Previous update - July 29, 2020
Apply today: City of Calgary Festival and Event Microgrant program
To support the recovery of our city's event industry and to grow the opportunities for Calgarians to safely experience arts, culture, sport and recreation events once again, the City of Calgary recently launched its Festival and Event Microgrant program. This funding program provides eligible event organizers with between $500 - $4,500 to support with additional costs required to meet health and safety guidelines for both virtual and in-person events planned between July 10 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Applications will be accepted until Nov. 13 - or until all funding is allocated - and all non-profit organizations, charitable organizations and Calgary Business Improvement Areas are eligible to apply. For more information and application details, click here.
For your business: Calgary Temporary Face Coverings Bylaw signage
Calgary's Temporary Face Coverings Bylaw will take effect this Saturday, August 1, meaning that face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces and in public vehicles. Under the new bylaw, business operators or owners are required to display the signage provided by the City of Calgary in public entryways of the business, or within business vehicles. To download this signage, click here.
As a reference, rules and guidelines for common scenarios have been outlined further by the City of Calgary on the Face Coverings Bylaw: Questions & Answers web page.
Tourism Calgary in the news
This past week Tourism Calgary has been out in the media advocating on behalf of our industry, supporting our event partners and highlighting the significant impact that events have on our local economy and quality of life. Some of the coverage includes:
As a trusted advocate and voice for our industry partners, Tourism Calgary continues to monitor and navigate the evolving situation. While we continue to share positive news about our industry, we aren't out of the woods yet. As we head into the long weekend, we sincerely appreciate your continued efforts to provide Calgarians with unique experiences, while remaining diligent about current health and safety measures, to support the continued reopening and recovery of Calgary's important tourism industry.
Previous update - July 23, 2020
To-date more than 380 Tourism Calgary partners have reopened, enhanced safety measures and started welcoming the community back - that's the spirit! Your resilience, undeniable community spirit and commitment to providing Calgarians with safe, memorable experiences during this time has been remarkable, and for that, we thank you.
This week, we're pleased to share news about Calgary's new Face Coverings Bylaw, new guidelines for trade shows and events and about our partnership with the Great YYC Staycation - all initiatives that will support Calgary's continued reopening and the recovery of our important tourism industry.
Calgary City Council approves temporary Face Coverings Bylaw
This week, Calgary City Council voted to pass the temporary Face Coverings Bylaw, which mandates the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and on transit to stop the spread of COVID-19. These new regulations will be in place starting August 1, and will apply to indoor spaces including retail stores, shopping malls, recreation centres and public common spaces in office buildings. Businesses will also be required to display signage that outlines the details of the bylaw in public entryways starting August 1.
The City of Calgary will have more information and downloadable signage available soon at calgary.ca/covid19.
Businesses are not expected to deny services, as not everyone is required to wear face coverings. Exceptions to the bylaw include:
- Children under two years of age;
- People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering;
- People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance;
- People who are eating or drinking at a public premises that offers food and beverage services;
- People engaging in an athletic or fitness activity;
- People who are care giving or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder accommodation of the person's disability;
- People who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service - for example, a visit to the dentist.
For more information, visit: https://newsroom.calgary.ca/temporary-bylaw-mandating-face-coverings-in-public-indoor-spaces-and-public-vehicles-passed-by-city-council/
Guidance for trade shows and exhibiting events
The Government of Alberta has now released sector-specific guidance to support organizers of trade shows and exhibiting events in mitigating the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among attendees, staff and volunteers. Specific guidelines related to event screening, exhibition floors, demonstrations, entertainment, food service and more can now be accessed here.
As always, Tourism Calgary is here for you and continues to provide resources and guidelines to support your business' reopening needs through our business continuity and reopening resources webpage. If there's anything further we can do to support your reopening efforts, our team is always available via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous update - June 24, 2020
Through all the challenges our industry has faced as a result of the pandemic, you - our valued partners - have remained a consistent and significant bright light for Calgarians in your resiliency, response, innovation and collaboration as you continued to support and serve our community and each other.
To further support your efforts toward recovery, Tourism Calgary is pleased to announce that temporary partnership fee relief will be offered this year. This means renewal investment will not be collected this September; however, you will continue to benefit from complimentary access to partnership benefits including our award-winning marketing programs, product and professional development tools, advocacy support, a network of more than 700 partner organizations and more.
During this period, we will be evaluating and adjusting Tourism Calgary's partnership offerings to ensure we continue to provide value to you in this changing environment. Updates to the program will be shared as we work toward resuming our paid partnership structure for 2021.
Calgary's tourism industry continues to be a vital economic driver that supports jobs in multiple sectors. In 2019, our industry welcomed more than 7.3 million visitors and injected more than $2.5 billion into Calgary's economy. While it will take some time to return to 2019 levels, we are confident that tourism in Calgary and area will see a resurgence. As a valued Tourism Calgary partner, your organization plays an essential role in the recovery of Calgary's tourism industry and we look forward to working with you to welcome the world back when it's safe to do so.
By leveraging past success and responding to new realities, Tourism Calgary will continue to support our partners and our industry as we advance through the current and future phases outlined in our pandemic recovery strategy.
As marketers, Tourism Calgary drove more than 3.5 million sessions on visitcalgary.com and sparked more than 1.4 million social media engagements in 2019. Leveraging these platforms and our new That's the Spirit campaign, we will continue showcasing Calgary's resiliency, community spirit and the unique experiences your business has to offer.
As advocates, Tourism Calgary communicates the value of our industry and supports initiatives that will benefit our industry and city. In 2019, those included the BMO Centre expansion and the new Event Centre in Calgary's Culture and Entertainment District. During the pandemic, we've continued to use this passion and work closely with partners, stakeholders and all orders of government to support our industry's active response and recovery.
- As hosts, Tourism Calgary supported 125 meetings and events in 2019 that infused spending into the economy, generated participation opportunities and showcased our business communities. In preparation for the return of meetings and events, Tourism Calgary is working diligently with events rights holders and all orders of government to develop sectoral guidelines to ensure our city is ready when it's safe to welcome delegates, competitors and spectators back to our city.
- As activators, Tourism Calgary conducted more than 1.4 million referrals to industry partners in 2019. Leveraging our highly-visible digital platforms and initiatives like the new #LoveYYC Deals Pass, we're working hard to continue to build local confidence and drive awareness and visitation to your business.
