October 12, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message
Let me start by saying thank you to the 200+ members and stakeholders who attended TIABC's AGM and Summit today. By all accounts, it was a productive and beneficial day for both attendees and presenters.  I was especially pleased by the representation we had from throughout the province and appreciate the efforts of everyone who travelled to Richmond for the event.

I'd also like to thank our staff, board and especially the many partners who supported us for the Summit and whose organizations are listed in the attached graphic. We simply could not have staged the conference without your commitment and contribution.  Please take note of the Summit photo highlights below.

Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture with TIABC's Board of Directors and staff along with guests Keith Henry (Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada) and Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns at the TIABC Summit

On another note, I am delighted to serve as chair of TIABC for another year and look forward to the weeks and months ahead working with members, stakeholders and our slightly revised Board of Directors, all of whom are listed below.  I would especially like to welcome the new members of our board who will add a different regional and business perspective to our deliberations.  They include:
  • Tracy Eyssens, Aboriginal Tourism BC (West Vancouver)
  • John Holton, Heather Mountain Lodge (Golden)
  • Barry Zwueste, St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino (Cranbrook)
Board members serving for another term include:

  • Christine Willow, Chemistry Consulting (Victoria)
  • Sandra Oldfield, Elysian Projects (Oliver)
  • Deborah Kulchiski, Consultant (Burnaby)
  • Robyn Cyr, Salmon Arm Tourism Association (Salmon Arm)
  • Patrick Gramiak, BC Lodging & Campgrounds Association (Lake Country)
  • Paul Nursey, Tourism Victoria (Victoria)
  • Alroy Chan, Rocky Mountaineer (Vancouver)
  • Andre Kuerbis, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (Gold Bridge)
  • David MacKenzie, BC Hotel Association (Pemberton)
  • Tony Munday, Munday Media & Design (Oliver)

My sincere thanks to Bruce Okabe and Paula Amos for their contribution to the board over the last couple of years.  Given your passion for the work that we do, I know you will continue to be involved in whatever capacity with TIABC and our advocacy priorities.

Within the next month, TIABC's various committees will welcome some new faces and responsibilities. The 2017/18 board will also be identifying our priorities for the coming year and preparing for the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna next March.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

Meet TIABC's New Board Members  

TIABC's AGM was held earlier today in Richmond. The meeting included elections for six board positions.

TIABC welcomed back David MacKenzie, Chair of the BC Hotel Association and owner/operator of the Pemberton Valley Lodge in our Sector category,  Tony Munday of Munday Media & Design in Oliver, in the Business category, and Paul Nursey, CEO of Tourism Victoria in the DMO category.

Our new board members are: 

Tracy Eyssens of Aboriginal Tourism BC 
Tracy was recently appointed CEO of Aboriginal Tourism BC after 20 years of experience working at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.  Tracy was successful in accessing $5M to support AtBC's Blue Print Strategy and an additional $1.8M to support AtBC's Next Phase Strategy. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba with heritage from the Pinaymootang (Fairford) First Nation, and moved to Vancouver in 1995, which she now calls home.

Tracy has significant experience developing partnerships.  With her many years of working with Aboriginal people, she was able to build effective partnerships to overcome the capacity gaps and unlock economic opportunities that have enabled the development of prosperous economies for Aboriginal people. She has worked with over 150 First Nations across BC, managed a budget of $40M and supported over 300 projects in First Nation communities ranging from cultural centers, infrastructure and business/industrial parks.

"The opportunity to inspire the world to experience Aboriginal culture while continuing to activate Authentic Aboriginal experiences is a true passion of mine," says Ms Eyssens.  "I look forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of all Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism sector to support the development of a vibrant Aboriginal tourism economy."

Tracy is an active volunteer in her home community of New Westminster where she raises her three boys.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba, is passionate about raising her boys in a diverse culture, and enjoys the odd hockey game now and then.

John Holton of Heather Mountain Lodge in Golden
John is the General Manager of Heather Mountain Lodge & Great Canadian Heli-Skiing located in the heart of the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains. John has more than 18 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, including a BA in International Hotel Management & