Vancouver Convention Centre becomes a Healthy Venue
Author: Claire Smith, Vice President Sales & Marketing
When the Vancouver Convention Centre was selected as the venue of the 2016 International Congress on Obesity by the World Obesity Federation, we were thrilled. We looked forward to welcoming their delegates from around the world to city and building. We have always felt that we personify the healthy lifestyle that Vancouver is known for.
As the planning began and we got to know the team at the Federation, they told us about a new program they were launching, the Healthy Venue accreditation. Given that sustainability is one of our core values, we were intrigued to learn more about how we might work together to take the Vancouver Convention Centre’s commitment to health and wellness to a new level.
What we quickly discovered as we began the accreditation process was there were a lot of things, we were doing already to give our clients healthy options in their activities and menus, so it was about highlighting those things more. For us, the Healthy Venue accreditation process pushed us to do more and to highlight for our staff and our guest’s healthier food choices and steps they can take to have a more active lifestyle.
One of the key differentiators of the Vancouver Convention Centre that furthers our commitment to environmental sustainability and healthy living and was critical to our participation in the Healthy Venue Program is our “scratch kitchen”. All the food served at the Vancouver Convention Centre is made in house and from scratch including soups, sauces, pastries and dressings, meaning that we can use fresh, healthy and local ingredients in all our offerings. Coming from a scratch kitchen, the options for menu development are endless and Chef Blair Rasmussen and his kitchen team are able to adapt to meet a wide range of dietary requests including low fat, low sugar, wholegrain and much more.
Other key factors that helped us gain accreditation were simple steps like highlighting and developing hydration stations, standing space at the back of session rooms, physical activity packages for conference organizers like yoga classes and of course, highlighting our beautiful location on Vancouver’s seawall for long lunchtime strolls! In fact, recently the Architectural Institute of BC called out the Vancouver Convention Centre’s walkable environment as a highlight after they held their annual 2016 conference.
We are so proud to have received the Healthy Venue accreditation at the conclusion of the International Congress on Obesity this May, and we are looking forward to working towards the next level.
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