Arlene Schilke is the founder of Timewise Event Management, a 21-year-old Edmonton-based company that provides event management, design, production, logistics, marketing and more for conferences, meetings, trade shows, galas and other events. She's also a partner at Timewise's audiovisual division, Event Technology Solutions, and serves as executive producer of GO WEST, the largest gathering of event professionals in Western Canada. She's the former president of the MPI Greater Edmonton Chapter, and recently received the Celebration of Achievement Award from Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. Did we mention she has four kids?
To Entertain Out-of-Towners
When the JW Marriott Ice District opened a few years ago, it literally became a game changer for the city of Edmonton. It gave us an elevated and convenient place to wine and dine out-of-towners in a sophisticated yet approachable style. We love to hang out in the bustling Lobby Bar or sneak our guests in the fifth-floor cocktail bar, Alchemy, which you access through a "secret" bookshelf door. This venue is also attached to the new hockey arena, Rogers Place, so when there's a hockey game on, it provides a great experience for newcomers.
To Host a Large-Scale Event
There isn't a venue any more stunning than the Vancouver Convention Centre, nestled in between the ocean and the mountains. The center consists of two buildings, the East and the West, and can accommodate groups as large as 16,000. Our favorite feature is the waterfront ballroom and the outdoor terrace, giving guests access to the spectacular harbor and mountain views.
There isn't a more fun, let-down-your-hair place to kick back than the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. There are hundreds of wineries to explore in this region, each with its own back story. Who can resist a morning spent golfing followed by an afternoon on a wine tour and tasting? Dirty Laundry Vineyard is one of our favorites.
To Entertain a Team or Clients
The Fairmont Banff Springs is known as the castle of the Canadian Rockies, and when you see it from afar (or up close) you instantly know why. The hotel has a noble castle-like appearance, and the interior woodwork, antiques and architecture boast an old-world charm. There are so many different sitting rooms, lounges and spaces to explore; it makes for the perfect setting to hold team meetings or host clients.
To Hear Live Music
The Edmonton Folk Festival draws in performers and spectators from all over the world with six active stages. It is amazingly well organized, and has sold out for the past 21 years—the producer has consistently brought in amazing artists to perform each year. The main stage audience seating is a natural amphitheater with great sightlines; it's just an overall great experience.
One of our favorite places to recharge after an event is at the Jasper Park Lodge, fondly known as JPL. Nestled in Jasper National Park among the soaring mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and canyons, it is a magical place that allows you to breathe a little deeper, dream, reflect and be pampered. Whether we go in the winter to take advantage of the outdoor heated pool, or in the summer to kayak on the pristine Lac Beauvert, the cozy, luxurious cabins are perfect for relaxing and stargazing.