As a Community Partner of BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan, the Vancouver Convention Centre and PavCo are ready to serve British Columbians as a Community Vaccination Site. The site will be located in the Vancouver Convention Centre’s East building at 999 Canada Place and will begin operations soon. Information on vaccination appointments will made available on Vancouver Coastal Health’s website at www.vch.ca.
We do not take this responsibility lightly, and will continue to make the health and safety of our visitors and team our top priority. Our team has worked diligently to ensure our spaces are safe so that you can feel confident when arriving for your appointment.
We are proud to continue to collaborate with the Government of BC and local health partners to support British Columbians through this challenging time. The community vaccination site will expand our role with BC’s pandemic response efforts, which includes preparing an Alternate Care Site with Vancouver Coastal Health, and hosting the Provincial Health Services Authority and BC Centre Disease Control’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team for contact tracing, relaying test results and test-processing.
We thank our partners including: our official suppliers, Ceres Terminals Canada, PCI and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for their contributions and collaboration in support of these initiatives supporting our province.
See the Government of BC’s full press release below.
Tourism, hospitality industry supports B.C. immunization efforts
A new partnership will employ more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in mass vaccination clinics — creating hundreds of jobs for B.C.’s hard-hit tourism, hospitality and sport sectors.
“British Columbians have risen to many challenges during this past year, with people and businesses finding new and innovative ways to support each other,” said Premier John Horgan. “People who work in the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector have answered the call to help with B.C.’s immunization plan. This partnership will provide new jobs for people while contributing to B.C.’s already accelerated vaccine rollout.”
Tourism and hospitality businesses have already begun to call and train hundreds of staff who have been laid off due to the pandemic. Workers from these industries will provide their expertise and logistical support as non-clinical staff at immunization clinics to help move people through the clinics efficiently and safely. Many of these workers bring additional language skills as well.
Community partners in this program include:
- Air Canada
- B.C. Pavilion Corporation
- Ceres Terminals Canada
- Canadian Red Cross
- Fraser Valley Bandits
- Pacific Destination Services
- Pacific National Exhibition
- Tourism Whistler
- Vancouver Canucks
- Vancouver Giants
- Vancouver International Airport
Municipal venue owners are also helping operate some clinics with contributions of staff, furniture and supplies.
“People who work in tourism, hospitality and sport organizations in our province have been hit hard by the pandemic and the ability for them to contribute to B.C.’s immunization program is a unique opportunity to use their skills and experience in new ways,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “I’m inspired to see people from throughout the province pitching in to help make sure British Columbians are protected against COVID-19 so we can get back on track with travel, play sports and support the arts.”
B.C.’s age-based vaccine rollout continues to move forward ahead of schedule, as B.C. approaches Phase 3 of its immunization plan. Immunizations for workers in high-risk industries and critical services will also continue to accelerate in April.
“Our immunization program is the largest and most complex in B.C.’s history, with multiple sectors, industries and professions working together to get people immunized as quickly as possible,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This partnership is another incredible example of what can be accomplished when we work together to protect our communities from COVID-19.”
Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead, B.C.’s immunization plan rollout, said: “Since day one of our immunization program, we have been committed to tapping into the knowledge and expertise of our community partners. It takes a whole village to help implement this immunization effort, and we are proud to work with business and industry leaders and community organizations in every sector, along with municipalities to get vaccines to people in B.C. quickly and efficiently.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said: “People in B.C. have made incredible sacrifices to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe during this pandemic. Each of us has something unique to contribute in the fight against COVID-19, and our accelerating immunization program gives us reason to be hopeful about the months that lie ahead.”
Under B.C.’s accelerated timeline, everyone in the province who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine will now be able to receive a first dose before July 1, 2021.
Learn More: To see where mass immunization clinics will be throughout B.C., click here.
What people are saying about tourism and hospitality workers in vaccination clinics:
Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, executive vice-president, chief human resources officer and public affairs, Air Canada –
“We’re thrilled to support B.C.’s vaccination rollout and help our communities conquer COVID-19. Our partnership provides jobs for some of our furloughed colleagues who will be at the Coquitlam vaccination clinic site welcoming and assisting people. As more Canadians get vaccinated, we know confidence to travel will return, and we look forward to welcoming people back when they are ready.”
Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia –
“The past year has been very challenging for every British Columbians’ personal health, as well for our shared economic well-being. The Immunize BC program is truly one of the most important and complex initiatives in the history of our province, and businesses across B.C. are proud to support the government in these efforts. The business council and our members have been privileged to be able to participate in the 'Team BC' approach to the vaccine rollout so we can quickly and efficiently protect the health, safety and economic opportunities for all British Columbians. The Community Partner program provides workers, particularly those in hard-hit sectors, with an opportunity to meaningfully re-engage and reconnect with employers to support health authorities and get our communities vaccinated as efficiently as possible.”
