At its 39th meeting on 1st December, the EI Executive Board selected the Ottawa Convention Centre, in the Canadian capital, as the location for the 7th EI World Congress. The next Congress will be held in July 2015. Traditionally, each EI Congress is held in a different region. For 2015 it is the turn of the North American/Caribbean region.
The new convention centre was opened in April 2011, and will accommodate the EI Congress comfortably. It is one of the most attractive of Congress venues in Canada in terms of size, accessibility and political and cultural interest. The venue has a high standard of modern technical facilities, especially since it recently hosted a G20 meeting and upgraded its Wi-Fi and broadband. It also has high-standard provisions for multi-lingual facilities and equipment.
Ottawa, as Canada’s administrative capital, has direct flights from many major hub airports outside of Canada and North America, as well as frequent internal flights between the major cities in Canada and the U.S. There is ample accommodation in hotels within walking distance of the Centre, and a hotel adjoins the property.
Ottawa City will provide an attractive environment for the Congress, especially during peak summer in July, with its waterfront activities and nature close by. The city has many museums reflecting the various cultural traditions of Canada and, especially, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, which includes the interesting Canada Hall. The Rideau Canal, the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Ottawa, whose name is derived from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning “to trade,” is also the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in Canada. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, located on the north bank of the Ottawa River; together they form the National Capital Region. In 2009, Ottawa-Gatineau's population was estimated at just above 1,000,000.
Initially an Irish and French Christian settlement, the Canadian capital has become a multicultural-bilingual city with a diverse population. Bilingualism became official policy for the conduct of municipal business in 2002, and 37% of the population can speak both languages, making it the largest city in Canada with both English and French as co-official languages.