Niagara Falls Convention Centre Becomes Canada’s First Sensory Inclusive Certified Convention Venue

January 4, 2023

The Niagara Falls Convention Centre (NFCC) in Ontario, Canada recently became a more accessible and inclusive venue for all event participants, thanks to a partnership with KultureCity, a leading national non-profit organization that works to create sensory accessibility and inclusion for sensory-sensitive individuals. 

Through this partnership, the largest convention venue in the Niagara Falls region became the first convention facility in Canada to be Sensory Inclusive Certified. To receive these important credentials, the NFCC team underwent training by leading medical professionals to better recognize guests with sensory needs as well as how to handle sensory overload situations. 

In addition to receiving training, the convention centre has become outfitted with sensory bags available for event guests to borrow and use in dedicated quiet spaces. Each bag is equipped with noise-canceling headphones provided by Puro Sound Labs, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and a KultureCity lanyard to help staff easily identify sensory-sensitive attendees. 

According to NFCC officials, this process has enabled the venue to promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with sensory needs, including neurodiverse, autistic and disabled attendees. 

“A heightened sensory atmosphere can be a part of the environment here at Niagara Falls Convention Centre,” said Noel Buckley, NFCC president and CEO. “As the largest meeting facilities in the Niagara region, we often host multiple events concurrently. Partnering with KultureCity allows our facility to become more inclusive and respectful of our guests’ needs when arriving and departing and attending an event with us. We are proud to be the first Canadian convention centre to unroll this program.” 

Niagara Falls Convention Centre

Should guests require sensory support, inquiries can be made to Guest Services, which can lend out sensory bags and provide information about other accommodations available at the venue, he added. 

While the NFCC is the first venue in Canada to become Sensory Inclusive Certified, it is certainly not the first in North America. 

In the summer of 2021, the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas, earned KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Certification, and in early 2022, unveiled a dedicated space for sensory-sensitive event attendees, the first of its kind in the world. Go here to learn more.

“Our communities are what shapes our lives, and to know that NFCC is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” said Uma Srivastava, executive director, KultureCity. “We’re honored to partner with the NFCC to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans and guests!” 

KultureCity works to help individuals engage in their community by educating different types of organizations on how to be more sensory-inclusive via certifications, hands-on staff training and many other tools to help create a more welcoming and inclusive environment. So far, the organization has created over 1,000 sensory-inclusive venues in several countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan and Australia.

To learn more about KultureCity and its Sensory Inclusive Certification program, go here.

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Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. Corporate Event News had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to more