Ken Cretney, chief executive officer, B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) –
“PavCo is proud to support British Columbians during the COVID-19 pandemic through hosting a community vaccination site at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The health and safety of everyone coming through our doors is our top priority. Our team has made every effort to ensure our spaces are safe so members of the public feel confident when they arrive for their appointment. We look forward to welcoming the public into our facilities and continuing to contribute economic and community benefits to the people of B.C.”
Kathy deLisser, regional vice-president, Ceres Terminals Canada –
“We are so thrilled to be a part of this initiative, which has allowed us to re-employ more than 300 people from the cruise and travel sector who were facing another year of lost employment with the continued ban on cruise ships into Canada. Instead, our cruise terminal teams are being redeployed to support our health authorities that are working tirelessly to vaccinate our communities, which will aid in the recovery of the tourism sector in the province.”
Dylan Kular, vice-president, Fraser Valley Bandits –
“The Fraser Valley Bandits are grateful to be a community partner in support of the non-medical logistics of vaccination clinics in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. As British Columbia’s professional basketball club, we are part of a united team of organizations working together to help get the hospitality and tourism sectors back on their feet by sourcing staff and volunteers to assist with the operational management of clinics in the Fraser Valley.”
Joanne Burns Millar, CEO, Pacific Destination Services Inc. –
“Pacific Destination Services is proud to be a community partner in B.C.’s mass vaccination effort – supporting the clinical teams on the North Shore and Sea to Sky Corridor, which are working tirelessly to get as many British Columbians vaccinated as quickly as possible. Responding quickly and effectively to urgent and immediate requests is exactly what our meetings and events industry specializes in. We are well prepared to play our part in this community project – the faster we can get our province vaccinated, the faster our tourism industry, and specifically our business meetings and events sector, can get up and running again.”
Stacy Shields, acting president and CEO, Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) –
“We are incredibly honoured PNE staff are being called upon to help during this public health emergency. As an organization with 110 years of history in British Columbia, the PNE is always committed to support British Columbians, and we are honoured to be a part of this incredibly important program to keep British Columbians safe.”
Pat Quealey, vice-president, Canadian Red Cross - British Columbia and Yukon –
“At the request of provincial and regional health authorities, the Canadian Red Cross is pleased to be providing support to B.C.’s mass immunization efforts. Starting on March 29, Red Cross teams will provide non-clinical support at vaccination centres in Island Health, Interior Health and Northern Health. This is a hopeful time for British Columbians, and the Red Cross is proud to be a trusted partner.”
Barrett Fisher, president and CEO, Tourism Whistler –
“We are pleased to support the critically important provincewide vaccination rollout. As part of this program, and thanks to the financial support of the provincial government, we have been able to re-employ members of our tourism team to speed up the delivery and efficiency of the program, while providing meaningful employment to members of our community as we bridge the gap to rebuilding our tourism economy.”
Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority –
“We are thrilled the Province of British Columbia asked us to partner to support the vaccine clinics. The tourism industry has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. This opportunity has allowed us to recall our own employees as well as Musqueam, airline and other airport business employees to provide meaningful employment in service of our community’s greatest priority. I want to thank the Province of British Columbia for including us in this critical initiative that is contributing to the recovery of our industry and province.”
Trent Carroll, chief operating officer, Canucks Sports and Entertainment –
“The COVID-19 vaccine program is one of the most important initiatives of our lifetime and we are grateful to contribute in any way we can. Supporting this initiative also leads to employment for some of our part-time staff who haven’t been able to work at Rogers Arena during the pandemic. I know our team is excited to contribute and proud to help our province through this final phase of the pandemic.
Dale Saip, senior vice-president, Vancouver Giants –
“The Vancouver Giants organization is proud to be working with our partners at the Langley Event Centre in support of the vaccination efforts. Our management team and facility staff look forward to assisting the Fraser Health Authority health professionals to the benefit of our community.”
Mark Porter, executive vice-president, people and culture, WestJet –
“The caring experience our people provide is not exclusive to travel, it’s a mindset that all WestJetters embody. WestJetters will help put people at ease, and with our operational experience in moving people through airports, aid in ensuring the clinics run smoothly. We are proud to partner with Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, Dr. Henry and Dr. Ballem as vaccinations are critical to protecting our citizens and getting our lives and our economies moving again.”