Tourism Calgary appreciates your continued partnership and is committed to growing the strong relationship we've cultivated with you. If you have questions about our temporary partnership relief, or wish to share updates around your business offerings or changes to your team, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Previous update - June 22, 2020
This morning, Travel Alberta announced it is investing $17 million to help restart Alberta’s tourism industry. These funds are supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada and Destination Canada and are meant to support organizational operations and marketing efforts. This one-time investment to Tourism Calgary, Edmonton Tourism, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and Tourism Jasper will support the rebuild and reopening of our industry through local and regional marketing through the summer and winter. Read the press release here.
In total, Tourism Calgary will receive $2.1 million to support our seasonal marketing initiatives and assist with some of our organizational operations. Tourism Calgary is very grateful to our partners at Travel Alberta, Western Economic Diversification Canada and Destination Canada for these investments, particularly to support our industry as we continue to respond and reopen from COVID-19. We’re also grateful for the support our sister destination marketing organizations in Alberta are receiving, as it means that collectively we’ll be driving regional traffic, business and spending in our great province.
While our marketing campaigns and overall organization will not be funded to previous levels, this investment will be a critical component of Tourism Calgary’s strategy to support the recovery of our local industry that is so important to Calgary’s economy, job market and quality of life.
Previous update - June 18, 2020
To support our industry partners' reopening efforts and help drive customers through your door, Tourism Calgary has been hard at work developing a comprehensive recovery marketing plan and associated creative platform. Launched this week, That's the Spirit is a creative platform for Tourism Calgary's recovery marketing plan, which features local and regional marketing initiatives that are intended to:
- Drive more business for industry partners;
- Share timely, trustworthy information about our city's offerings;
- Boost community spirit and civic pride;
- Build trust and encourage safe exploration among locals and visitors; and
- Create alignment among industry partners and stakeholders.
That's the Spirit celebrates Calgary's resiliency, community spirit and the unique experiences our city has to offer - whether these are shared in-person, virtually, or through a combination of both. We've shown the world time and again how we come together and rise above circumstances to support one another and this great city. This time is no different as Calgary businesses go above and beyond to provide their guests with safe, memorable experiences and promote consumer confidence. This perseverance truly showcases Calgary's undeniable sense of community and passion for all we have to offer - that's the spirit of Calgary.
Designed to be fluid, That's the Spirit can start and stop as needed and move to appropriate markets when the time is right. To begin, marketing efforts will focus on getting Calgarians to explore their city again and share their experiences with others. Then, the focus will shift to asking locals to invite their friends and relatives to visit Calgary. When the time is right, Tourism Calgary will begin marketing to the eight-hour drive market once again to establish Calgary as a destination of choice this summer.
As of this week, That's the Spirit messaging has launched on visitcalgary.com and throughout Tourism Calgary's social channels. Paid marketing videos and promotions are planned to launch later this month, and the campaign will run into Fall 2020 with continuous evaluations along the way to ensure we remain empathetic to the evolving situation and to travellers' needs. We will continue to share updates as they become available.
Looking to get involved? That's the spirit! Industry partners are invited to contribute to the platform by:
If you have questions about That's the Spirit, please contact Jeff Hessel, Senior VP of Marketing directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the launch of That's the Spirit, Tourism Calgary moves into our next strategic recovery phase, and out of crisis management. With that, we'll be shifting our updates to you to become less-frequent, however more consistent and robust. As always, the Industry section of our website is updated regularly to ensure you have the information, links and updates you need to reopen and support your business, customers and staff. If you have any questions about this, please let me know.
Thank you for sharing your spirit, and for helping to inspire such a fitting campaign for our city.
Previous update - June 9, 2020
With more positive news for Alberta’s tourism industry, this afternoon Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced that Phase 2 of reopening Alberta’s economy will begin this Friday, June 12. Businesses included in this phase are as follows:
- Libraries, with restrictions;
- Movie theatres and theatres, with restrictions;
- Casinos, with restrictions;
- Personal services, including aesthetics, manicures, pedicures, massage therapy etc;
- Swimming pools for recreation purposes, with restrictions; and
- Guidelines for gathering sizes will also be expanded as of Friday, to up-to 100 people outdoors.
Also, important to our industry partners, the limit of 50 per cent capacity on restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges will be lifted, however, seating will still be limited to six people per table.
Guidance documents for business operations have been developed and will be published shortly on Alberta Biz Connect.
If your business is planning to open later this week, or if your operations will be changed with the new guidelines, please let us know so we can share your story. We continue to update the Reopening Calgary pages and Tourism Calgary channels on a daily basis to amplify reopening messages and encourage Calgarians to get out and safely explore our city. Please continue to share your business' reopening details with our team through this form.
As you continue through Phase 1 and prepare for Phase 2, Tourism Calgary continues to work with our partners at the Government of Alberta, City of Calgary and Calgary Emergency Management Agency to share all relevant information with you. Information is available through our business continuity and re-opening resources webpage, and our team is always available via email@example.com.
This is great news for the continuation of re-opening our economy. All of the hard work and sacrifices of Albertans are paying off. While there may be setbacks, we’re moving in the right direction, and this is great news for our industry and we at Tourism Calgary are looking forward to supporting you through the next phase.
Previous update - June 8, 2020
As relaunching the economy progresses and further supports for small business sustainability are needed, last Friday, Premier Jason Kenney and Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Minister Tanya Fir announced that the Government of Alberta is committing up to $200 million to offset a portion of relaunch costs for eligible small- and medium-sized businesses that have experienced severe revenue cuts because of COVID-19. One-time payments equivalent to 15 per cent of monthly revenue - up to $5,000 - will be made available to eligible Alberta businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Funds may be used for implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission (physical barriers, personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies), rent, employee wages or replacing inventory. Program details including eligibility are still being confirmed, but the online application is expected to be available in the coming weeks. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Friday also marked the launch of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada's (TIAC) industry-developed recovery campaign, which seeks sector-specific government support to ensure the successful recovery of Canada's tourism industry. While current support measures are welcomed and appreciated, they all have expiry dates that will not meet the unique situation of the tourism sector long-term. As such, TIAC's new recovery plan outlines recommendations and additional support needed for the immediate and long-term recovery of Canada's tourism sector. To review TIAC's full recovery plan, click here.
