Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
The new year is starting radically different from how 2022 began for the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre.
And that’s a good thing for its staff and the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Calgary’s premier hub for major events, says Kurby Court, president and chief executive officer of the downtown facility.
“It’s a 180-degree change from this time last year when, for the first few months, we weren’t even really open for business.
“Organizations want to bring people together, realizing the importance of eyeballs to eyeballs in a room, and all the beneficial effects that come with that,” Court says.
“But they also want to do it safely, given all that’s gone on.”
Clients have not been dissuaded by the pandemic, though, as the centre has been operating at near full capacity since last April.
“We have been solid straight through, with a little bit of a quiet period in the summer, which our people needed to take a bit of a breath,” Court says. “Then September came, and it was full on to the end of the year.”
Court expects 2023 to be even busier, and the convention centre’s team is ready to offer that “safe space” for people to gather again. Key to that is making sure their working environment is equally safe and comfortable, Court adds.
“If our team members don’t have a balanced life and feel physically and emotionally safe, then how can we ask them to create that comfortable space for others?”
The centre has taken steps through the pandemic to make its workplace a leader in equity, diversity and inclusion. “Our mantra is that everyone respects each other.”
As an example, the organization is becoming the first convention centre in Canada to receive a Rainbow Registered accreditation for its commitment to supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Reconciliation has also figured highly in initiatives, including working with Indigenous elders to teach staff about First Nations culture, history and ways of being, Court adds.
All these efforts underscore the importance of the diverse community the TELUS Convention Centre serves — and employs.
“If you want to know what Calgary’s diversity looks like, it’s reflected here among the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre’s team,” Court says. “We’re a people-driven organization, supported by some of the best professionals in the industry that I am proud to work with every day.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.