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DebraW
10-08-2007, 09:05 AM
Welcome mat goes out to gift show participants

Ron Chalmers, The Edmonton Journal
Published: August 10, 2007 2:06 am

Participants in western Canada's largest gift show -- running Aug. 19-22 at Northlands -- will be welcomed in a reception to recognize their economic impact across the city.

The Alberta Gift Show draws 1,600 exhibiting companies to two shows, in August and February, and they attract 34,000 retailers, mostly from outside the Edmonton metropolitan area.

The show fills all 410,000 square feet of exhibition space in the Agricom, Sportex and Rexall Place buildings, and its importance is felt far more widely, says Jim Taylor, executive director of the Downtown Business Association.

"This is a huge economic hit for the city in restaurants, hotels and ancillary retail spinoff," he says. "These people flow into our restaurants and shops, and a big contingent of our hotels are booked solid -- and they've been doing this for 20-some years."

The Edmonton Celebrates reception, at the Winspear Centre, is expected to attract 500 gift show staff and exhibitors. The Association of Edmonton Convention Hotels -- including those on the south side -- will cater the event. Edmonton Tourism has arranged entertainment, "promoting Edmonton as Festival City," said Trish Macdonald, assistant general manager of Northlands.

Edmonton Airports also is a sponsor, recognizing that buyers fly in for the show from every province, 10 states and five foreign countries.

The Alberta Gift Show, presented by dmg World Media of Toronto, is Canada's second-largest gift show, and the largest show that Northlands hosts, Macdonald said. When Northlands completes its current expansion, the show will expand to 500,000 square feet.

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The Edmonton Journal 2007

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