Ottawa Tourism

April 2017

Find out what’s new with Ottawa Tourism programs, members and people in this latest edition of the Ottawa Tourism Member Newsletter.

Ottawa Tourism Awards

Ottawa Tourism Awards


The final nominees for the 2017 Ottawa Tourism Awards have been selected and the winners will be announced at the Awards Gala, Thursday, April 27 at Shaw Centre. Congratulations to these nominees.

New Company of the Year
Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market
Archery Games
Ottawa Tasting Tours
Rideau Canal Cruises
Room Escape Ottawa

Tourism Partnership of the Year
Canadian Museum of Nature and various partners
Capital Ukrainian Festival & Ottawa Chamber Music Society
Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum & Escape Manor
Ottawa-based National Museums & Canadian Heritage
Wilderness Tours & Horse Country Campground

Food & Drink Experience
Chefs & Shows
Clarence Patiofest
Dry Aged Beef

Event of the Year – Themed Celebrations and Exhibitions
Élisabeth Louise Vigée le Brun Exhibition
Haunting Season
Star TrekTM: The Starfleet Gala
Canada 150 Kickoff

Event of the Year Festival
Music and Beyond
Beau’s Oktoberfest
Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
RBC Bluesfest
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

Ottawa Tourism will also be recognizing the recipient of the Don Blakslee Hotelier Award, the 2016 Star of the City, winners of the Travel Writing and Social Media Influencer awards and the Ottawa Tourism Scholarship winner.

Order tickets for the Ottawa Tourism Awards. Click here 

Staff Update

Staff Update


As Ottawa Tourism implements its new long term Strategic Plan, a number of new positions have been created within the organization. We are making sure the team is structured in such a way to be able to meet our aggressive objectives, and to be able to deliver on the most current and most effective models for destination marketing. Many familiar faces are now taking on some new roles and responsibilities.

Karen Squires has taken on the new position of Vice President Global Partnerships. This role has been created as a direct response to the strategic recommendation “to grow and diversify our revenue streams”. In this new role, Karen has strategic oversight of the organization’s partnerships and enhanced business intelligence capability. Tahmor Ghumman our new, dedicated Business Intelligence Analyst will join Ottawa Tourism in mid-April.

Glenn Duncan has taken on the expanded role of Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Glenn has oversight of our meetings & conventions sales, major events, travel trade, leisure, and overall marketing activities. A few other changes within the Sales & Marketing team:
Beverley Carkner is now our Director of Marketing, leading a newly merged Marketing team (formerly separate Leisure Marketing and Digital Marketing teams.
Sofie Sharom is our newly minted Social Media Specialist, and Caroline Couture-Gillgrass is our new Content Manager, both stepping in and immediately helping us strengthen our social media and content marketing capabilities (as recommended in the Strategic Plan).
Mikayla Tobin has filled the position of Meetings Researcher, supporting the Meetings & Conventions sales team.

Catherine Frechette, as Senior Director Destination Development, leads a newly expanded Destination Development, Membership, and Communications team.  

James Harvey continues to oversee our finance, IT, human resources, and legal matters, and now adds project management to his responsibilities. Within James’ team, there are a couple of other changes:
Sylvie Theriault-du Toit takes on a new strategic position, as our Project Manager, ensuring that all the teams at Ottawa Tourism have the resources they need to deliver on our objectives. Sylvie leads an amazing team of 6 Project Coordinators: Courtney Merchand, Jennifer Spadaccini, Shawna Page, Lizzy Low, Danielle Jolicoeur, and our newest permanent team member, Julia Thomson.

Convention Sales

Convention Sales


Ottawa hosted the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Sport Events Congress from Sunday, March 19th – Wednesday, March 22nd at the Westin Hotel Ottawa. The Sport Events Congress is Canada’s largest annual gathering of sport tourism professionals and event management firms. As part of this event, Ottawa Tourism and eight of our members hosted a very successful Rock n Bowl evening! We were joined by over 200 sport tourism clients for an exceptional evening of bowling and networking. What a great opportunity to highlight our city to a captive audience!

