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Parq Vancouver welcomed with ceremony

29 September 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- With a ceremonial ribbon cutting and a round of applause, Parq Vancouver was introduced to the world on 29 September, with executives and dignitaries gathering to celebrate the international hospitality and entertainment destination described by its president as "unique to Vancouver, but most importantly, uniquely Vancouver."

"This is a monumental moment," Parq Vancouver President Joe Brunini told the crowd of assembled media and speakers, which included Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow; Paragon Gaming co-founders Scott Menke and Diana Bennett; PBC Group CEO and President Paul Bouzanis; Dundee Corporation COO and Executive Vice President Richard McIntyre; Marriott International Canada Area Vice President Martin Stitt; and restaurateur Elizabeth Blau of Blau + Associates.

The largest private development in British Columbia, Parq Vancouver features two hotels — JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel — with a total of 517 rooms and luxury suites, Canada's first Spa by JW, world-class gaming, eight restaurant and lounge concepts from Blau and her husband, Canadian Chef Kim Canteenwalla, over 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including Vancouver's largest hotel ballroom, the sixth-floor outdoor Parq for all seasons, a curated local art collection, and Slow, a stunning, stainless steel freestanding outdoor public art sculpture created by Chinese artist Zhang Huan.

Having the works of First Nations artists acknowledged and having an art presence in Downtown Vancouver was key to the resort's relationship with the city and province, explained Chief Sparrow, who thanked Parq Vancouver on behalf of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh communities.

Thanking the thousands of people who have worked on the project over the years, Menke pronounced the opening as "the culmination of the team's hard work and drive to make this happen," adding that Parq Vancouver is committed to "the principles of connectivity, working with our community partners, and elevating the customer experience" in the city.

"Vancouver is on a world stage, an international stage, and so we had to come up with the right vision," explained Menke, who conceived Parq Vancouver more than 10 years ago.

"We are very, very proud of Parq Vancouver," added Bouzanis, who thanked the development team and applauded the efforts to achieve LEED Gold certification for the property.

McIntyre, speaking on behalf of the ownership group, joined in celebrating the collaborative process that has been Parq Vancouver and envisioned that it would become a world-class destination for visitors and Vancouver residents.

"We've listened long and hard to what the community of Vancouver is looking for," said Bennett, who also announced the resort's intention of helping make Vancouver "the nation's most caring city" through its partnership with We.org, adding that an additional partnership with the city had allocated $1.5 million to Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital Foundation for the research and treatment of addiction disorders.

After asking her husband to join her at the podium, Blau thanked the city of Vancouver for opening its arms to her family, adding that she and Canteenwalla had spent years traveling to British Columbia before deciding to move here with their son.

Friday morning's ceremony in the lobby of the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver marked the end of an almost 11-year journey — including nearly three years of construction — to bring Parq Vancouver to life.

Parq Vancouver opens to the public at 11 p.m. PDT on Friday, 29 September.

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