The city is bustling with restaurants, theaters and shops, along with attractions such as Craigdarroch Castle, a historic home built by the Langmuir family in the late 1800s. The zoo offers hands-on access to bugs such as millipedes and walking sticks, and up close and personal views of glow-in-the-dark scorpions and the largest ant farm in Canada.
The course offers online booking for tee times, and amenities such as a pro shop, restaurant, and space for weddings and private events. The white rock, for which the city was named, is a 486-ton glacial deposit located on West Beach, to the left of the pier.
The International Peace arch stands between Surrey and Blaine, Washington, with one foot on U.S. soil and the other on the Canadian side of the border. The park also offers sculpture exhibits, landscaped gardens, group tours and free concerts.
Attend a festival or fair, or other cultural events Visit a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, historic site, national park, museum, or art gallery Watch sports or participate in gaming Documenting every activity that could be on a tourist’s to-do list would be nearly impossible, for what one traveler would find entertaining, another may not.
This chapter focuses on the major components of arts, entertainment, and attractions, including motion pictures, video exhibitions, and wineries, all activities listed under the North American Industry Classification System we learned about in Chapter 1. Figure 6.1 A labyrinth of light at the 2008 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival in Vancouver Festival and Major Events Canada (FAME) released a report in 2009 detailing the economic impacts of the 15 largest festivals and events across Canada, which amounted to $750 million in tourist spending and another $300 million in local operational spending (Enigma Research Consultants, 2009).
The International Dictionary of Event Management defines a festival as a “public celebration that conveys, through a kaleidoscope of activities, certain meanings to participants and spectators” (Goldblum, 2001, p. 78). Other definitions, including those used by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the European Union, highlight accessibility to the public and short duration as key elements that define a festival.
For instance, funding for the federal government’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program is available under three categories, depending on the type of festival: Legacy funding is provided to community capital projects that commemorate a 100th anniversary (or greater, in increments of 25 years) of a significant local historical event or local historical personality.
Festivals and events in BC celebrate theater dance, film, crafts, visual arts, and more. An event is a happening at a given place and time, usually of some importance, celebrating or commemorating a special occasion.
To help broaden this simple definition, categories have been developed based on the scale of events. These categories, presented in Table 6.1 overlap and are not hard and fast, but help cover a range of events.
The Carnival of Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) Mardi Gras (New Orleans) Oktoberfest (Munich) Festival: (as defined above) public celebration that conveys, through a kaleidoscope of activities, certain meanings to participants and spectators.
Celebration and reaffirmation of community or culture Artistic content Religious or ritualistic Music, dance, and drama are often featured Data source: Get, 1997, p. 6Events can be extremely complex projects, which is why, over time, the role of event planners has taken on greater importance.
The development of education, training programs, and professional designations such as Camps (Certified Meeting Planners), CSP (Certified Special Events Professional), and CMM (Certificate in Meeting Management) has led to increased credibility in this business and demonstrates the importance of the sector to the economy. In fact, the tourism industry has a long history of creating, hosting, and promoting events that draw business travelers.
Delivered at least $27 billion to Canada’s economy (1.5% of Canada’s GDP) Contributed $8.5 billion in taxes and service fees to all levels of government Created over 341,700 employment opportunities (average salary of over $50,000 per year) The business events' industry in Canada is as big as agriculture and forestry, and it provides nearly twice the number of jobs that telecommunications and utilities do (BE ICC, 2014).
For more information, visit the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada website : http://beicc.com/ These include architectural spaces such as airplane hangars, warehouses, or rooftops and experiential venues such as aquariums, museums, and galleries (Cols ton, 2014).
Unlike other types of business events, incentive travel is focused on fun, food, and other activities rather than education and work. Sectors that use incentive travel include insurance, finance, technology, pharmaceutical, and auto manufacturers and dealers.
When rewarding high-performance staff, Fortune 500-type companies are looking for the most luxurious and unique travel experiences and products available. SITE holds annual awards for the best in unique, memorable incentive experiences.
BC is home to a number of convention centers, including those in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Mention, Prince George, and Victoria. The signature venue for the province is the Vancouver Convention Center, which underwent a significant expansion prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Vancouver Convention Center is owned and managed by the BC Pavilion Corporation (Pasco), a Crown corporation, and staffed with 70 Pasco employees, six official suppliers, and a further workforce of 291 full-time equivalent jobs. With its unique “scratch kitchen” that uses fresh, local products, an extensive recycling program, and its legendary “green roof,” the center is known for its beautiful views and commitment to sustainability.
