Halifax's ocean expertise lures international events to Canada.

Bounded by the Atlantic, Halifax's growing ocean science innovation ecosystem is making significant contributions to Canada's blue ocean economy and the goal of giving protected status to 25% of the country’s oceans by 2025. Halifax, with support from industry, academia and government, has long been a leader in developing its ‘blue economy’ in a sustainable way, capturing the world's attention and attracting global events in the ocean sciences space.

“When you combine Halifax’s natural and cultural attributes with the unique opportunities to explore ground-breaking ideas in ocean technologies and aquaculture, it’s easy to understand why organizations the world over are choosing to host events in the ocean sciences space in Halifax,” says Virginie De Visscher, senior director of business development, economic sectors for Destination Canada Business Events.

Leading Innovators

The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Halifax, is only one of several eastern Canadian institutes dedicated to innovation in the ocean sciences. The city’s Dalhousie University is home to the Ocean Tracking Network, IBM’s DeepSense platform which uses data-driven insights to leverage new ocean technologies, and the Aquatron Laboratory — the largest of its kind in eastern Canada. The city is also home to the Ocean Frontier Institute which brings together international researchers and teams from Memorial University Newfoundland, the University of Prince Edward Island and Dalhousie University to focus on understanding key aspects of ocean and ecosystem change.

“The wealth of intellectual capital found in Canada’s ocean science community is as vast as our coastline,” says De Visscher, who is only happy to help conference organizers navigate their way through the various destinations and the benefits they offer global conferences. 

Halifax Wins Oceans 2024 Conference.

Halifax has been selected to host one of the largest global conferences for professionals in the oceans sector. Marine Technology Society (MTS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have named Halifax as the host city for OCEANS 2024 connecting the ocean technology industry with the latest science, engineering, and research.

“The ocean engineering and technology community in Halifax and Atlantic Canada is stronger and larger than it has ever been,” said Christopher Whitt, with the Canadian Atlantic Section of IEEE. “2024 is the perfect time to bring OCEANS back to Canada’s ocean hub.”

OCEANS 2024 will be held on September 23-26, 2024 at the Halifax Convention Centre. Approximately, 1,500 out-of-town participants are expected to attend the conference accounting for 3,900 overnight stays. Direct spending as a result of the event is expected to be close to $2.4 million.

“We are excited to host OCEANS 2024 in Halifax, and to welcome ocean technology and industry thought leaders from around the world to Canada’s ocean city. The ocean drives Halifax’s economy and culture, attracting visitors who enjoy our east coast lifestyle and Maritime hospitality, and companies that benefit from our talent, location, cost and innovation advantages,” said Wendy Luther, President & CEO, Halifax Partnership.

Discover Halifax, a non-profit destination marketing organization, partners with a number of stakeholders to promote the region and attract meetings and conventions. The proposal for the OCEANS 2024 event was a collaborative effort with partners including the municipality, Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax Partnership, Nova Scotia Business Incorporated (NSBI) and the oceans sector.

“We’re thrilled Halifax was chosen for OCEANS 2024,” said Ross Jefferson, president and CEO at Discover Halifax. “We know it will be a truly memorable event that will showcase why Halifax is one of Canada’s premier destinations for meetings and conventions, in addition to being home to a thriving oceans economy.”

Meeting with purpose in Canada

By augmenting speakers series with Canadian subject matter experts, or enriching programming with localized technical tours, and lab visits, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues, fuel innovation, and even inspire future generations. “We call that 'meeting with purpose,”'says De Visscher who points out that when the time is right for in-person events to resume, Canada is poised to show off its deep marine history, its innovation ecosystems, and the researchers and industry leaders who are riding Canada’s blue wave.