Nearly 400 people from a cross-section of the city’s tourism and hospitality community gathered virtually for Destination Toronto’s Annual General Meeting this week. The AGM marked the 2nd virtual meeting during the pandemic, with this year’s event streaming live from Studio Ex at Exhibition Place.
The show kicked off with a rousing piece of poetry written and performed by Randell Adjei, Ontario’s Poet Laureate. Born and raised in Scarborough, Randell performed his original poem “The World in One City” in preparation for our comeback, because “the 6ix is in revival.”
Board Chair Rob Housez was joined on stage by Vice Chair Andy Loges and President & CEO Scott Beck who collectively looked back at the year dominated by the global pandemic and its tremendous impact on the businesses within Toronto’s visitor economy.
All three levels of government showed their support for our industry by delivering remarks. Thanks to Parliamentary Secretary Marie France-LaLonde, Minister MacLeod and Mayor Tory for taking part. In her remarks, Minister MacLeod specifically highlighted the importance of Toronto as a gateway city, while Mayor Tory stressed his optimism for the recovery of the industry in Toronto and how valuable it is to city, province and country as a whole.
This marks the end of an era with Rob Housez as Board Chair. Rob began his tenure as Chair in November 2018. Under his leadership, Rob oversaw the search for a new CEO, changes to funding, and a new partnership with the City of Toronto. Most notably, he navigated Destination Toronto for the past 15 months through the pandemic and the enormous toll it’s taken on our industry. A very big thank you goes to Rob for his leadership over the past two and a half years.
THANK YOU ROB HOUSEZ AND OUTGOING DIRECTORS, CONGRATULATIONS NEW DIRECTORS
Rob delivered remarks during the Formal Business Portion of the AGM where members virtually approved four new Board Directors:
- Camille Allman - Senior Director, Corporate Events - CIBC Square Project
- Anuk Karunaratne – Executive Vice President, Business Operations at Toronto Blue Jays
- Trevor Lui - Co-Founder at Quell Now Inc.
- Hillary Marshall – Vice President, Stakeholder Relations & Communications GTAA
We also bid farewell to five board members – Peter Doyle, Nick Eaves, Denise Herrera Jackson, Muriel Solomon and Mike Williams, who also deserve tremendous thanks and gratitude for their contributions in leading the organization.
NEW CONTENT HUB FEATURED IN CEO ADDRESS
In his CEO Address, Scott spoke of the pandemic’s toll on the visitor economy after one full year, and highlighted how Destination Toronto responded to the crisis outlined in detail in the recently released 2020 Annual Report. He then looked ahead to the remainder of 2021, and most notably Destination Toronto’s new Content Hub.
The new hub, launched in beta mode 2 weeks ago, and happens to be the very site you’re on right now. It’s built to allow for collaboration from all parts of the community so we, as the city’s destination marketing organization, can promote the products and services that make Toronto so vibrant.
The hub also serves as the home base for re-starting marketing campaigns and activations in the months to come as the industry works towards reopening and recovery. Be sure to explore the new hub and as always, sign up for our newsletters to stay informed and stay engaged. You can sign up for all three of Destination Toronto’s newsletters here.
Thanks goes out to Exhibition Place for hosting the AGM, and to Encore Canada for broadcasting the event live to the community.
Not able to take join live for this year’s AGM? You can still take part by watching it below.