The Halifax Convention Centre hosted 40 national and international conferences and events, exceeding our target of hosting 35 national and international events in 2023-2024. A key pillar of our sales strategy, national and international events brought the world to Halifax and generated significant economic contributions.

Major National and International Conferences and Events

As a component of the Halifax Convention Centre’s strategy, we continued our efforts to attract major national and international conferences and events to our Centre. In 2023-2024, we welcomed visitors from across Canada and the United States, Scotland and the UK, Sweden, Australia, continental Europe, Asia, and beyond. International events and visitors help us position the strengths of our province in global communities, including in academia, research, and innovation. Our teams helped to showcase the best of Nova Scotia through our Centre’s alignment hosting events that support our province’s strategic sectors and unique community interests, the unmatched hospitality and service excellence of our teams, and our downtown partners who helped us welcome over 95,000 guests.

Making Impact at Home and Abroad

This year, the Halifax Convention Centre was honoured to host national and international events and conferences that brought the world to Halifax, showcased Nova Scotia’s strengths in research and business innovation, and positioned the Convention Centre as a hub for important conversations that impact all of Canada. 

To align with Nova Scotia’s strategic life sciences and oceans sectors, we hosted the International Symposium on Pediatric Pain in October, which attracted a global audience of 650 pediatricians, clinicians, and health professionals to share progress and research at the interdisciplinary conference on pain in infants, children, and adolescents, with participation from Nova Scotia’s leaders in pediatric pain at Dalhousie University. In November, over 900 visitors attended the Canadian Cancer Research Conference to showcase the range and excellence of Canadian cancer research and develop the next generation of cancer research. We also hosted the North Atlantic Wright Whale Consortium of 300 marine biologists, conservationists, and researchers from the North Atlantic region – from New England to Sweden – who presented new research on marine life that illuminated the changing nature of ocean dynamics and the role we play in that change.

Canadian Paediatric Society Conference (Photo: Milos Tosic)

In November, we hosted The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’s 2023 National Conference for 1,700 activists, advocates, social workers, public servants, and those with lived experiences as unhoused people to continue the movement to end homelessness and connect and accelerate community work from coast to coast. Over 85% of people who attend the National Conference made a change in their community’s response to homelessness following the National Conference.

That month, the Convention Centre also hosted the Bell Network and Technology Services Leadership Conference for over 1,100 key players from Bell’s business units and vendor partners who shared experiences and best practices supporting the current and future transformation of Canadian and global communications. As our largest corporate conference of the year, our teams went above and beyond to create a contemporary, dynamic environment to showcase innovations in tech.

Bridging Culture and Community

The dynamism of the Halifax Convention Centre, with flexible spaces and multipurpose functions, allowed us to welcome unique national and international events that bridged culture and community throughout 2023-2024. This included hosting a rainbow of voices at the 2023 UNISON Festival in May, a choral celebration of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Over 700 delegates representing 22 2SLGBTQIA+ choirs came to Halifax from across Canada, led by the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus and the Women Next Door Choir, for four days of performances and 2SLGBTQIA+ celebration. As a Rainbow Registered venue since 2022, the Halifax Convention Centre creates a welcoming space for events like UNISON and we ensured that guests felt safe and accepted while in our Centre: “There were choirs from Vancouver, all the way to St. John’s, and everywhere in between. It was a huge event for us,” said Co-Chair Tim Cross. “People were excited to come to Halifax.”

Choir sings at UNISON

In June, we hosted over 2,000 quilters and quilt enthusiasts at Quilt Canada 2023, Canada’s largest quilt exhibition presented by the Canadian Quilter’s Association. The annual show and conference included the National Juried Show, which awarded the best quilting in Canada in several categories among 139 juried quilts. The national event incorporated the best of our region, including the Atlantic Modern Quilters, SAQA Atlantic, and Cape Breton Quilters. A sampling of quilts from Dalhousie Art Gallery’s exhibit, Secret Codes: African Nova Scotian Quilts, were displayed. Quilt Canada was a celebration of the mastery and intricacies of a traditional artform, welcoming guests and visitors of all ages from all provinces. 

This year, the Convention Centre hosted two national and international dance competitions. In July, ScotDance Canada Championship Series 2023 brought Scottish highland dancers from around the world to compete at our Centre. In March, we hosted the VIEW Dance Competition, an international dance experience and competition for young aspiring dancers. Between both events, we welcomed over 5,000 visitors to downtown Halifax, which generated significant hotel stays, restaurant and local business spending, transportation and air service spending, and the return of VIEW Dance in 2024. Events like UNISON, Quilt Canada, and dance groups bridge between our local communities and wider culture, and make our Centre a welcoming, dynamic space for unique communities across Canada.


Focusing on Service Excellence

At the Halifax Convention Centre, we are proud of our amazing teams who work together every day to bring memorable event experiences to our clients and guests. Time and again, guests say that their experiences with our employees are the best in the country and our teams go above and beyond to make their event exceptional.

To create a culture of service excellence, our teams were engaged in training throughout the year to continue building knowledge in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. This training inspires employees to continue learning and serving our clients better.

Our teams also belong to industry and trade associations to continue their growth as professionals and experts in their fields – from our ballroom to our kitchen. Our team members represent the International Association of Venue Managers, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia (HANS), the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), with Certified Meeting Planners on our staff. In March, our Senior Director of Event Operations was nominated for and won the Barbara Broome Legacy Award from the Atlantic Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for her outstanding achievements as an event professional over more than two decades. Members of our sales and event management teams were also nominated for MPI Atlantic's Rising Star of the Year and Member of the Year awards. At the Event Atlantic Excellence Awards, Executive Vice-President Suzanne Fougere was presented with the 2024 Champion of the Year Award, a recognition of her excellence in collaboration and event attraction. This ongoing engagement in, and recognition of, the professional development of our teams contributes to continued exceptional offerings, service excellence, and consistently high rates of client satisfaction.

“The staff are always exceptional. They consistently go above and beyond. And the facility is perfect – beautiful, clean, accessible. We are so grateful for the partnership we’ve built over the years. We know we wouldn’t receive the same level of care and service anywhere else.”

– Kate Udle, Event Lead, A Different Stage of Mind.

This year, we showcased teams with our Meet the Team video series featuring our people behind the scenes. From event management to mechanical engineering,  catering to sales, our teams work together to plan every step of the way.

Meet the Team: Stacey McLaughlin - As Event Manager, Stacey supports our clients and their events from start to finish.

Meet the Team: Carey Bent - Carey keeps our building safe and in tip-top shape as our Maintenance Technician. 

Meet the Team: Colton Smith - Catering Captain Colton is an expert in food and beverage service excellence.

Meet the Team: Joy Bonang - As Banquet Chef, Joy leads her team to showcase the finest Nova Scotian ingredients.

Meet the Team: Mayya Tolkacheva - Mayya is our Sales Associate who goes above and beyond for potential clients.