In recent weeks, updated recommendations, policies and procedures have been added to the Alberta Biz Connect platform to support businesses with their reopening efforts. Updated information is now available for accommodations; gondolas, trams and chairlifts; interpretive attractions; outdoor recreation operators; outdoor events; restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars; taxis and rideshare operators. For the most up-to-date information and reopening resources, be sure to visit Alberta Biz Connect regularly.
As Calgary businesses reopen or resume in-person operations, we continue to update the Reopening Calgary pages and Tourism Calgary channels on a daily basis to amplify your reopening messages and encourage Calgarians to get out and safely explore our city. Please continue to share your business' reopening details with our team through this form.
Previous update - June 2, 2020
You would have noted that the Federal Government ended Tourism Week in Canada with several funding announcements on Sunday. Over the last couple of days we’ve been seeking clarity on the news, how the funds relate to the advocacy work Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady has been leading and which announcements are still in the works. Sunday’s announcements did create some confusion for what it means for Western destination marketing organizations like Tourism Calgary.
This is a complex matter as there are multiple funds from which different sources of money are being made available, different designated uses for the money and announcements still to be made to confirm all of it. Here’s what we know as of this morning:
The Federal Government committed significant support for Ontario DMOs, with the most notable announcement being dedicated funding for Tourism Toronto. This was a very exciting announcement for Canada’s largest destination marketing organization, and for Ontario. We extended our congratulations to them, and we’re confident this will help the restart of tourism in Canada.
Concurrently, $30 million in funding through Destination Canada was also announced to support destination marketing organization’s marketing initiatives across the country. While the amount Tourism Calgary will receive is still unconfirmed and will be less than we typically invest in a summer campaign, we are very pleased to receive additional support and we will be using these funds for our summer campaign which will begin as hyper-local and expand to visiting friends and relatives and regional audiences as it is prudent to do so. We are looking forward to sharing the campaign details with you shortly.
Additionally, $1.45 M was committed to Travel Alberta to help support the industry – further details on how that funding will be applied are expected soon.
Significantly more funding will be required for the recovery and restart of the industry, so rest assured that we remain at the table and in ongoing conversations with the Federal Government about support for Alberta, and importantly for Calgary. We are expecting a similar announcement to help restart our critical $2.5 billion local industry.
We’re looking forward to sharing details as they become available. In the meantime, our resilient industry continues to respond to the changing environment with skill and close attention to ensuring the health and safety of customers and staff, and for that we thank you and applaud you. Finally, please keep us informed of the reopening details about your business that you’d like to share with Calgarians by completing this form.
Previous update - May 20, 2020
As Calgary businesses begin to re-open and resume in-person operations, Tourism Calgary continues to update its channels to ensure consumers have access to the most accurate and timely information. Whether your business is already welcoming customers through the door, has plans to resume in-person operations in the near future, or is sticking to virtual or contact-free offerings for now, Tourism Calgary is here to amplify your message.
To help the Tourism Calgary team promote the most accurate information about your business, please keep us updated about hours of operation, modified product and service offerings, enhanced health and safety measures and anything else you want customers to know. Share this information with us by filling out our new partner re-opening updates form.
Information collected through this form will be used to update re-opening pages on visitcalgary.com in accordance with Alberta's phased relaunch strategy. The retail re-opening businesses page is already live to support Tourism Calgary retail partners that have resumed in-person operations. Similar pages will be launched for restaurants next week.
Resources and guidelines to support your business' re-opening needs and questions are available through Tourism Calgary's business continuity and re-opening resource page.
Previous update - May 14, 2020
The team at Tourism Calgary has been working diligently to ensure our industry partners have access to resources and guidelines as they become available from official sources. This morning we’re happy to share a new business continuity and re-opening resource site. The team has amalgamated resources and guidelines for re-opening, FAQs from The City of Calgary and AGLC, B2B support including signage and a form for you to share your re-opening plans with us so we can amplify your message and tell your story through all Tourism Calgary channels.
Please check it out and let us know if there’s additional information you’d like to see included.
LoveYYC from Home continues
Despite the delay in Calgary moving into Phase 1 of the Province’s re-opening plan, Tourism Calgary continues to recognize the significant efforts our industry has undertaken to adjust to current measures. We remain committed to supporting you in finding virtual and contact-free ways to engage Calgarians through the #LoveYYC from Home program. Learn more about the program and about how to submit your information for free here.
Regional Relief and Recovery Funds
Federal Minister Melanie Joly announced a $1 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund for small, seasonal, rural and other SMEs, including destination marketing organizations, who have not been able to access existing government support measures. The fund will be managed through Western Diversification and will be used to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees, and to support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery. Details of how to apply are expected soon, and more information can be found here.
Previous update - May 13, 2020
On May 13, Premier Jason Kenney announced that while preparations have been underway to begin the Provincial Government’s Phase 1 of reopening the economy, restaurants, bars and salons in Calgary and Brooks will be held to a slower reopening, with a new start date set for May 25. Retail operations, museums and art galleries initially scheduled to open tomorrow under new guidelines may continue with those plans if owners so choose. The remainder of scheduled Phase 1 openings are scheduled for June 1. Details can be found here.
We know that this is an inconvenience and a disappointment for businesses that were preparing to reopen tomorrow. It’s also an opportunity for our partners to continue to adjust to new guidelines set out by the Provincial government. To support you in this, we’re launching a new micro-site that consolidates support resources, and gives Tourism Calgary partners the opportunity to keep us up-to-speed on your reopening plans, so we can share your messages with Calgarians through all of our channels.
Previous update - May 11, 2020
This afternoon the provincial government launched Alberta Biz Connect, a resource site to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 begin to reopen and resume operations safely. The site includes sectoral guidance relevant to many Tourism Calgary partners, as well as support via email and red tape reduction opportunities.
There have been many outstanding questions about the expectations of businesses allowed to open under Phase 1 of the government’s reopening strategy, and Alberta Biz Connect has many more details to guide business owners on reopening preparations.
Previous update - May 8, 2020
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Tourism Calgary team has been working closely and diligently with our local emergency management officials at CEMA, The City of Calgary’s business recovery and support local task forces, our provincial and national strategic marketing partners at Travel Alberta and Destination Canada and our global networks through Destinations International and others.
We’ve gathered what we believe is the best and most agile thinking about response and recovery for visitation, business sustainability and community safety. From that, we’ve developed a framework to guide our efforts through the next phases of this pandemic. We believe our framework aligns with the Government of Alberta’s phased approach to reopening the economy, supports our industry partners as you make decisions about your businesses, and contributes to developing confidence among Calgarians as they start to re-enter the community and return to their favourite local experiences.
