Hawai‘i Convention Center Unveils Two New Hawaiian Cultural Exhibits

The public displays explore featherwork pieces by Rick San Nicolas and The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu

Honolulu, Feb. 16, 2023 – The Hawai‘i Convention Center unveiled two new Hawaiian cultural exhibits on its third floor today – an extensive Hawaiian featherwork installation available to the public for two years, and a new permanent display exploring The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu. Today’s event included a special blessing and luncheon.

The Pūali‘ahu Feather Cape Exhibit features several feather capes, a feathered helmet, and lei pāpale. All featherwork is handmade by master featherworker Rick San Nicolas using traditional Hawaiian techniques he has practiced over nearly 25 years. This includes a cape designed by Rick San Nicolas for Princess Ka’iulani made of peacock feathers, a replica of a feather cape worn by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, and a replica of a cloak worn by Pi’ilani, an ancient high chief of the Kingdom of Maui. In addition, the display showcases ‘ahu kaua, or battle cloaks (worn over one shoulder and under the other), which are rarely seen in exhibit. All feathers used in the pieces were ethically sourced.

Case 2

“The exhibit was carefully designed by Rick San Nicolas and Kauila Kawelu Barber to share the history and stories of our Native Hawaiian ancestors, as well as the craft of featherwork,” San Nicolas said. “Viewers will follow the stories of our past through today and learn about how the pieces were used to adorn Hawai‘i’s ali‘i (chief or chiefess).”

The exhibit is located on the mauka side of the Center’s third floor between Rooms 302 and 306. Learn more about San Nicolas at HawaiianFeathers.com. Since 2016 the Center has served as the permanent home of featherwork cloak and helmet replicas depicted to be worn by Hawai‘i high chief Kekūhaupi‘o. Made by San Nicolas, this display is located on the Center’s third floor in support of its One Million Trees initiative to reforest native and endemic trees in Hawai‘i in partnership with the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI).

The Center is also displaying replicas of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu outside Theater 320, following a recent installation at the Bishop Museum. The original stones, which are a public monument located on Kalakaua Avenue near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, honor four legendary māhū – individuals who embody both male and female spirit – who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii many centuries ago. After requesting the stones be moved from Kaimuki to Waikiki as a permanent reminder of the services they provided to the people, the healers imbued their powers into them and disappeared. The display is accompanied by historic photographs, large artistic painted representations of the healers, and an 8-minute, Academy Award-shortlisted animated film that tells their story through the eyes of a curious child. A map is available so guests can easily locate and visit the original stones in Waikiki.

“This exhibit shines a light on the deep history of these stones and furthers the Center’s sense of place by showcasing this important Waikiki landmark, which is just minutes away,” said Dean Hamer, a film director and curator of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu exhibit.

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is home to a permanent art collection in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and its Art in Public Places program. It also hosts rotating collections in displays throughout the building.

“For nearly 25 years the Center has served our communities and visitors not only as a world-class meetings destination, but also as a place to learn about Hawai‘i’s rich culture and history through permanent and rotating art installations,” said Teri Orton, General Manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center. “We are delighted to work with renowned artist Rick San Nicolas on one of the largest public displays of his featherwork, and to become the permanent home of the Healer Stones of Kapaemahu exhibit.”

Visuals of today’s blessing are available here and visuals of the installations are available here, courtesy Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Na Leo Pilimehana Holiday Concert 2022

Na Leo Pilimehana has found a new home for the holidays at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center! Join us for a special holiday dinner concert at our 4th floor Kalākaua Ballroom on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.


Celebrate the holidays with loved ones and friends while enjoying a special buffet dinner and live performance by the best-selling Hawaiian female group in the world. Na Leo Pilimehana, which in Hawaiian means “voices blending together in warmth,” captures the group’s style of soothing, melodic voices. With 23 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Na Leo, consisting of three childhood friends – Nalani Jenkins, Lehua Kalima and Angela Morales-Escontria, has written, recorded and performed more than 20 No. 1 hits.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. with a special guest performer Maunalua, a Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning Hawaiian music trio. A buffet dinner from the Center’s Executive Chef Hector Morales starts at 5:30 p.m. Signature cocktails and light refreshments will also be available for purchase at the bar. Concert starts at 7:00 p.m.

Free entry for children 0-2 years. Strollers are allowed but anyone occupying a seat must purchase a ticket.

Date & Time:

Saturday, December 17, 2022
5:00 p.m.: Doors and bar open
5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.: Buffet dinner 
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Concert

4th Floor, Kalākaua Ballroom
Hawaiʻi Convention Center
1801 Kalākaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815

For more information, please contact info@hccasm.com or call 808-943-3500.


Hawai‘i Convention Center Launches Carbon Offset Program for Meetings, Events

Meeting planners can offset the environmental impact of their events by reforesting native trees in Hawai‘i

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is launching a first-of-its-kind program that provides carbon offset opportunities for all meetings and events.

