Pitch party: Ottawa businesses angle for invitation to 2017 celebration

The 150th anniversary of Confederation will be a huge economic boon to Ottawa, with festivals taking place throughout the year. At Ottawa Festivals' Pitchfest + Expo, local companies and arts agencies showed off what they have to bring to the party.

Canada's 150th is going to be a year-long party in the capital, and local entrepreneurs want to be part of it

      1 of 0

      Members of Ottawa's high-tech, tourism, hospitality, arts and non-profit sectors brought their brightest ideas for Canada's 150th birthday celebration to Ottawa Festivals' Pitchfest + Expo at Lansdowne Park today. About 300 people gathered in the Aberdeen Pavilion to show off what they have to bring to the party.

      2017 is being anticipated as a year-long celebration of festivals, music events and awards show, attracting an estimated additional 1.75 million visitors to the capital, (the average is 7 to 8 million annually).

      'Massive economic opportunity'

      "2017 is going to be like a big new company coming to Ottawa," said Guy Laflamme, executive director of Ottawa 2017, the umbrella group overseeing the celebrations. "[It's] a massive economic opportunity for local businesses, $326 million in direct consumer spending will be injected into our economy."

      Laflamme describes Pitchfest + Expo as "a match making event between the festival industry and people showing what kind of technology, what kind of equipment, what kind of logistical support is available for festival organizers." 

      Laflamme also took the opportunity to unveil Ottawa 2017's own "information pod," a "multimedia, immersive" kiosk that will be moved to locations around the city.
      The Executive Director of Ottawa 2017 describes The awards that will be held in Ottawa that year. 0:41

      High-tech hub

      Presenting Ottawa as a high-tech hub is one of the mandates of Ottawa 2017.

      SimWave Consulting was one of the local companies making a pitch to join the party, setting up a virtual reality booth to showcase the kind of "four-dimensional, interactive experience" it can offer. 

      SimWave Consulting's virtual reality booth at Pitchfest + Expo. 0:24