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Overall Excellence Chapter Award



Member Spotlight - Alison Canavan, CMP

Member Spotlight

By: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Oct 24, 2021

Member name: Alison Canavan, CMP
Title: Director, Global Events 
Her Company: Ace Event Management
Her Current Workplace: BlackBerry: Overview | LinkedIn

Alison C.

Why did you decide to join MPI Ottawa?
During the pandemic I made the decision it was the right time to further my skills, so I decided to obtain my CMP certification.  I learned that being a member of MPI would provide additional benefits and would really help support me during the process. Since MPI Ottawa partners with EIC Home (eventscouncil.org) to offer educational content and webinars towards the CMP Certification this was key as I needed to have the 25 hours (credits) to apply.  Events Industry Council > CMP > About CMP (eventscouncil.org)  In addition, I was able to join a study group led by Paul Glover which was extremely helpful, and I could not have done it without this. I was also able to meet MPI members and event professionals via LinkedIn and made some great new connections. 

How have you benefited from having a membership with MPI Ottawa?
The biggest benefit this past year from the MPI membership was the study group. I did not realize how necessary that was to help me study and helped me prepare for the exam. Along with the study group, I received a discount for joining the association which also provided access to key resources such as whitepapers, webinars, event industry best practices etc.

This year, I’m looking forward to using my MPI membership to network with other members and see what other benefits the membership may provide.

How did you get where you are today?
Hard work! When I started my career, I pretty much just fell into the event industry and loved it from the get-go.  I was working at Corel Corporation at the time and had done a few different jobs within the company such as Customer Service, HR, Analyst Relations, none of which I really loved although it did give me great exposure and knowledge to the company’s products and services. I was asked to support the organization of the company’s largest event – The Annual World Design Contest and immediately fell in love with events. As a result, I ended up running the events team organizing 100+ global events per year.  

What makes you good at what you do?
I built my career on my reputation and that has been key for me over the past 25 years. I strongly believe it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do and the action you take. Networking, hard work and reliability are all key components of where I am today.

ACE Logo

Tell us about a career highlight or biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement was stepping out on my own and starting my own events company ACE Event Management.  For almost a year and a half before I stepped out on my own, I did a lot of research and meetings with people in my network which proved invaluable. Essentially it validated the focus of my business, the customers I would be going after and the services/pricing I would offer.  Prior to launching my business, I applied for a government funded program which provided training on how to run a successful business, everything from marketing, promotion, company set up, accounting etc. all areas of the business were covered. In order to successfully complete the program, you had to write a proper business plan and submit it for approval.  Once the business plan was “approved” you were able to apply for a benefit that would provide you with, although small, some steady income for one year which was definitely helpful.

Last words
I love the events industry and I am so fortunate that I found what I truly love to do. It is often said when you find your passion it won’t feel like work and for me that is very true.

Our industry has definitely evolved during the pandemic, we have demonstrated how resilient we can be and also our creativity when presented with a challenge and I don’t think we can underestimate how truly challenging the last 16 months have been. As events start to come back, I believe the appetite for in-person will come back with a vengeance. There will still be a place for a virtual component, but there is no doubt people need that in-person dialogue, networking, and the face-to-face connection.

One thing the pandemic has taught me is to find better work balance. Making time for those people important to you especially your friends and your family is THE most important.  I am blessed to have a wonderful family and also now have my first granddaughter which is incredible. I love my job, however; finding that balance for me has become so important to a happy and fulfilled life. 

Elodie LortalArticle written by Elodie LORTAL, BHM, CMP | LinkedIn National Arts Centre

Article edited by: Darlene Kelly-Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services



EL Headshot
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES
Catering Coordinator at National Arts Centre

📢 I am a bilingual meetings and events coordinator who helps clients and organizations to plan their events in one of our five unique meeting spaces. The National Arts Centre is an ideal Ottawa venue for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events.


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