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Nuit Blanche – Monday, December 19, 2016 (Ottawa):  It was a stormy, winter night in Ottawa, but a warm Brazilian evening inside the Brookstreet Hotel on December 8th for Nuit Blanche 2016.  A contingent of almost 200 individuals representing 24 Canadian national sport organizations and sport leaders  gathered for the fourth and final edition of the annual year-end holiday party for the sport community. The event, presented by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) and CBC Sports, was sponsored by numerous CSTA member tourism organizations from across the country who partnered up to deliver a memorable evening. 

Snowsqualls in the nation’s capital set the stage outside for an unplanned touch of white décor, while inside there were cocktails, sushi, popcorn and face painting that even the most conservative guest couldn’t resist. The Mill Street Brewery provided beer sampling as guests mingled to await the official welcome event that featured Canada’s 2016 Paralympic closing ceremony flag bearer, Aurélie Rivard, accompanied by Brazilian samba dancers.  An inspiring video produced by CBC Sports paid tribute to Canada’s summer athletes on the big screen followed by the opportunity to dine in style with food stations ranging from a Brazilian carving option to tacos and fresh pasta.

Quality Entertainment started the party off with a club-style DJ that fit perfectly with the Brazilian beach theme while professional dancers led Rivard, her twin sister Charlotte and many others through a number of dance moves and routines. Guests rolled up their pants and shorts, tossed off their sandals and donned sunglasses on the dance floor where they let loose to the best of todays’ club music.

Networking continued as others caught up with colleagues, re-hydrated with a glass of green dive tank water from Rio or another Mill Street Meridian. The tempo ramped up with many enjoying the photo booth filled with Brazilian props as contests, dancing and prizes continued in the ballroom. Many Nuit Blanche attendees enjoyed what is said to be the most creative dessert offerings yet — a magnificent donut wall stacked with Ottawa’s famous, Suzy Q donuts.

Guests won prizes valued at over $5000 compliments of Porter Airlines, VIA Rail, Events Regina, Tourisme Outaouais, Ville de Gatineau, the RA Centre and Brookstreet Hotel. Top honours were awarded for best dressed and the dancing contest and there was an honourable mention for “White Santa” otherwise known as Rick Turnbull, a retired member of the sport community.

Rick Traer, CEO of the CSTA, who arrived direct to Brookstreet from a speaking engagement in Geneva, commented: “CSTA was pleased to present Nuit Blanche again this year and to have CBC Sports join with us in a fantastic partnership.  It was another terrific evening that brought together the sport and the tourism sectors in advance of  Sport Events Congress, scheduled for March 20-22 in Ottawa.”

Photos are now available online.  

About Nuit Blanche

The Nuit Blanche holiday party was created and founded by Krista Benoit, iSPARK Consulting and Lawrence Baslaw, Baslaw + Associates Inc. in 2013, with Kelly Weiss of C.M.E. Planning Services joining in 2014. The event provides an opportunity for sport federations to gather to celebrate the holiday season and honour the year’s sport successes.  Each year, organizers make a link to a major international sport competition. In year one (2013), the event featured a Russian theme tied to the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games. A Scottish theme in 2014 paid tribute to the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2015, the Panamania theme celebrated Canada’s hosting of the largest multi-sport event ever staged in this country and 2016 celebrated the Rio Games in full-on Brazilian style.  This year’s event marks the fourth and final installation of the Nuit Blanche series.

For more information:

Krista Benoit, President & CEO, iSPARK Consulting Inc.



Lawrence Baslaw, President, Baslaw + Associates Inc.