The speed of change through this crisis has been fierce, and this framework will evolve as new information emerges. However, it’s an important starting point.
As you consider this framework, we’d like to hear from you. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think. There is a lot more background to this overview, that we’re happy to share if you’re interested.
We’re also interested in hearing about your re-opening plans. Our team is reaching out to many of you, however, you’re always welcome to reach out or email email@example.com with your plans. Specific questions about reopening safety protocols can be emailed to the Province at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous update - May 1, 2020
We recognize that there are many outstanding questions from the announcement yesterday about the phased approach to reopening the economy. We are working closely with The City of Calgary, including through the Business Recovery Task Force, Calgary Emergency Management Agency and the Mayor’s office to understand the nuances, details and requirements of businesses and customers.
There is a significant amount of work happening behind the scenes to clarify the unknowns and to support businesses as they prepare to enter the first phase of reopening. The details we do have from the Province can be found in Alberta's full COVID-19 re-launch strategy here. For more information, please see Alberta.ca.
As we shared yesterday, if we are collectively able to start the first phase of reopening on May 14, there will be foundational elements required by all, including continued testing and contract tracing, border controls, rules and guidance for use of mask, protecting the vulnerable and physical distancing. Please note, if your business is included in the first phase, it is NOT mandatory for you to open when the phase begins. Last night, Dr. Hinshaw recommended using face coverings in close spaces, and noted that face masks do not need to be commercially made.
Today, The City of Calgary reiterated that the limit of 15 people gathering remains in place, meaning major events will remain cancelled. They also reiterated that all organized and team sport and use of recreation fields and facilities continue to be prohibited. City playgrounds and skate parks remain closed. Albertans are also expected to continue to work from home where possible and limit travel to essential needs only.
Phases will be monitored by a robust set of triggers that will inform when it’s possible to advance to the next phase. Please note this is all subject to change.
Business advocacy update:
An update of note is that last night, Calgary City Council voted to waive all business license fees for one year, backdated to March 16, 2020. Further details are expected soon on Calgary.ca.
Previous update - April 30, 2020
This afternoon, in a very positive announcement for Albertans and for Alberta’s tourism industry, Premier Kenney shared Alberta’s phased approach to carefully and gradually re-opening the economy. We know you’ll have a lot of questions, but please understand that many details are still forthcoming and we’ll share them as we have them. Here’s what we know right now:
There will be foundational elements required by all, including continued testing and contract tracing, border controls, rules and guidance for use of mask, protecting the vulnerable and physical distancing.
Phases will be monitored by a robust set of triggers that will inform when it’s possible to advance to the next phase. Please note this is all subject to change.
Current projections indicate that by May 14, we may proceed to Phase 1 openings. Please note, the limit of 15 people gathering remains in place, meaning major events will remain cancelled. Albertans are also expected to continue to work from home where possible and limit travel to essential needs only.
Phase 1 (Currently scheduled for May 14) – Openings include: retail services, hair styling and barbering, daycares, restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars – with 50% occupancy limits, museums and art galleries and additional outdoor recreation.
Phase 2 – Openings include: personal services, massage and reflexology, summer camps, post-secondary institutions deliver online, in-person or a blend of programming with restrictions, potential of K-12 schools with restrictions, movie theatres with restrictions, additional elective services.
Phase 3 – Openings include: swimming pools, gyms and arenas with restrictions, nightclubs with restrictions, industry conferences, arts and cultural festivals, all with restrictions and major sporting events with restrictions.
Please note, further clarification about all of these phases and potential openings will be provided by the Provincial Government on a regular basis and will be monitored and aligned with the triggers outlined by the Province for when we can advance to the next phase.
For more information, please see Alberta.ca, or view Alberta's full COVID-19 re-launch strategy here. Tomorrow at 1 p.m., Mayor Nenshi will address Calgary media and is expected to provide more information following today’s update from the Province.
This is great news for the beginning of re-opening our economy; however, we aren’t out of the woods yet. As Dr. Hinshaw said, “today marks the start of the ‘taking care of each other’ phase." All of the hard work and sacrifices of Albertans are paying off. While there may be setbacks, we’re moving in the right direction, and this is great news for everyone in our industry. Well done, everyone.
Previous update - April 23, 2020
Following yesterday’s comments by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer, Mayor Nenshi announced this afternoon that all events in Calgary have been cancelled to Aug. 31. This will impact 166 events in our city. Sincere thanks go to all staff and volunteers for the hard work, hard decisions and countless hours of effort expended on behalf of our city, citizens and visitors.
Tourism Calgary recognizes the significant efforts our industry has undertaken to adjust to these measures and remains committed to supporting you in finding virtual and contact-free ways to engage Calgarians through the #LoveYYC from Home program. Learn more about the program and about how to submit your information for free here.
This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Federal government is partnering with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. For more information, click here.
The CECRA program for small businesses will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May and June.
Implementation of the program will require a partnership with provincial and territorial governments who are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. More details will be available soon through the Government of Canada.
This week brought several difficult announcements. If you're experiencing overwhelming feelings of stress, isolation and anxiety, confidential mental health supports are available through the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. As always, feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you have questions.
Previous update - April 23, 2020
This afternoon, our great partners at Calgary Stampede and Calgary Folk Music Festival announced that due to the effects of COVID-19, the annual showpiece events will be cancelled. Along with all the other events, festivals, meetings and conventions in our city that have faced cancellation, postponement or reimagination, we extend our thanks and appreciation to organizers and volunteers for the hard work, hard decisions and countless hours of effort expended on behalf of our city, citizens and visitors.
Calgary Stampede is about community spirit, and that’s what we at Tourism Calgary have been thinking a lot about. Despite the very difficult circumstances, community spirit is at the heart of our industry. Together, we’re unstoppable at fostering community spirit - and more importantly, at sharing it - and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do. We won’t be deterred by what we won’t have this year, rather, we’ll find new ways to engage Calgarians, share good news and promote our industry partners. That’s the Calgary way.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing with you some of the details of how Tourism Calgary plans to work in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders to support and contribute to the rebuild and recovery of our industry. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please join our #LoveYYC from Home program, so we can share your business’ offerings and good news with Calgary.
