city's core. Together these airports serve more than 18 million passengers annually.
Old-world charm and modern convenience converge in Alberta's capital city of Edmonton. With more than 12,000 hotel rooms and 2,000 restaurants to choose from, Edmonton makes an attractive option for meeting and convention groups. The centerpiece of meeting venues in Alberta's capital is the award-winning Shaw Conference Centre. Located in the heart of the city and featuring panoramic views of Edmonton's river valley parkland, the Shaw Conference Centre features 110,000 square feet of floor space, capable of handling up to 6,000 people. Meanwhile, the meeting level of the Shaw Conference Centre has space to accommodate groups ranging from 20 to 400 people.
Among the meeting venues in Calgary – Alberta's largest city – are those created for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains nearly 200 miles south of Edmonton, this delightful city manages to combine its cowboy roots with a chic and youthful vibe. Some phenomenal Calgary meeting venues include the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Featuring 122,000 square feet of function space including a 47,000-square-foot exhibit hall along with three connected 4 star hotels, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is one of Calgary's premier meeting spots.
For intense communion with nature, planners can also look to the lovely snow-capped Canadian Rockies, near Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Here, state-of-the-art meeting venues are found amid the beauty of a protected wilderness environment and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Host a meeting at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the 118,000-square-foot Mount Temple Wing, or take advantage of the lecture halls, theaters and auditoriums available at the Banff Centre. Capable of accommodating groups from 5 to 5,000 people, this cutting-edge meeting facility offers a range of unparalleled meeting spaces with breathtaking views.
Meanwhile, for affordability in Alberta's 3rd-largest and sunniest city, planners need look no further than Lethbridge. Situated just one hour north of the Alberta-Montana border, Lethbridge is closer to the U.S. than any other city in Alberta. Meet within the largest conference center in Southern Alberta at the new Lethbridge Hotel and Conference Center, or enjoy business and pleasure combined at the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort.