WOW – sums up my 4-days in Ottawa for my company’s annual marketing conference :) What a fantastic experience !!!
Day 1 – Met up with everyone at Union Station and about a 5 hour VIA Rail train ride to Ottawa :) Arrived at 5-ish and got ready for dinner on the 28th floor of our Merriot Ottawa hotel. Mix and Mingle :) Visited my dearest friend who goes to University of Ottawa that night and explored the city in the wee-hours of the night – Thanks KL for taking the time to hang out with me, I love our chats, next time hopefully when I come visit before you graduate we can go skating on the canal!
Day 2 – Early morning start, guest speakers were incredibly inspiring (understatement) particularly, Marc Kielburger (co-founder of Free the Children) and Michael McCain CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. We also had some internal folks from the US, CMO’s and respective VP’s that taught us a thing or two about their take on courageous marketing. Really thought the key note speakers did a fabulous job deep-rooting new ideas in us and provoked thoughts about our careers, our industry, our culture and our futures moving forward with our day-to-day job/role. Dinner was at the National Art Gallery of Canada where we held our Awards Night with instantaneous voting for a couple awards! Breathtaking venue :)
Day 3 – Full day of speakers and then team building activity with IMPROVE :) Awesome. Fun night at Fat Tuesday’s with a live band (incredibly pianists!) New Orleans style !!! Danced the night away… Loving the music so much :) Long and exhausted by the end of the night, but it was incredibly FUN!
Day 4 – Our final speaker was Joelle Berdugo Adler (CEO of Diesel Canada and Founder of ONEXONE) amazing… then it was off to the train station again… everyone was zzz-ing or working on the 5-hour train ride back! Oh and a special mention that we had James Cunningham (comedian extraordinare!) be our host throughout the conference – he’s so funny :)
Instead of going straight to bed… my Day 4 Friday night ended off with a Winterlicious night with good friends at Pure Spirits (http://www.purespirits.ca/) Loved the atmosphere… it was actually my first time at the Distillery District… I will be back again to do my exploring with camera(s) in hand! Food was pretty good, I had the clam chowder, filet de sole, and the vanilla cheesecake for $35 – but we also tried their calamari and mussels to start off the night ;) Hung out at BC’s house afterwards, fun times… then it was finally sleep time!
Saturday – jam packed with vegetarian lunch at the temple, square one shopping – finally got my fish eye photos developed and picking the up tomorrow! – bbt fun at Cafe Bubble Tease at Heartland… and learned how to play Monopoly deal… THEN it was off to NO W.HERE karaoke lounge in Markham – FUN TIMES. Needless to say, sleep was the last thing on the agenda this week…