Here’s to our collective, unstoppable community spirit. We're greatest together!
Previous update - April 15, 2020
Thanks to those who have taken the time to complete the surveys we’ve been sharing over the last five weeks. With all the surveys out there right now (information is so important), it can feel overwhelming, so please accept our sincere appreciation for your time and input.
To assure all that we’re mindful of what is being shared with us, we want to share some of the key findings from our surveys, and give a sense for what we’re doing with this intelligence.
What we’re hearing about the impact of the pandemic:
First of all, it’s not news to anyone just how significantly our industry has been impacted. What is interesting is that it seems many are taking advantage of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, which has brought staff back to work, and reduced layoffs by about 16 percent. Our food and beverage partners are finding the WCB premium deferral useful, while those in accommodations are taking advantage of the deferred federal tax, municipal property tax deferral and tourism levy deferral programs.
That said, only a third of our partners feel that they are getting the support they need right now from government. Extensions of the programs are needed, as are grants. It is noted that the current deferrals will eventually add to debt loads, and the timing of those programs could impede revenue-generating timeframes.
What we’re doing about it:
Tourism Calgary is working with all orders of government, both directly and through our partnerships with Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Travel Alberta and the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta to share your thoughts and findings directly with elected officials and administration. We sit on local committees including the City of Calgary Business Recovery Task Force, the City’s Shop Local Task Force, Premier Kenney’s roundtables and others representing the needs of our industry. We will continue this important work on your behalf.
What we’re hearing about how Calgary's tourism industry is looking forward:
Calgary's tourism industry is working hard through this time to prepare for re-opening and to find new ways of doing business. Social media promotions are being updated; services are being modified; and new marketing, promotions and sales are being developed. Those in the meetings and events sector are focused on modifying services and updating marketing materials.
While nearly half of our industry – particularly those in the restaurant and attractions sectors – can be operational within two weeks of restrictions being lifted, the other half may need as much as a year.
What we’re doing about it:
We’re sharing our industry's innovations. Updated continuously, Tourism Calgary's #LoveYYC From Home platform supports Calgary's resilient tourism industry and inspires residents to stay connected while they continue to experience - and share - our city through virtual and contact-free offerings. Please continue to share your business' new virtual or contact-free events and offerings with us by filling out the #LoveYYC From Home form, or by contacting a member of our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for more opportunities and resources from Tourism Calgary to support your efforts in the coming weeks.
What we heard the industry say about what we should be working on:
The most important work Tourism Calgary should be focused on is securing financial support from government and developing a recovery plan.
What we’re doing about it:
Our advocacy efforts are noted above, and are a significant focus of ours.
Developing a plan for recovery is also a vital part of our work. We know that a rebuilding phase will precede recovery. Our first focus will be hyper-local – when the time is right we will need to support our industry to get back on its feet, while encouraging Calgarians and very close regional markets to get out and enjoying all of our experiences. This will support the rebuild, grow community spirit and help our economy. Recovery will follow, and that work will be in close collaboration with local, provincial, national and international partners. This will also influence our update of Calgary’s long-term Destination Strategy.
Stay tuned for much, much more information about recovery and rebuild plans and how members of Calgary's tourism industry can get involved and support.
In the meantime, we’re updating our Industry webpages nearly daily and will continue to offer opportunities to engage with Calgary Emergency Management Agency and Alberta Health Services on a frequent basis. Our social channels are up and running, #LoveYYC from Home is being continuously added to and shared with consumers, and every week we’re telling five feel-good stories about our community.
As always, we invite you to share your stories, ideas, questions and suggestions with us directly or through email@example.com.
On behalf of Cindy Ady and the rest of the Tourism Calgary team, thank you to our industry for the ongoing input, time, positivity and creativity through this pandemic. The collective reaction and response show us every day why Calgary – and why Calgary’s tourism and hospitality industry – is the best, anywhere.
Previous update - April 13, 2020
We hope you had a lovely long-weekend. On April 12, the Government of Canada's $52 billion relief program, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, passed in the House of Commons. Details of the program, which will cover 75 percent of the first $58,700 earned by an employee for three months, can be found here. Canadian businesses can apply to receive $847 per week, per employee to subsidize wages for three months, provided the employer can demonstrate a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 percent in March and 30 percent in April and May.
Provincially, the Government of Alberta announced today that to increase support to charities, it has launched a charitable matching donation program. Starting April 15, the Alberta government will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations up to $2 million to Alberta-based charities and non-profit organizations with COVID-19 fundraising campaigns.
Municipally, The City of Calgary is advocating to the provincial and federal governments for local priorities, which are summarized here:
Finally, staying connected and supporting our valued partners is more important than ever. Updated continuously, Tourism Calgary's #LoveYYC From Home platform supports Calgary's resilient tourism industry and inspires residents to stay connected while they continue to experience - and share - our city through virtual and contact-free experiences. To learn more about the #LoveYYC From Home platform, see: visitcalgary.com/loveyyc-from-home. This resource is updated regularly, so please continue to share your business' new virtual or contact-free events and offerings with us by filling out the #LoveYYC From Home form, or by contacting a member of our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. If you're experiencing overwhelming feelings of stress, isolation and anxiety, confidential mental health supports are available through the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322.
Previous update - April 7, 2020
On April 6, Calgary City Council voted to defer municipal property tax payments, including municipal business tax, to September 30, 2020 without penalty or interest. Property owners on TIPP can call 3-1-1 for assistance or to participate.
We know that several Tourism Calgary partners - particularly breweries - have shifted their operations to focus on producing products to support the fight against COVID-19. On April 3, Premier Jason Kenney announced the Bits and Pieces program, which encourages individuals, private companies and non-profit organizations to offer products and services, including personal protective equipment, towards Alberta's fight against COVID-19. More than 2,900 offers of support have poured in from private and non-profit organizations so far.
For more information on the Bits and Pieces program, or to find out how you can help, click here.
