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Nov 18, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – November 18th, 2022



Earlier today, TIABC held its annual general meeting at Anvil Centre in New Westminster. It was good for our board and members to be together in the same room for the AGM for the first time in three years. For me and many others who travelled from all parts of BC, it was worth the long journey from fogged-in Tofino.

Annual general meetings are not exciting at the best of times, but we nonetheless endeavoured to provide attendees with an enlightening report on our various priorities and operations over the past year for discussion and approval. Note…the financials reported were for fiscal 2021 while all else referenced the 12 months since our last AGM. At the risk of helping to cure your insomnia, allow me to provide a brief synopsis of the committee reports.

Finance and Audit Committee Chair, Ian MacPhee reported that financially, TIABC is on stable ground. Thanks to sponsorships and partnerships, we generated enough revenue to cover our costs and even managed to stay on the positive side of the leger by a little more than $8,000. As per TIABC’s financial policy, we have enough in reserve to cover 18 months of operation.

From a governance perspective, members approved the bylaw changes our committee put forward that encompass new language to reflect our goals of more equity, diversity and inclusion with our board and staff, as well as the need to evaluate candidates for directors based on skills, regional dispersion, and various tourism sectors.

Although we said goodbye to Jennifer Burton, we welcomed Joanne Burns-Millar of Pacific Destination Services to the board, as well as newly elected Miranda Ji of Destination Greater Victoria.

In his Membership and Communications Committee report, Chair Mike Retasket highlighted the strong response to our recent member survey and the positive support for TIABC. He also talked about the success of the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference earlier this year, and how Prince George and Northern BC Tourism are pulling out all the stops for next year’s conference.

Brenda Baptiste, who stepped in for Policy Committee Chair Barrett Fisher, referenced four recent policies that TIABC submitted to the province. She also drew attention to various TIABC submissions to both the provincial and federal governments with more in the works in the coming weeks.

As part of my Chair’s report, I turned the reins over to Sandra Oldfield, Chair of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Reconciliation Committee who shared an overview of the extensive work TIABC has done in this area over the last eight months including forging a partnership with WORTH Association (Women of Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality), as well as our board and staff completing go2HR’s Safer Spaces training, among other actions.

Finally, I had an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible work of TIABC’s staff (Walt Judas, Deb Kulchiski, Fiona Wray, Pria Flanagan), as well as the guidance of our board, and the commitment by various committee members to help us in our advocacy efforts this past year.

I am grateful for the support of Fortis BC, the Fraser Valley DMOs, Anvil Centre, and WORTH Association for helping us host today’s AGM. Thank you to the members and stakeholders that attended. I look forward to seeing you at our conference next year, if not sooner.

Given it’s the weekend, I’m not in a rush to go home and will take the time to be a tourist and enjoy this part of the province (Metro Vancouver) over the next couple of days.

J.J. Belanger
Chair, TIABC

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TIABC Director Dennis Innes (VCC Dean of Hospitality, Culinary & Baking) and CEO Walt Judas joined term 8 hospitality students, industry leaders, recent graduates, and faculty for a Philosopher's Cafe to discuss the state of the tourism and hospitality workforce this week at VCC's downtown Vancouver campus.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Tourism Abbotsford’s Barb Roberts & Clare Seeley, as well as VCM’s Chad Wetsch on a site visit to a land-based Tilapia fish farm owned and operated by the Sumas First Nation who are expanding their Fraser Valley holdings with ambitious plans to bolster Abbotsford’s tourism infrastructure and experiences.
As he does regularly, TIABC CEO Walt Judas recently presented to tourism students and faculty at @westerncommunitycollege's (WCC) Surrey campus, focussing on industry issues and TIABC's advocacy priorities. Walt also serves on WCC's Program Advisory Committee (PAC), as well as the PACs of @capilanou and @myvcc.
🍽️ What an incredible farm-to-table experience! Backyard Farm Proprietor and Chef Chris Van Hooydonk welcomed TOTA's Board of Directors and guests Walt Judas, Richard Porges (DBC CEO) and Scott Fraser (DBC Chair) for a memorable meal in Osoyoos this week.

Chris's culinary philosophy focuses on utilizing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to create unique, tailored menus for each visit. With a commitment to true hospitality, the experience is marked by attentive service and a passion for showcasing the beauty of the South Okanagan.

Also pictured, Destination Osoyoos Executive Director Kelley Glazer, TOTA CEO Ellen Walker Matthews, and TOTA's Jane Parece. 

A huge thank you to Chris for providing such a delightful culinary experience! 🌿
🎉 Highlights from the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria! 🌟

Close to 450 tourism industry professionals convened in Victoria last week for the annual 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference, hosted by TIABC. Industry leaders representing businesses, sector associations, regional and community destination management organizations, First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as non-government organizations gathered for the two-day event. 

Anchored by the conference theme - Shaping Our Future Together - the outstanding program provided both a knowledge and skills track via plenary sessions and workshops. Here are just a few highlights:

▪️ Opening keynote speaker Shaun Boothe shared a unique and emotional celebration of some of the world's most influential cultural icons. His energy and messages set the stage for the entire event.

▪️ Hon. Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport kicked off the conference by welcoming delegates and sharing her own personal story of working in BC's tourism industry.

▪️ Plenary Remarks by Hon. Soraya Martinez Ferrada: Insights from the Minister of Tourism and Economic Development Agency of Canada highlighted the industry's significance.

▪️TIABC CEO Walt Judas engaged in a compelling conversation with Premier David Eby whose remarks underscored the vital role of the tourism industry in British Columbia, earning him a standing ovation.

▪️ Opening Reception at the Royal BC Museum

A big thank you to all our sponsors for making this event possible! 🙌
Join us in celebrating the remarkable winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards Gala presented by @indigenoustourismbc! 🎉✨ 

Ten awards were given out to recognize and celebrate excellence, leadership, and innovation within British Columbia’s tourism and hospitality sector. These awards showcased the province’s most exceptional leaders and positive change-makers this past year.

The winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards are:

Business Woman of the Year Award - Sponsored by Prince of Whales
⭐ Winner: Ingrid Jarrett, @bchotelassociation 

Community Contribution & Impact - Sponsored by Tourism Richmond
⭐Winner: @princeofwhaleswhalewatching 

DMO Professional Excellence - Sponsored by BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS)
⭐Winner: @visitrichmondbc 

Employees First - Sponsored by go2HR
⭐Winner: @golfbc 

Inclusive and Accessible Tourism Experience - Sponsored by Destination BC
⭐Winner: Vancouver Aquarium

Indigenous Operator or Experience | Sponsored by Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
⭐Winner: @homalcotours

Innovation | Sponsored by Tourism Innovation Lab
⭐Winner: @tourismnewwest 

Remarkable Experience | Sponsored by BC Destination Management Organization Association (BCDMOA)
⭐Winner: @nimmobayresort

Sector Association Excellence Award | Sponsored by Acera Insurance
⭐Winner: Sport Fishing Institute of BC

Sustainability Excellence | Sponsored by Nanaimo Airport
⭐Winner: @40knotswinery 

📸 @arkitekcreative