Ottawa Tourism is hard at work behind the scenes but doesn’t have much to announce when it comes to bringing major sporting events to the capital for Canada’s 150th birthday, the head of the organization said Tuesday.
Ottawa Tourism president and CEO, Noel Buckley. (Etienne Ranger)
Noel Buckley, the body’s president and CEO, presented a list of events the organization has booked for the coming years to city councillors. Only one of them was taking place in 2017, prompting questions from councillors about how plans were progressing.
Mr. Buckley said tourism officials are in discussions with several groups, including the organizers of the Canadian Track & Field Championships, but aren’t yet able to confirm them.
“We’re spending a great deal of time and effort on that we just haven’t been able to put any of them up there as definite,” said Mr. Buckley.
However the body is making great progress when it comes to attracting conferences and conventions to the city, he said.
“If I were to add every major convention for 2017, that list would be substantially longer,” he said.
Ottawa’s tourism officials have made attracting visitors to Canada’s capital in 2017 a priority. The City of Ottawa has created a committee, featuring Mayor Jim Watson and two city councillors, designed to facilitate the events that will be taking place during the year.
The committee experienced a partial setback in September when Ottawa Senators President Cyril Leeder announced he was stepping down from the initiative.
Several ideas had been discussed prior to that, including the possibility of an outdoor NHL game taking place at Lansdowne Park.