You read that right. When we talk about ‘disrupting the space’ from an innovation perspective, we think of new-to-market technology, products or software that in some way the consumer would benefit without that person first identifying the challenge or the solution. This is something different.
Hotels and live music have co-existed for decades in various tourist destinations around the world, but never in history have they coincided for Calgarians.
Hotels Live, a welcomed new venture that combines the experience of a hotel stay with the live music industry here in Alberta. Founded by award-winning Canadian music industry veteran Rob Cyrynowski. In collaboration with the Ramada Plaza Calgary, Livestar Entertainment Canada and Canadian ticketing company Showpass, they have combined the experience to be a one-stop shop for music lovers of all genres.
To offer a brief summary, Hotels Live is hosting live music in the pool deck area of the Ramada Plaza Calgary. These concerts can be viewed from your own hotel room balcony while you stay socially distant and mitigate any risk for entering large crowds. Rightly so, as we make the shift to mandatory mask-wearing inside public spaces.
This gives local artists an opportunity to entertain their fans through a unique new experience, Hotels Live will continue to promote artists and be the winds of change well needed in our community.
We spoke with Marnie Crowe, Director of Sales and Revenue for the Ramada Plaza Calgary to get her thoughts on this new partnership.
“There is the opportunity for this to be something in addition to the traditional viewing experience. We are learning that there are a lot of people who have not been able to go to a venue for a long time for a variety of reasons. We want this to be a long term additional experience for those who are looking for something new even when we as a community get back to traditional live shows.”
August 7th, 7:00 pm – CCMA nominated festival, Diesel Bird Hotel Music Festival
“The world’s first hotel music festival featuring some of today’s most exciting Canadian country artists, nominee for the Country Festival, Fair or Exhibition of the Year Award by the CCMA”
August 15th, 7:00 pm – Rock Double-Bill BC/DC & Brokentoyz
“Double-Bill Rock Concert featuring both BC/DC (High Voltage Rock N’ Roll) & Broken Toyz – (80’s Hair Metal)”
September 5th, 7:00 pm – A Celebration of Love Drag Show
“In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Calgary Pride and presented by Plain Jane Events, guests will experience the very first Hotel Balcony Drag Show in history.”
As we continue to support local businesses as a community, a major focus has been to promote local tourism in our own community. Marnie offers an additional perspective in line with this focus.
“We will continue to support local artists and the live music industry here in Calgary. With it being a hotel experience, it does offer the opportunity to extend your stay for an entire weekend rather than just the night of the show, allowing you to explore other parts of the downtown core that you have yet to discover.”
If you would like to learn more about Hotels Live, or to stay updated with the Ramada Plaza Calgary hosting future shows, or to discover the great work being done by all the parties involved, be sure to check out their websites for future updates or follow them on the social media via the links below.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary
Regimental funeral and procession for Calgary officer fatally injured in traffic stop
CALGARY — A regimental funeral for a Calgary police officer killed in the line of duty is to be held this afternoon in the city and a procession following the service is to include a flypast by two CF-18s.
Officials say that due to COVID-19 restrictions only people who have been invited can attend the 1 p.m. service to honour Sgt. Andrew Harnett.
The Calgary Police Service has been granted an exemption from Alberta Health to allow 50 people to take part in the ceremony.
The service says it comes with a set of strict protocols and stringent oversight by health officials.
Harnett died on New Year’s Eve after he was struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop, and two people have been charged with first-degree murder in his death.
The 37-year-old leaves behind his wife, Chelsea, who is to give birth to their first child in the summer.
Police say the funeral will not be shared publicly at the request of the family, but the procession will be live-streamed.
Two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets from 410 Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., are to conduct the flypast of the memorial service at about 3 p.m.
Police say it will take place over the police headquarters building in northeast Calgary.
The flypast is to pay respect to Sgt. Harnett and honour his service and sacrifice in protecting Canadians and citizens of Calgary, both as a member of the Calgary police and a former member of the military police in the Canadian Armed Forces.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Travel industry “in tailspin” as federal government adopts new COVID-19 test rules
CALGARY — The travel industry in Canada has been thrown into a “tailspin” by new federal rules requiring a COVID-19 test before Canadians are allowed back into the country from most international travel, says the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors.
The timing of Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s announcement of the new protocol last Thursday — New Year’s Eve — could not have been worse because many agents had closed their offices for the holiday long weekend, the group said in a statement.
“The releasing of this new protocol in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve put most of our industry into a tailspin,” ACITA said.
“With no warning in place, people who had chosen to travel over the New Year were not given the opportunity to cancel or change their trips.”
ACITA is a new association started by independent travel agents last spring in part to lobby for government assistance for the industry due to challenges caused by the pandemic.
It says the testing move “seems to be having the opposite effect” from helping the industry recover.
The change in Ottawa’s policy left travel agents like Calgary’s Janez Law scrambling to get in touch with clients who are on trips or planning to take trips.
“People don’t like it very much but what can you do, you have no choice if you want to come home, right?” she said, adding it’s difficult to provide advice to her clients because of the lack of detail in Ottawa’s plan.
She said a Canadian client now in the Philippines said she will have to endure a six-hour-plus bus trip to the capital, Manila, to get the required test to ensure she is allowed back into Canada when she returns on Thursday.
Law said such tests are expensive in most of Asia, adding the test in Manila is expected to cost $150.
Her agency, Travel Far and Beyond, specializes in arranging trips to Asia but has experienced a 90 per cent decline in volume due to the pandemic.
Law added she personally supports the idea of more testing of travellers if it makes Canada safer.
The new rules will further discourage customers who are already wary of travelling to Africa during the pandemic because of its perceived quality of health care, said Pat Littlejohn, a co-owner of Toronto’s Wild Journeys Safaris in Africa.
“We sell trips to Africa. It actually might be very difficult to obtain one of these tests in Africa before returning to Canada. This just might be an impossibility,” she said.
“To put that requirement on just seems to just shut down travel, basically.”
Quick tests for COVID-19 at the airport would be a much better way to proceed, she said, adding many of her clients have put their plans “on hold” until the pandemic situation clears up.
The ACITA statement says most travel clients are willing to accept an additional cost related to travel during the pandemic but fear they could face “being gouged” to get the required testing.
“Our clients, those who have travel booked, are now looking to cancel their trips, not only due to the uncertainty that arises should they have difficulty getting a test within the allotted 72-hour time frame, but also due to the additional costs associated,” the group said in its statement.
It added that travel agents have been unable to tell passengers set to depart Canada this week whether testing locations they’ve identified will be included in Ottawa’s list of approved facilities since that list hadn’t been published.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021.
Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
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