Finally, this afternoon, CEMA Chief Tom Sampson and Dr. Friesen from AHS hosted another virtual town hall. We're grateful for the ongoing opportunities to hear directly from CEMA and AHS and for our industry to be able to ask questions. Some highlights from today's call included:
- If you must physically be in a work environment, the best practice is to split your teams and have physical distancing measures in place in work spaces, washrooms, kitchens, work and break schedules to reduce contact between people as much as possible;
- Hand washing continues to be the most effective way of protecting yourself from COVID-19;
- High contact areas in your work space, home and vehicles should be cleaned frequently;
- There are guidelines and resources for workplaces, managers and employees on Alberta.ca and Calgary.ca;
- COVID-19 tests are being processed within 24 - 28 hours, and contact-tracers are following up immediately following positive results;
- The current list of essential services is very broad and is being monitored. It is not unreasonable to expect that this list will be further reduced in the coming weeks;
- Outdoor recreational fields, courts and facilities will remain closed at least until end of June;
- If new information becomes available, these regulations may be relaxed;
- The City will likely update on summer events in the next few weeks.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. If you're experiencing overwhelming feelings of stress, isolation and anxiety, confidential mental health supports are available through the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322
Previous update - April 3, 2020
As we close another week, Tourism Calgary extends our warm and sincere appreciation to each and every one in our industry. This has been another week of ups and downs, yet the best of Calgary is shining through, and our partners have been a consistent and significant bright light for Calgarians through the ways in which you've responded to this crisis and continue to support our community and each other. Thank you.
As of April 3, Mayor Nenshi and CEMA Chief Sampson announced the cancellation of events and event permits to June 30, 2020. We know this news will impact many of our partners, and we're here to support you. Please reach out to us if you have questions or would like help. We're here for you. For more information, click here.
While we're unable to host events, or open our physical doors, staying connected and supporting our partners is more important than ever. Tourism Calgary launched #LoveYYC From Home. This new platform helps support Calgary's resilient tourism industry that has found new and exciting ways to safely engage Calgarians, and inspires residents to share their love for their city and stay connected through virtual or contact-free experiences.
From offering virtual tours, classes and events to developing inventive delivery options and sharing numerous acts of generosity, Calgary's tourism industry remains driven by big dreams and determined to make a contribution. Your love and pride for your employees, businesses and Calgary is undeniable and inspiring.
To access a robust list of virtual and contact-free offerings already available, see visitcalgary.com/loveYYC-from-home. If you'd like your business included, please fill out the #LoveYYC From Home form or connect with a member of the Tourism Calgary team via email@example.com.
You can also get involved by sharing your favourite Calgary experiences and acts of compassion on social media using #LoveYYC and by tagging @TourismCalgary on all platforms.
Previous update - March 31, 2020
As proud Calgarians, we know that our community spirit is what sets us apart and reinforces our position as ultimate hosts. The Calgary attitude remains that no matter what comes our way, or what life has in store, we work together to make it through and we come out stronger. It's at times like these when our community spirit shines brightest. We accept the challenges and devise collaborative, innovative solutions to forge ahead.
Calgary's tourism industry is facing tough times. Despite all this, we're seeing so many examples of collaboration and perseverance as our industry looks for new ways to help residents unlock the best version of Calgary. From virtual tours, classes and events to numerous acts of compassion and humanity, Calgary's tourism industry remains driven by big dreams and determined to make a contribution.
As a leader for our industry, Tourism Calgary is committed to fostering our city's undeniable community spirit and to supporting our valued partners as they adjust to this situation. As you know, we've been actively advocating for our industry by telling your stories and articulating your needs to different orders of government and other response partners. Now, we're adding to our support efforts through a campaign called #LoveYYC From Home. The purpose of this campaign is to identify the new ways you're sharing Calgary's experiences, then to leverage our highly-visible digital channels and marketing resources to highlight and support your efforts. Ways to get involved include:
Examples of some initiatives that have caught our eyes include: CRAFT gives proceeds from all gift cards and apparel sales to staff; Glenbow Museum offers virtual tours daily at 10 a.m.; TELUS Spark Science from home blasts off; Calgary Zoo offers 'Daily Dose at Home'.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. Let's keep showing our love and pride for our community, and for each other.
Previous update - March 27, 2020
On March 30, a virtual information session was hosted by Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson, and Dr. Nicholas Etches from Alberta Health Services. Thanks to all who have tuned in to these sessions and supported the spread of information, not the spread of the virus. A few key questions and answers relevant to Calgary's tourism industry that were addressed in today's session include:
- Given restrictions around certain businesses and workplace closures, what is considered an essential service? Alberta has implemented public health orders restricting certain businesses and workplace closures to protect Albertans' health and limit the spread of COVID-19. An extensive list outlining all non-essential retail businesses is available here. If you're still unsure if your business is considered essential after referring to this web page, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If a hotel guest has a confirmed case of COVID-19, can the hotel continue operations? Yes, operations can continue so long as there's no risk to anyone else in the hotel. Management should be in close contact with Alberta Health Services so they can monitor the situation. Additionally, the guest should be provided with any food and amenities they need to remain in self-isolation. Employees should wear gloves when coming into contact with anything used by the guest, and the room should be thoroughly cleaned upon their departure.
- What is the protocol for people travelling in shared vehicles like taxis? If you have symptoms, you should not be travelling anywhere, you should be home self-isolating. If you are sharing a vehicle with someone, maximize physical distance when possible by sitting in the back seat opposite the person driving.
As of March 29, the City of Calgary made a few additional announcements to further support businesses in navigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
- Cancellation of Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tax penalties between April 1 and June 30. This means that any business that has not already paid their BIA tax has until June 30, 2020 to pay a penalty fee. A penalty of 7% would apply to taxes outstanding as of July 1, 2020.
- Decrease in Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) payments. Non-residential property owners participating in TIPP will see a decrease in the April 1 instalment equal to the provincial property tax portion. This portion has been deferred for six months.
- For more information, please click here.
Tourism Calgary has been actively advocating for our industry and articulating your needs to all orders of government and other response partners. Thanks to all who have been completing our surveys and helping us understand and share the impact of COVID-19 on Calgary's tourism industry. This week, we will be adding to our support efforts by asking for you to share your stories of how your business and employees are finding new ways of sharing your experiences, so we can highlight and support them. Please stay tuned for those details.
In the meantime, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Hotel Association of Canada and Restaurants Canada have submitted a joint proposal to The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. You can read the proposal and add your name here.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. As always, feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you have questions.
Previous update - March 27, 2020
Several updates were made today by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
This afternoon, The City of Calgary ordered the suspension of group sport activities, and the closure of skate parks in addition to playgrounds.
Just now, Premier Jason Kenney ordered that mass gatherings be restricted to 15 people or less, and that all non-essential businesses close, including restaurants. This does not limit take-out services. More information can be found here.
