CAEM Federal Government Brief_ October 2021

CAEM press release in response to the Ontario Government's announced increase to capcity limits on September 24, 2021. 


Since February 2021, CAEM has been meeting with Federal MPs to raise our industry's voice and ask for assistance in securing extensions to existing Federal programs such as CEWs and CERS, but also requesting sector specific funding.  These asks are outlined in CAEM's Exposition Recovery Plan.  You can find a list of the Federal MPS that CAEM has met with here.

In addition to Federal MPs CAEM has also presented our recovery plan to several senior policy advisors in the following Federal Ministries:

  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Economic Development
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Ministry of Small Business
  • Ministry of of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion of Canada
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

CAEM's Exposition Recovery Plan : This is a key document that has been sent to Members of Parliament and Government Departments.

Fact Sheet:  Illustrates the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the Canadian exhibition industry.

CAEM Petition Presented in the House of Commons
On Monday, April 26th, Brad Vis, the MP from Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, rose in the House of Commons and presented a petition on CAEM’s behalf. View the video here.  This petition, the content of which can be read here, defined the trade and consumer show industry as among the hardest hit sectors and outlined our key asks.

Ontario Meeting & Event Spaces Working Group:  CAEM's President is the Co-Chair of this Working Group formed in late 2020 by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.  Updates can be found here .

2020 in Review: A Recap of CAEM's Advocacy Work and Member Initiatives

Faced with the complete shutdown of the exhibition sector in the Spring 2020, The Canadian Association of Exposition Management reacted quickly and decisively, shifting its focus and priorities entirely to advocate on behalf of its members and for the future of the exhibition industry.  Over the last 9 months of 2020, CAEM worked tirelessly to raise our industry’s voice with government and put our industry on the map with policy-makers and decision-makers in every corner of the country.  Under CAEM’s leadership, our industry has united like never before, and together we have succeeded on many fronts.

The following pivotal actions and accomplishments were achieved in 2020 by CAEM:

  • Forming CAEM’s Exposition Recovery Taskforce (national and regional groups) to advocate for the safe reopening of the sector.
  • Meeting regularly with taskforce(s) to advance advocacy priorities and goals.
  • Writing and submitting Safe Reopening Guidelines to each of the provincial governments.
  • Initiating multiple industry-wide letter writing campaigns to MPPs and MLAs across the country to amplify our voice and message.
  • Creating a bi-weekly industry Newsletter to keep members informed of CAEM’s ongoing advocacy work and member initiatives.
  • Meeting with government(s) and educating them on the purpose and nature of trade and consumer shows.
  • Advocating provincially for the safe reopening of the sector:
    • ON: Working with MPP Deepak Anand to engage different Ministers.
    • ON: Securing an industry-roundtable meeting with Minister MacNaughton and his office.
    • ON: Working with GR specialist Amir Remtulla to engage different Ministers.
    • ON: Chairing the Meeting and Event Spaces Working Group, formed by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, to develop a more viable reopening plan and recommend modifications to the existing guidelines released by the Province.
    • BC: Revising our Safe Reopening Guidelines to receive WorkSafeBC’s endorsement.
    • BC:  Working actively with the Regional Event Management Committee, formed by the Province and Dr. Bonnie Henry’s office, to roll out “test events” and an eventual plan to increase event sizes (when it is safe to do so).
    • AB:  Succeeding in reopening the exhibition sector through our joint advocacy efforts while working directly with public health to help shape and influence reopening guidelines and measures.
    • QC:  Advocating directly – in collaboration with APEQ – with Public Health and the Minister of Tourism, for capacity limits based on total square footage, rather than a set number of people.
    • MB:  Supporting the approach of the recently formed Manitoba Exhibition Restart Taskforce to advocate for viable reopening guidelines.
    • SK:  Advocating for more favourable reopening conditions, with support from member companies.
    • NB:  Meeting with government and Worksafe NB to reopen exhibitions in Q1 of 2021.
    • NS:  Advocating directly with various areas of government as well as the Chief Medical Officer, that has resulted in an approved reopening plan that follows a cohort management model.
    • PEI:  Collaborating with Public Health to develop a safe reopening plan. Discussions are ongoing.
    • NL:  Working with venues and government to build a reopening plan that respects current indoor gathering restrictions.
  • Creating a Reopening Toolkit with resources like a COVID-19 General Readiness Checklist, a Safe Reopening Guideline Template and a COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgement Form to help members navigate eventual reopening and recovery.
  • Collaborating closely with strategic partners like TIAC, TIAO, MMBC and Convention Centres of Canada to strengthen our voice on behalf of business events, tourism and hospitality.
  • Keeping the industry connected through CAEM’s regular Connecting with Colleagues Over Coffee virtual event.
  • Creating a new Auxiliary Membership Category in order to ensure all industry professionals can remain active and engaged in CAEM, especially during these trying times.
  • Delivering targeted education, through Power Education Day, to equip and empower members with knowledge, resources and strategies to navigate the current landscape.
  • Retaining the services of Public Affairs Firm, Crestview Strategy, to help CAEM advocate federally for short-term and long-term funding and support for the exhibition sector.
  • Conducting an industry-wide economic impact survey to assess the need and potential impact of sector-specific support.
  • Initiating our Federal Engagement Plan with the help of Crestview Strategy.

2020 Advocacy and Position Letters

On March 18th, CAEM sent a letter urging the government to include companies involved in the production and execution of trade and consumer shows, in their funding support. Click here to see a copy of this letter.

On May 21st, the CAEM Taskforce sent an Exhibition-specific position letter to elected leaders, on a province-by-province basis to the respective minsters of health, tourism, finance, economic development and the premiers, as well as on a federal level. In it, we will define the Exhibition Industry and differentiate it from festivals, concerts and mass gatherings. These position letters laid the groundwork with the government, explaining that a Guidelines document would be coming in June which would outline a collaborative set of best practices, vetted by a Public Health expert. The position letter was specifically asking Government to allow our industry to be part of the next phase of provincial openings. See the letters below:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

On June 16th, CAEM sent out the follow-up letters below to each of the Provincial governments, presenting them with our Safe Reopening Guidelines for the exhibition industry.

Our ask to government was to make a clear distinction between exhibitions and mass gatherings, to review our industry’s Safe Reopening Guidelines, and to together with CAEM toward a fall reopening plan for our sector.

Please click on the links below to read the full letter.

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

CAEM Exposition Recovery Taskforce 

On May 6th, 2020 The Canadian Association of Exposition Management announced the formation of the Exposition Recovery Taskforce, with the goal and purpose of laying the groundwork for the safe, responsible and effective reopening of the Canadian exhibition industry. Click here to view the full press release of CAEM’s Exposition Recovery Taskforce.

CAEM’s Exposition Recovery Taskforce has been meeting on a weekly basis since early May. The taskforce has now finalized “The Canadian Exhibition Industry – Safe Reopening Guidelines” – a set of recommended practices that have now been sent to each of the Provincial governments, along with our ask to make a clear distinction between exhibitions and mass gatherings, and to collaborate with CAEM on a reopening plan and timeline for our sector.

The Canadian Exhibition Industry – Safe Reopening Guidelines can be reviewed HERE.

See below for updates from past CAEM Exposition Recovery Taskforce meetings:

June 15, 2020

June 8, 2020

May 28, 2020

May 19, 2020

May 11, 2020