The program provides meeting organizers with the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their meeting, as well as offer individual attendees the ability to select and plant endemic and native trees virtually or in-person. These efforts are part of the Center’s Hoʻomaluō (to conserve or manage wisely) conservation program. Hoʻomaluō guides the Center’s leadership in environmental best practices, including energy consumption, water use and waste diversion.

The Center’s carbon offset program is also in alignment with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) vision of Mālama Kuʻu Home (Caring for My Beloved Home). HTA’s objective is to help empower the community to have a greater voice in tourism’s future, with a focus on regenerating the environment, perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, recognizing Hawai‘i’s multiethnic cultures and supporting responsible economic outcomes.

“The Hawai‘i Convention Center’s industry-leading environmental practices help reduce the impact of our meetings and events, and provide organizers and attendees with customized, turnkey options to protect our natural resources right here in Hawai‘i,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global.

In 2018 the Center achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v.4 O+M Gold certification, which was recertified in 2021. In January the Center was recognized among 14 venues and events with the 2021 Hawai‘i Green Business Program (HGBP) Award by the State of Hawai‘i for its energy efficiency and sustainable business practices.

The Center has offered its One Million Trees initiative since 2016, partnering with the statewide nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) to reforest native and endemic trees in Hawai‘i. The Center’s new carbon offset program is offered through Hawai‘i-based Legacy Carbon, which is dedicated to providing the highest-quality, cost-effective certified carbon offsets in the world. The program has been certified by the prestigious Switzerland-based Gold Standard Foundation and is the first forestry project in North America to issue Gold Standard credits.

The Hawai‘i Convention Center’s carbon footprint was calculated by Greenview in partnership with Legacy Carbon. Greenview is a sustainability firm that provides hospitality organizations with research, consulting and advisory services, as well as the leading online sustainability data platform.

To learn more about the carbon offset program, visit the Center’s website or e-mail info@hccasm.com.

Hawaii Convention Center to Fully Reopen Exhibit Halls After Hosting Agencies Serving Our Community

The Hawai‘i Convention Center will fully reopen its Exhibit Halls for meetings and events in January 2022 after hosting multiple public sector agencies and programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, the Center worked with state agencies to quickly provide temporary space that allowed for additional staffing and social distancing, while delivering important public services such as unemployment claims processing for the Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), COVID-19 contact tracing for the Hawai‘i Department of Health, vote counting for Hawai‘i’s Office of Elections, and Hawai‘i Bar Exams for the Hawai‘i State Judiciary. Most recently, the Center’s Exhibit Hall 1 served as a location for DLIR, DOH, and the Hawai‘i Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC)/Catholic Charities operation providing rental and housing assistance to local families. The DOH will move to a smaller space at the Center through spring 2022, while all other agencies will be returning to their original offices.

“The Hawai‘i Convention Center was pleased to serve our community by offering space so these agencies could provide important services in a safe and socially distanced manner,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, the needs for these spaces have changed, and we will be welcoming meetings and events back to our Exhibit Halls.”

The health and safety of guests and employees is the Center’s top priority, and it continues to follow guidelines set by the State of Hawai‘i and the City & County of Honolulu. The Center has developed and implemented health and safety measures led by ASM Global’s comprehensive VenueShield program.

The Center has also developed new virtual meetings packages to offer guests the convenience of attending meetings remotely. This full array of turnkey video-production services includes professionally coordinated pre-recording management, webinar and live-stream production, and hybrid meeting design and execution across a variety of popular virtual platforms.

Visit HawaiiConvention.com for updates and additional information about booking a meeting or event. The Center’s interactive virtual map offers a complete 3D tour of rooms and facilities.

About the Hawai‘i Convention Center

“Where Business and Aloha Meet,” the 1.1 million-square-foot Hawai‘i Convention Center provides a spacious, modern and flexible meeting space in the heart of Honolulu – all with an award-winning team and renowned aloha spirit. Conveniently located between East and West, the Center is a global leader for a diverse array of meetings and events, just steps from 30,000 hotel rooms in iconic Waikiki. The Center is a state-owned facility opened in 1998, and is managed by ASM Global. For more, visit HawaiiConvention.com.

About ASM Global

ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. For more, visit www.asmglobal.com.

# # #

Teddi Anderson
President, TLC PR
(808) 535-9099

Hawai‘i Convention Center Welcomes Hector Morales as Executive Chef

The Hawai‘i Convention Center welcomes Hector Morales as its new executive chef.

Morales has 25 years of culinary leadership experience in Hawai‘i. He most recently served as the chef de cuisine at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Island of Hawai‘i. He also founded a food service consultancy, working with well-known restaurants in Hawai‘i and Nevada.

