Skip navigation
Special Events Blog

And the Gala Award Goes to...Innovate Canada

Part 5 in our 2024 Gala Award Feature Series

All photos courtesy Destination Canada/Parléview/Johnson Studios 


Gala Award Recipient for Sustainability in Events 

Sustainability remains a big topic in the events industry, and as conversation turns to action, it is helpful to look to those who have successfully implemented steps toward environmentally friendly, sustainable events. One such event was Innovate Canada 2023 – Advanced Manufacturing, by Destination Canada in partnership with event company Parléview. 

The event hosted 45 attendees in Waterloo Region, Ontario from May 8-11, 2023. Over four days, executives learned about Canada’s advanced manufacturing sector through interactive industry tours, attended a one-to-one meeting marketplace, and had exceptional local experiences. 

Innovate Canada 2023 – Advanced Manufacturing was Parléview’s first fully sustainable and carbon neutral event produced for Destination Canada. The primary sustainability challenges they faced included: 1) breaking down the enormity of scale; 2) capturing full and accurate data; and 3) deciphering legitimate information. The team approached sustainability by incorporating environmental (green actions), socio-cultural (local communities and legacies), and economic (direct impact) initiatives. To ensure they made a meaningful impact, they then developed an expansive list of initiatives that aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Parléview’s role was to provide opportunities for stakeholders and attendees to contribute through small actions that would make a big impact. To accurately track and calculate the emissions from this event, it was important that they utilize a credible reporting tool. For this, the team utilized the innovative TRACE platform

Much as there is an overwhelming number of best practices available, there is a significant amount of inaccurate or conflicting information around offsetting emissions. To ensure resources were invested appropriately into projects that would actually remove and capture emissions, Parléview undertook a comprehensive review of the voluntary offset market and met with representatives from credible organizations to ensure alignment of their projects with a set list of criteria from Destination Canada. The main challenge was to avoid greenwashing organizations. 

Here just a few ways the team implemented sustainable practices at the event: 

  • Reduced carbon emissions by implementing as many sustainable practices as possible across transportation, venue selection, décor, food & beverage, and consumables 
  • Purchased from Canadian suppliers wherever possible, such as local soaps, succulents, and snacks for client hotel rooms 
  • Supported local venues and restaurants by hosting off-site lunches and dinners 
  • Located off-site restaurants and venues with the same goals. Many of the restaurants grew their own vegetables and raised their own animals onsite in sustainable ways. Ingredients were also locally and sustainably sourced 
  • Prioritized venues and restaurants using renewable energy, such as a LEED Silver Standard building 
  • Worked with off-site venues to minimize use of single-use plastic like straws and opt for glass or other reusable materials (e.g. removed single-use coffee creamers; ensured the hotel uses large, reusable toiletry bottles) 
  • Walked to venues with a 20-minute or less commute 

Events have a long way to go toward perfect sustainability, but each step takes us closer, and we can turn to successful events like Innovate Canada to learn and grow. 

Congratulations to Parléview for taking home the award for Sustainability in Events!

To submit an entry to this year's Gala awards, please visit our awards portal.         

Important Dates      

  • September 1, 2023-August 31, 2024 | Eligibility Period for Entries     
  • Sunday, September 15, 2024 | Regular submission deadline ($125 fee)     
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2024 | Late Bird submission deadline ($175 fee)     

If you are interested in entering in the ACE awards instead, you can enter the Catersource 2025 ACE awards in the same online portal as the Gala awards. Catersource + The Special Event 2025 will run February 24-27 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Both the ACE and Gala awards will be presented during the conference at a to-be-determined location in Fort Lauderdale. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.