A History of Excellence

GES Canada’s history began back in 1966 when a group of five partners joined together to form Panex Show Services. They pledged to become Canada’s most respected, full service show contractor. That pledge required Panex’s total commitment to quality equipment, skilled personnel, as well as superior technical and creative services.

By all measures, Panex was a success from the start – satisfied customers, productive operations, and strong financial growth.

Panex’s accomplishments caused Southam Communications to become interested and in 1977 they began acquiring control of the company – eventually assuming full ownership in 1980. As part of the Southam family of companies, Panex’s resources expanded and so too, did the client base.

In 1995, Panex was purchased from Southam by Viad Corporation, the parent company of GES Exposition Services. Viad and GES clearly recognized the value of Panex’s people, inventory, expertise, and status in the Canadian market.

Uniquely, GES CANADA was established as a Canadian Limited company, with Canadian employees, and retains all profits in Canada for future growth.

Part of that future growth occurred in 1996, when GES CANADA purchased Exposervice Standard Inc. in Montreal. The acquisition of Ainsworth’s Show Services Electrical operation – now known as SHOWTECH Power & Lighting – was completed in 1998. In 2004, GES CANADA acquired Pro Show Services, a large event contractor based in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

GES CANADA acquired Poitras Exposition Services in 2007, the largest exhibition services company in Quebec City. As with all GES CANADA locations, Poitras provides furnishings, exhibits and design, graphics and material handling services.

In February 2010, GES CANADA unveiled its new brand identity, GES – Global Experience Specialists, and consolidated with Exhibitgroup/Giltspur and Becker Group, providing an even wider range of services. With 58 locations and 3,000 employees worldwide, marketers will be able to tap GES for an unparalleled portfolio of event solutions.

The most significant factor through all this success, recognition and growth is the fact that our pledge has never changed. Events are larger, we are present in nine Canadian cities (Vancouver, Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec City, Red Deer, Regina, and Toronto), the facilities are far superior, and the pace is faster, but the commitment remains the same - INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP THROUGH RESPECTED, PROFESSIONAL, FULL SERVICE OPERATIONS