Edmonton, AB (July 9, 2020) – The Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre have announced they will become two of the first venues in Canada to pursue the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery. GBAC STAR™ is the gold standard of prepared facilities and provides third-party validation that facilities have rigorous protocols in place for thorough response to biorisk situations.

GBAC STAR™ is an industry accreditation focused on ensuring a clean, safe, and healthy environment in public and commercial facilities of all sizes. The program outlines best practices, protocols, and procedures to control risk factors associated with infectious disease, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The program is administered by GBAC, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association.

The Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre’s pursuit of the GBAC STAR™ accreditation supports the release of Healthy Venues, a document of protocols for the safe reopening of the venues in compliance with the government of Alberta’s phased Relaunch Strategy. The Healthy Venues plan outlines safety measures that will be implemented to support the health and safety of the venues’ guests, business partners, and employees. Full details of the Healthy Venues plan can be found on the Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre websites.

“With a phased relaunch plan already underway, Alberta and Edmonton are well-positioned for the safe reopening of the events industry,” said Arlindo Gomes, vice president of venue management for Edmonton Economic Development. “Although our venues are not yet open, we have been proactively engaging government agencies, other venues, and industry leaders to develop protocols and best practices in cleaning and sanitation. We are steadfast in our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, business partners, and employees, and our pursuit of the GBAC STAR™ accreditation demonstrates we are doing everything we can to responsibly plan for the reopening of our city’s most important event venues.”

To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, facilities must follow specific performance and guidance criteria to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment to personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency preparedness and response measures. The program is ideal for facilities of all sizes including, but not limited to offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, stadiums, and other public venues.

“GBAC STAR™ is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations,” said GBAC executive director Patricia Olinger. “Accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to deliver clean and healthy environments that are safe for business.”

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About the Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre
As two of Edmonton’s largest and busiest venues, the Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre have a combined 672,000 square feet and welcome more than 1.8 million visitors every year. Between both venues, over 1,200 venue professionals work toward a vision of being among North America’s top-performing venues. The Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre achieve that vision through a commitment to positive social, environmental, and economic impact, including generating a combined $113.8 million in economic impact in 2019.

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals, and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.

About ISSA
With more than 9,300 members – including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners, and associated service members – ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call (800) 225-4772 (North America) or (847) 982-0800.

About MediaEdge Communications 
For more than 25 years, MediaEdge has been at the forefront of communication solutions for organizations within a variety of business sectors. MediaEdge is a leading provider of non-dues revenues for associations offering exceptional no-cost member benefits through a number of innovative products and services. Find out more by visiting www.mediaedge.ca.

MediaEdge is a proud reseller of the GBAC STAR™ and GBAC fundamentals online course. Please see the program details and links below and remember to use the promo codes when registering as they provide discounts.
1. Commercial facility owners looking for GBAC STAR™ accreditation can follow the link here and use the promo code “MediaEdgeGS”
2. ISSA has also released a new GBAC fundamentals online course specifically designed for cleaning workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. By using the special promo code “MediaEdgeCourse” registrants can receive a discount off normal prices.

For additional program details and information, please email chuckn@mediaedge.ca or contact him at (416) 803-4653.