Destination Development

Destination Development


Have your say on getting around Ottawa by foot or wheelchair: what is easy, what is less easy? We want to hear from you. We will use the findings from our short survey toward a recommendation for a new pedestrian wayfinding strategy for Ottawa and Gatineau. Find the survey link and more information on the project here:

NB: the survey will be open through April, so please take a few minutes to add your opinions as soon as you can.




Here’s a sampling of some of what travel media, bloggers and influencers have had to say about our destination over the past month.

  • Kat Tancock prepared this piece on what to do in Ottawa during JUNO week, found in WestJet magazine.
  • WestJet magazine also featured what to do during Canada Day weekend in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa Tourism hosted U.K. travel writer James Dickenson, whose lovely piece, 10 great things to do in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, appeared in the U.K. Daily Express.
  • Daily Hive produced a great look back at the Red Bull Crashed Ice weekend:
  • A shout-out to our friends at Wingd whose millennial’s guide to Ottawa (which has finally been released!) appeared in Metro Ottawa.
  • Miriam Porter mentions Ottawa as a family road trip idea for March Break in
  • Solmaz Khosrowshahian (aka TheCuriousCreature) visited Ottawa over Winterlude and the result is this spectacular look at what to do, see and eat in Ottawa.
  • Writer John Kernaghan’s piece in Irish America explores 150 Years: The Fenians and Canada.
  • Ottawa is part of a cross-Canada road trip article by Christopher Elliott in the Washington Post!
  • Allison Tibaldi, who visited back in September, continues to produce excellent content, including this in Mommy Poppins, a NYC-based family blog.
  • Get Out There magazine highlighted 150 Great Canadian Adventures and several Ottawa-area options were highlighted.
  • 3 Ottawa options were mentioned in in a piece called 16 Unforgettable Ways to Ring in Canada’s 150th Anniversary Throughout the Country.
Major Events

Major Events


On March 30, the Canada Games Council announced their selection for the 2021 Canada Summer Games host city, surrounded by representatives from each bidding city in attendance. Bid teams from Ottawa, Waterloo, Sudbury and Niagara held their breath as the announcement was made from Toronto. The winning bid city was Niagara.

Ottawa Tourism would like to recognize the many people who made our #Ottawa2021 bid special, and while our community had hoped for a different decision, the efforts of the bid team, and the show of support from every walk of life within Ottawa, was a phenomenal showcase of how this city can rally together for important events. The Canada Games Council visited Ottawa on March 2, touring several of the city’s facilities that make up Ottawa’s bid for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. As much as the day was about checking out the facilities to make sure that they could accommodate the 270 summer events and more than 3,400 athletes, the visit was also about meeting the people in the community and those that will run the games. Thank you to everyone who came out to welcome the Canada Games Council, and who showed support for the #Ottawa2021 movement to bring the Canada Summer Games to our city.

Travel Trade Sales

Travel Trade Sales


Ottawa Tourism will host its spring FAM at the end of April, with 10 – 15 Canada and US operators expected to take part. Members who are interested in meeting the operators are encouraged to join our mini marketplace on the morning of April 26. Please contact Shawna Page at [email protected] or 613.237.5150 ext. 142 with any questions.

Members interested in learning more about doing business in the Asian market are invited to attend Ottawa Tourism’s CITAP educational session, taking place on April 10 at the Novotel from 4:00-6:30pm. Members will have a chance to meet Asian tour operators and network during this workshop. Contact Shawna Page at [email protected] or call 613-237-5150-142 with any questions.

Congratulations to our very own Kelly Dean, who has been named to the NTA Executive Committee! See media release here:




The 2017/18 Ottawa Tourism Visitor Guide is hot off the press! This publication is a lure piece designed to stimulate interest in coming to Ottawa. As such, we increased the distribution outside of the city to reach more potential visitors and to do so had to reduce in-city availability through hotels. For guests enquiring about things to do during their stay, we suggest you refer them to Where Magazine (which is also available in their room) or the attraction brochures. Visitor Guides are available to be picked up at the Ottawa Tourism office should you require some, and they are being distributed at the train station, airport and national museums.




Here’s a snapshot of the latest key metrics on Ottawa Tourism and destination performance across all departments.