With an understanding of the scope of festivals and events, as well as examples of the venues that host them, let’s turn our attention to the diverse number of attractions that contribute to the tourism entertainment sector. After consultation, federal, provincial, territorial, and industry stakeholders agreed on a working definition: “places whose main purpose is to allow public access for entertainment, interest, or education” (Canadian Tourism Commission, 1998, p. 3).
Heritage attractions: focus on preserving and exhibiting objects, sites, and natural wonders of historical, cultural, and educational value (e.g., museums, art galleries, historic sites, botanical gardens, zoos, nature parks, conservation areas) Amusement/entertainment attractions: maintain and provide access to amusement or entertainment facilities (e.g., arcades; amusement, theme, and water parks) Recreational attractions: maintain and provide access to outdoor or indoor facilities where people can participate in sports and recreational activities (e.g., golf courses, skiing facilities, marinas, bowling centers) Commercial attractions: retail operations dealing in gifts, handcrafted goods, and souvenirs that actively market to tourists (e.g., craft stores listed in a tourist guide) Industrial attractions: deal mainly in agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing products that actively market to tourists (e.g., wineries, fish hatcheries, factories) Although the data is two decades old (the survey was never repeated at a national level), the overall findings help to outline the importance of tourist attractions to Canada’s tourism industry.
Major revenue sources for attractions include admission, merchandising, food and beverage sales, parking, grants, and donations. Major expenses include staff, land, insurance, permits and fees, marketing, equipment, and buildings.
These statistics indicate that volunteerism is a critical success factor for Canadian heritage institutions. There were also over 137 million online visits to all heritage institutions (captured for the first time in the history of the survey).
These activities and entities contribute to a destination’s tourist product offering and are usually considered an aspect of cultural tourism. Ohio Kamikaze of BC’s Go Bulletin 2011, the majority of small and medium-sized performing arts companies in Canada were profitable (86.3%).
Originally intended to showcase BC performers, it also brings touring groups from other regions to the province. Exhibitions are assembled and organized by a curator who oversees the installation of the works in the gallery space.
However, art museums and public galleries have different mandates, and therefore offer different visitor experiences. Public galleries, on the other hand, do not generally collect or conserve works of art.
Rather, they focus on exhibitions of contemporary works as well as on programs of lectures, publications, and other events. Many of the smaller galleries have formed partnerships within geographic regions to share marketing resources and increase visitor appeal.
One example is the Royal BC Museum, which hosts an online Learning Portal, lists recent related tweets on its home page, and is home to an IMAX theater playing IMAX movies that relate to the museum exhibits. Founded in 1957 and incorporated in 1966, the British Columbia Museums Association (CMA) provides a unified voice for the institutions, trustees, professional staff, and volunteers of the BC museum and gallery community.
Canadian botanical gardens host an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year and are important science and educational facilities, providing leadership in plant conservation and public education (Botanic Gardens Conservation International, 2014). It represents the 33 leading zoological parks and aquariums in Canada and promotes the welfare of, and encourages the advancement and improvement of, related animal exhibits in Canada as humane agencies of recreation, education, conservation, and science.
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAA) work in support of ethical and responsible facilities. Examples of CAA members in BC include the BC Wildlife Park in Balloons, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge near Golden, Shaw Ocean Discovery Center in Sidney, and the Vancouver Aquarium (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, 2014).
Figure 6.6 Wave spinners at Vancouver’s Play land amusement awhile cultural and heritage attractions strive to present information based on historic and evolving cultures and facts, amusement parks are attractions that often work to create alternate, fanciful realities. Theme parks have a long history dating back to the 1500s in Europe, and have evolved ever since.
Today, it is hard not to try to compare any amusement park destination to Disneyland and Disney World. Opened in 1955 in sunny California, Disneyland set the standard for theme parks.
In BC, some of these titles include Reindeer Games and Double Jeopardy (Prince George), Roxanne (Nelson), The Pledge (Fraser Canyon), Battlestar Galactica (Balloons), The Twilight Saga, Millville, and Supernatural (Greater Vancouver). Founded in 2001, the Whistler Film Festival has grown to become one of Canada’s premier events for promoting the development of Western Canada’s film industry and an emerging venue in the international circuit.
