It was three days packed with professional development, business-to-business meetings, and networking for the over 390 people who attended Sport Events Congress 2022 (SEC22) in Edmonton.
This was the first in-person gathering of Canadian sport event rights holders, destinations, and event suppliers since March 2019. The event is organized by Sport Tourism Canada and took place at the Edmonton Convention Centre November 2-4, 2022 in partnership with Explore Edmonton, the Government of Alberta, and Travel Alberta.
Para-athlete and Edmonton native Amanda Rummery joined the speaker line-up as a guest co-host and outlined her path to athletic success following a devastating accident as part of a luncheon illustrated chat. Christina Hollingworth, a member of the Enoch Cree Nation, opened the Congress by singing the national anthem in Cree.
Another session featured Hunter Cardinal, Co-Founder and Director of Story at Naheyawin, Knowledge Keeper: Lewis Cardinal along with panelists Joe Buffalo, Actor / Professional Skateboarder and Brigette Lacquette, Professional Hockey Player, Olympian & Pro Scout for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Using personal stories, they presented Sport and (re)Creation: Storying Indigenous Resurgence in Canadian Sports.
Victor Cui, President & CEO, Edmonton Elks, gave a truly motivational presentation on the ‘Glocal’ Business of Sports: Why Sports Are Global & Local, while The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, The Government of Canada provided an overview of the federal commitment to a healthy, vibrant sport tourism industry.
Another highlight during SEC22 was Sport Events Exchange, where almost 500 B2B appointments, known as ‘speed dates’, were held between events rights holders/sport organizations who have events open for bid in 2023 and beyond and destinations who are municipal members of Sport Tourism Canada. This element of the event is historically the most popular activity, and it was refreshing to be able to conduct these appointments in-person once again.
Social events were part of the program as well, with delegates taking advantage of downtown dining and entertainment, as well as attending an Edmonton Oilers game at Rogers Place.
Plans are already underway for SEC23 which will be held June 6-8, 2023 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel & Vancouver Airport Marriott in Richmond, B.C.