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Alberta, AB Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 545
Total Sleeping Rooms 54,507
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 768
Committable Meeting Rooms* 60
Convention Center Space 150,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 104,610 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 77,474 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate CAD $174
Average Daily Meal Cost CAD $129
Average Weekly Car Rental CAD $336
*Maximum for a single hotel

Alberta, AB Meeting Planning Overview

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 10,000 hotel rooms and 70 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 66,00 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.

About Alberta, AB / Additional Info

Alberta is the country's fourth largest province and home to approximately 3.7 million people. It is Canada's fastest growing and most populous western province, with more than 3 million people residing in the two urban centers of Edmonton and Calgary. Alberta enjoys a diverse terrain populated by dense forests and prairies along with badlands, glaciers and mountains. The province's lush landscapes, along with its rich history of First Nation cultures and prehistoric dinosaur remains make it easy to see why Alberta is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Established as a province along with Saskatchewan in 1905, Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. History buffs are never bored in Alberta, with more than 350 museums housing millions of objects, including some of Alberta's most popular attractions dating back millions of years. Visitors to Alberta can experience a history of prehistoric proportions in the Canadian Badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park – one of the richest dinosaur fossil discoveries in the world (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Or, take a trip to the Royall Tyrell Museum to uncover more than 40 mounted dinosaur skeletons. Meanwhile, 10,000 years of Alberta's First Nations heritage is waiting to be explored at such attractions as the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, which introduces First Nations history, spirituality and culture to visitors around the globe. Situated on sacred ground, the park features a 62,000-square-foot museum that includes a $3-million display on Blackfoot culture. Other favorite spots include the Royal Alberta Museum (which tells an intriguing tale of the province's past), the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Used by the peoples of the plains for more than 5,500 years, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the world's largest, oldest and best-preserved buffalo jumps.

Combining modern culture and world-renowned shopping, Alberta's capital city of Edmonton is home to the world's largest shopping mall, which spans 48 city blocks. The 800-store West Edmonton Shopping Mall sees 28.4 million visitors per year, making it Alberta's most popular tourist attraction. When it comes to arts and entertainment, there's no shortage of stages indoors and out in Alberta. From the recently renovated Jubilee Auditorium to the Citadel Theatre – one of the highest ranking theaters in Canada – dance, music and theater are always in the spotlight in Alberta.

Along with rich history and culture, this phenomenal province is a nature lover's dream with plenty of ways to get outdoors and take an exhilarating adventure through the diverse terrain. Visitors can twist and turn through the winding rapids of the Red Deer River on a whitewater rafting or kayaking tour, cast their lines on a sport fishing trip on Cold Lake – the largest lake in the region — or explore the traditions of the past when cowboys roamed the prairies on a horseback riding tour. For a slew of mountain adventures including hiking, snowshoeing and more, visitors can look no further than Jasper National Park – Canada's largest and most northerly Rocky Mountain national park. Meanwhile, for those interested in experiencing wildlife up close and personal, the Calgary Zoo is the second largest zoo in Canada, while the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre is a wildlife conservation center featuring birds of prey from Alberta and around the world.

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