At the federal level, several new support programs for small businesses were announced. The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) provided the following summary:
Increased Wage Subsidy to 75% for qualifying businesses
- The government’s previously announced wage subsidy of 10% will be replaced by a wage subsidy of 75%, helping tourism businesses keep employees on payroll and position the industry for recovery once this health crisis is over.
- Eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales. Further details regarding eligibility will be shared by the government shortly.
- This subsidy will be available to small and medium businesses for up to three months and retroactive until March 15, 2020, allowing tourism businesses to potentially re-hire laid off staff.
Deferred GST & HST payments, duties and taxes on imports until June 2020
- A measure equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses.
- Deferred payments to allow businesses to have more liquidity on hand to survive the financial impact of COVID-19.
Canada Emergency Business Account
- Banks will offer $40,000 loans, guaranteed by the government to qualifying small businesses and loans will be interest-free for the first year. Qualifying businesses must have payrolls of less than $1 million.
- Full loan repayment by December 31, 2022, will result in a 25% loan forgiveness up to $10,000.
Loans will be available through eligible financial institutions and will be fully guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada
New access to Credit through Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program
- The government announced $12.5 billion of additional support and access to credit through EDC and BDC to help small and medium-sized enterprises with cashflow requirements through the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program.
- Businesses can apply for a guaranteed loan through their banking institution to access this additional financial support.
- Loans of up to $6.25 million will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses in Canada directly through their financial institutions
More details can be found here. Tourism Calgary is here for you. As always, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Previous update - March 26, 2020
As you’ve shared with us over the last few weeks, the impacts of COVID-19 have forced you to make very difficult decisions about the operations of your business. An overwhelming number of you have had to enact temporary layoffs as a result of the changing environment. As of March 26, Tourism Calgary had to do the same. Faced with significantly decreased funding, and uncertainty about timelines, 60 percent of Tourism Calgary’s valued team members were given notice of temporary layoffs, effective in early April.
We want to stress the temporary nature of the layoffs, and the fact that we’re still here to serve you, our industry partners. A core team - on reduced compensation and some on reduced hours - has been retained to help our partners and organization navigate this crisis period and prepare for recovery. We know that when that time comes, it will be more important than ever for our industry to pull together, support each other and get Calgarians back to experiencing – and sharing – all that our great city and region have to offer. Then, we will invite the world.
We expressed our deep appreciation to our team members who are accepting temporary layoffs. We know that they are eager to rejoin Tourism Calgary as soon as it is prudent, and we’re equally eager to have them back. Because of our team, and our committed and passionate industry, tourism in Calgary will return to the strong and vital industry it was only a month ago.
We remain committed to you, our industry partners. Feel free to contact email@example.com anytime and we will respond.
Previous update - March 23, 2020
Through tough times in our city, Calgary’s tourism industry has shown time and again that we support each other, and this tough time is no exception. We’re seeing so many examples of collaboration, perseverance and daring and undaunted ways of sharing the best Calgary has to offer – even if those things are looking and feeling a little different. We certainly aren’t surprised to see this, but it warms our hearts nonetheless. Your love and pride of your employees, businesses and Calgary is shining bright.
This week, Tourism Calgary’s advocacy efforts seeking support for the tourism industry will continue. We will be convening a small roundtable of leaders from every sector of our industry to discuss our advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry, and to ensure the breadth of the visitor economy is represented. We’ll announce another virtual townhall with CEMA and AHS to allow you to ask questions directly of them, and, we’ll have another survey for you, to ensure our data is complete and up-to-date. Please watch for that, and thanks in advance for your input.
Finally, this week we’re going to be asking for you to share your stories of how your business and employees are finding new ways of sharing your experiences, so we can highlight and support them. Please stay tuned for those details.
In the meantime, Premier Kenney announced today new support for small businesses. Highlights are below and details can be found here.
Corporate income tax changes:
- Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020 to increase employers' access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.
Education property tax deferral:
- Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year's levels - reversing the 3.4 per cent population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
- Collection of non-residential property tax for businesses will be deferred for six months.
- Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
- Deferred amounts will be repaid in future years.
- Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
- Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do so. This will assist the province in supporting Albertans through the pandemic.
WCB premium payment deferral:
Resources are also available through the Federal government's Regional Development Agencies. The Government of Canada is taking action to support tourism and other businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can take advantage of new investments and initiatives such as:
- Enhancements to the Work-Sharing program to help support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19.
- Waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Income support for those who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits is also being explored.
Details can be found here.
Also, a few key questions and answers relevant to our industry from today’s virtual townhall with CEMA and AHS include:
- Should hotels remain open? At this time, there are no restrictions around hotels. Properties can remain open if they wish; however, cleaning processes should be reviewed and enhanced, and symptomatic guests should be accommodated to ensure they’re able to self-isolate;
- What are the recommendations around outdoor sport organizations that host practices on open fields? At this time, it is not recommended to engage in sporting activities where competitors can come into close contact, even if those activities take place outdoors;
- What is the response to breweries making hand sanitizer? The city has received lots of offers of support, and they are greatly appreciated. CEMA is doing what it can to get approval from the federal level so that these organizations may move forward with their plans to offer support.
Tourism Calgary is here for you. As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's keep showing our love and pride for our community, and for each other.
Previous update - March 18, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.
As expected, the afternoon of March 17, Premier Jason Kenney announced financial assistance for Albertans and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details around how the programs will operate are expected in the next week; however, just announced are financial supports for Albertans including:
Employer support: To give employers increased access to cash in order to pay employees, address debts and continue operations, the government will defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and installment payments, due after today, until Aug. 31, 2020. This gives Alberta businesses access to about $1.5 billion in funds to help them cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
Emergency isolation support: A temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta's published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
Utility payment holiday: Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from these services during this time of crisis. This will cover electricity and natural gas, regardless of the service provider.
Student loans repayment holiday: The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
ATB Financial customers impacted by COVID-19:
- Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to six months.
- Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.
- For other business and agriculture customers, ATB will work with customers on a one-on-one basis and further solutions are being considered at this time.
- For more information on ATB's relief program, please visit their website.
Alberta credit unions:
- Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
- Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.
More details are available here.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Federal support. Details can be found details here.
Previous update - March 18, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Thanks to all Tourism Calgary partners and stakeholders who have been completing our surveys and helping us understand and share the impact of COVID-19 on Calgary's tourism industry.