The festival, held during the first weekend in December, attracts an audience of over 8,200 and more than 500 industry delegates to the ski resort of Whistler, British Columbia, for seminars, special events, and the screening of over 80 independent films from Canada and around the world. The purpose of the alliance was to increase Canadian capacity to attract and host sport tourism events.
Building on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the program has a goal to maintain BC’s profile and reputation as an exceptional major event host. One success story is Balloons, dubbed the Tournament Capital of Canada, which has made sport tourism a central component of its economy and welcomes over one million visitors to its tournament center facility each year.
And since 1977, the BC Winter and Summer Games have moved around the province, drawing attendees and creating volunteer opportunities for up to 3,200 community members. The Sport Tourism Guide from Destination BC’s Tourism Business Essentials' series covers topics including understanding sport tourism, industry trends, event bidding and hosting, balance sheets, economic impacts, case studies, best practices, and links to additional information.
Gaming at these facilities and online generated $1.175 billion in net tax revenue to the province of BC, which was reinvested into the heath care system and distributed to communities through a series of grants (BC Lottery Corporation, 2013). It is responsible for operating lottery, casino, online, and bingo gaming in BC.
The provincial industry has grown annually since 2006, except in 2010 (slight decrease of about $15 million). The majority of growth was accounted for by the redevelopment/expansion of existing casinos and the introduction of a number of CCS (Canadian Gaming Association, 2011).
Let’s now have a closer look at the world of farms, food, and wine in the entertainment and tourism industries. The Canadian Farm Business Management Council defines apriorism as “travel that combines rural settings with products of agricultural operations within a tourism experience that is paid for by visitors” (ROTC, 2011).
At a time when farmers are facing increasing costs and the local food movement is growing in popularity, apriorism presents a great opportunity to use farm resources to create experiences for visitors, whether they be for entertainment, education, or as venues for business/meeting events. In BC, examples of apriorism businesses are Salt Spring Island Cheese, Flanagan Lavender Herb Farm near Kelowna, and Amuse Bistro in the Conical Valley, where a local monk and mushroom expert forages for local fungi (Hello BC, 2014).
A number of self-guided circle tours and other experiences are available in these and other areas, including annual festivals and events, such as the Pemberton Slow Food Cycle Sunday, profiled in the Spotlight On below. The Slow Food Cycle Sunday began in 2005 with the Hélmer family farm in Pemberton.
While an emerging and potentially lucrative market, there is much more to learn about culinary tourists to BC, and Canada. In 2011, BC’s wine industry generated $1.43 billion in business revenue, and either directly or indirectly supported over 10,000 full-time jobs (Frank, Zimmerman + Co, 2013).
According to the 2006 Travel Activities and Motivations Survey (TAMS), 3.3 million Canadians and 30 million Americans participated in wine tourism in 2004/2005, with BC receiving 45% of the Canadian visitors, and just over 9% of the American guests. So far in this chapter, we’ve looked at entertainment experiences from wine to gambling, from farm-fresh foods to museums and galleries, and at many things in between.
Festivals, events, and other entertainment experiences can have significant positive, and negative, impacts on communities and guests. Each type of festival, event, or attraction will have an impact on the host community and guests.
Community resistance to tourism Loss of authenticity Damage to reputation Exploitation Inflated prices Opportunity costs Online gambling, virtual exhibits, and live-streaming animal habitat cams are just a few of the new ways that visitors can be entertained, often without having to visit the destination.
As this type of experience continues to thrive, the sector must constantly adapt to capture revenues and attention. Across Canada and within BC the range of activities to entertain and delight travelers runs from authentic explorations of cultural phenomena to pure amusement.
Whether through festivals, events, attractions, or new virtual components, the tourism industry relies on entertainment to complete packages and ensure guests, whether business or leisure travelers, increase their spending and enjoyment. Thus far we’ve explored the key sectors of transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, and recreation and entertainment.
Purchased by husband and wife team Janet Doherty and Rick Pipes in 2000, Marriage Estate Cider is located in the Conical Valley on Vancouver Island. The cider itself was established by the previous owner in 1990 who planted apple trees in the location, which is considered ideal by many for its terrain and climate.