Morales previously served as the executive chef at the Polynesian Cultural Center for eight years, overseeing culinary and food services for thousands of guests daily across luaus, restaurants and concessions. He started his Hawai‘i career at O‘ahu’s Turtle Bay Resort, where he was executive chef for 16 years, managing the resort’s three restaurants, as well as the culinary operations for a variety of large-scale events. Morales also advised food and beverage teams at Turtle Bay Resort partner properties throughout the country.

In addition, Morales has extensive international experience. He worked as a chef at the SAS Norway and as the banquet chef for the King of Norway. He also worked as chef de cuisine at The Regent Sydney in Australia.

Morales is a graduate of the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Arts program. His achievements are recognized by the James Beard Foundation and Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs.

“The Hawai‘i Convention Center is widely known for its culinary innovation, sharing the authentic flavors of the Pacific with meetings and events guests from around the world. We are enthusiastically looking forward to Hector’s leadership and extensive experience as we continue to welcome guests back,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global.

The health and safety of guests and employees are the Center’s top priority, and it continues to follow guidelines set by the State of Hawai‘i and the City & County of Honolulu. The Center has developed and implemented health and safety measures led by ASM Global’s comprehensive VenueShield program.

Visit HawaiiConvention.com for updates and additional information about booking a meeting or event. The Center’s interactive virtual map offers a complete 3D tour of rooms and facilities.

Hawai‘i Convention Center Earns GBAC STAR™ Accreditation for Cleaning Protocols

The Center meets “gold standard” requirements for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is the first meetings venue in Hawaii to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ Facility Accreditation, after meeting rigorous standards for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.

The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program is performance-based and designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive system of proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease like the novel coronavirus. The Center joins a select group of meetings and events facilities that are accredited by GBAC, which is a division of ISSA, the world’s leading cleaning industry association. To achieve accreditation, the Center was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. There is an annual reaccreditation process.

“The Hawai‘i Convention Center is using industry-leading health and safety protocols to give our guests, staff and communities greater peace of mind,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global. “The health and safety of our guests and employees are the Center’s top priority.”

The Center has developed and implemented health and safety measures led by ASM Global’s comprehensive VenueShield program. This includes:

• Enhanced cleaning and sanitation and the use of electrostatic sprayers;
• The installation of thermal cameras and touchless temperature checks;
• The use of personal protective equipment (PPE);
• Modified food and beverage operations, including fresh, individually packaged meals and snacks;
• Increased availability of hand-sanitizer dispensers;
• Contactless transactions, special signage and social-distancing guidelines.

“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger.

Visit HawaiiConvention.com for updates and additional information about booking a meeting or event. The Center’s interactive virtual map offers a complete 3D tour of rooms and facilities.

Hawaii Convention Center Debuts Live Music, New 1801 Café Menu during Beyond Van Gogh Exhibit

The Hawaii Convention Center is debuting live music, along with new cocktails and refreshments, during the Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which has been extended through Sept. 26, 2021. On Fridays and Saturdays, starting July 16, 2021, musician Kai Adarna and special guests will perform Hawaiian and jazz music near the 1801 Café from 6-9 p.m.

HCC Cocktails (from left): The Imperial, Starry Night and Almond Blossom

Guests can enjoy a collection of freshly made refreshments, signature cocktails and other drinks in the Center’s lobby, near the entrance to the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit. Themed cocktails are the Starry Night, Almond Blossom, and The Imperial; other drinks range from craft lemonades, iced teas, and coffee to wine by the glass and beer. Refreshments include a cheese and charcuterie plate, fresh fruit bowl, summer salads and house-made deli sandwiches.

Café hours are 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The bar opens at 3 p.m. daily.

Musician Kai Adarna performs every Friday and Saturday starting July 16th (6-9pm)

“While guests are visiting the Center for Beyond Van Gogh, we invite them to relax, stay a while, and enjoy a special musical performance by Kai Adarna with our new drink and refreshment selections at 1801 Café,” said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global.

For tickets to Beyond Van Gogh, visit vangoghhonolulu.com. For more information about the Center, visit HawaiiConvention.com. The Center has implemented health and safety measures led by ASM Global’s comprehensive Venue Shield program.

Hawaii Meetings and Events Restrictions Eased (Tier 4 Update)

Effective June 11, 2021, the City & County of Honolulu eased COVID-19 restrictions for the Island of Oahu to allow for gatherings, meetings and events under the Tier 4 reopening strategy. 

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is welcoming guests with industry-leading protocols for meetings and events, including the implementation of health and safety technologies, new food and beverage options, revised layouts for socially distanced gatherings, and extensive staff training. Our health and safety guidelines are available here.

The Center is working with event organizers to ensure that all gatherings meet the latest COVID-19 requirements. Some events listed in our events calendar may be tentative pending local COVID-19 restrictions. 

For general inquiries, please contact us at:

Phone: +1 (808) 943-3500 

E-Mail: info@hccasm.com

We look forward to meeting with you again (in person) soon.

Tier 4 reopening information: https://www.oneoahu.org/reopening-strategy