With the situation changing daily and hourly, so does the impact. We know from our most recent surveying from March 14 to 16, fully 86 per cent of Calgary's tourism industry members have already been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an industry that includes many small businesses, you are feeling the residual impacts which for many have included the very difficult need to lay off staff. We know there is an urgent need for financial support.
Tourism Calgary is sharing the results of our surveys with government partners and others to help them realize the significant impact of COVID-19 on our industry. In fact, Cindy Ady, Tourism Calgary's CEO, will be joining Premier Jason Kenney's economic roundtable on March 18 to help him and his government understand how our industry specifically is being impacted and what support would be helpful, based on what you're telling us.
We understand that news of provincial support for business and employees will be announced later today or tomorrow. As soon as it is, we'll share it with Tourism Calgary partners and stakeholders. In the meantime, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Federal support. Details can be found here.
Tourism Industry Association of Canada has outlined the details, and at a high level, they include:
- $27 billion to fund COVID-19 research - this funding will support 47 research teams from across Canada that will focus on accelerating the development, testing and implementation of measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak (link for details here)
- $1 billion package to help Canadians cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, with half of the money going to the provinces and territories - the fund will help put in place the plans, infrastructure and resources needed to protect the health and safety of all Canadians (link for details here).
- Employment Insurance - The Government of Canada will waive the one-week waiting period for people who are in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate and are claiming for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits (link for details here).The Government of Canada will also introduce enhancements to the
- Work-Sharing Program to earmark an estimated $12 million to help employers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19, and their workers (link for details here)
- Establishment of a $10 billion Business Credit Availability Program to further support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada (link for more details here).
Tourism Calgary is here for you. We're in this together. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to email@example.com.
Previous update - March 17, 2020:
On March 17, a virtual information session was hosted by Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson, and Dr. Nicholas Etches from Alberta Health Services following the Government of Alberta's declaration of a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. Invitation to this information session was extended to other partners of The City of Calgary, in addition to Calgary’s tourism industry.
Because the information is changing so quickly, we aren’t able to record these sessions. This ensures we are not sharing out-of-date information.
Effective today, March 17, new public health measures are in place to limit the time Albertan's spend in large crowds and crowded spaces:
All events over 50 people are cancelled.
Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
Sit-down restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, food courts and other food service facilities, including those with minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people.
Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted;
Licensed facilities are permitted to deliver liquor; however,
Buffet restaurants are an exception and must close.
Mass gatherings are now limited to no more than 50 attendees.
This includes: Conferences, worship gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.
This does not include: Grocery stores, shopping centres, health care facilities, airports, the legislature and other essential services.
Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities.
This includes: Gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children's play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres and bingo halls.
The goal is to flatten the curve and slow down the transmission of COVID-19.
Thanks to CEMA and AHS for making this forum available to Calgary's tourism industry. Tourism Calgary is here for you - if you have specific questions for Tourism Calgary related to this situation, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous update - March 16, 2020:
As of March 15, the City of Calgary has declared a State of Local Emergency to support the Government of Alberta's efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
This gives Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) the power to reduce the capacity of events and facilities to 50 per cent of their fire load card occupancy, to a maximum of 250 people.
In following these recommendations and supporting the community during this difficult time, various events have been cancelled or postponed and some organizations are temporarily closed. For a full list of event cancellations and postponements and to review temporary organization closures, please click here.
Previous update - March 13, 2020:
On March 13, a virtual townhall special to Calgary’s tourism industry was hosted in conjunction with Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson, and Dr. Nicholas Etches from Alberta Health Services.
Because the situation is evolving so rapidly, we are unable to provide video from the session. However, the presentation slides below provide a fulsome overview of the information shared. To access the presentation slides, click here.
The goal is to slow down transmission of COVID-19. As tourism industry leaders, you’re encouraged to support this effort by following the recommendations established by Alberta Health Services including:
- Staying home if you’re sick and encouraging your colleagues to do the same;
- Doing what you can to support and educate your organization and your customers;
- Post signage in all entryways that encourages people to go home if they show symptoms;
- Post signage throughout the facility that encourages patrons to wash their hands;
- Providing hand sanitizer, and making it easy for people to wash their hands; and
- See what you can do to space people out.
Please know that Tourism Calgary is here for you. We will continue to work closely with our partners, including Calgary Emergency Management Agency and the Calgary Hotel Association to share information as we have it.
Thanks to CEMA Chief Tom Sampson and Dr. Nicholas Etches from Alberta Health Services for providing our industry with this important update. If you have specific questions for Tourism Calgary related to this situation, please direct them to email@example.com.
Previous update - March 10, 2020:
As the situation in Calgary and Alberta is evolving, Tourism Calgary continues to work closely with our partners, including Calgary Emergency Management Agency, the Calgary Hotel Association and YYC Calgary International Airport to ensure our industry is prepared.
As of March 10, the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to rate the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. All relevant information on COVID-19 is available through the Public Health Agency of Canada website, including information on prevention and risks. A hotline has also been set up for the public to call if they have further questions at 1.833.784.4397
We will continue to actively monitor the situation, develop mitigation strategies with partners and to update this page as new information becomes available.
Previous update - March 2, 2020:
COVID-19 is having an impact on tourism around the world. Canada and its tourism destinations are already experiencing the impact through the cancellation of flights and of conferences and events. As the virus continues to spread, we expect to see further impacts nationally, provincially and locally.
While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, the tourism industry is especially vulnerable to global pandemics. For that reason, Tourism Calgary is working closely with partners to support our industry and the local tourism economy by shifting our marketing efforts for 2020 to a national and regional approach. By being responsive and nimble in our efforts, we aim to mitigate the impact on those who work and operate businesses in Calgary’s $2 billion tourism industry.
Tourism Calgary is working closely with our partners, including Calgary Emergency Management Agency, the Calgary Hotel Association and YYC Calgary International Airport to ensure our industry is prepared.
Previous update - Feb. 25, 2020:
Tourism Calgary is actively monitoring COVID-19 developments and is working closely with Travel Alberta and Destination Canada to provide accurate and timely information related to this evolving global situation.
As of Feb. 25, the Public Health Agency of Canada has rated the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. All relevant information on COVID-19 is available through the Public Health Agency of Canada website, including information on prevention and risks. A hotline has also been set up for the public to call if they have further questions at 1.833.784.4397.
We will continue to monitor the situation and to update this page as new information becomes available.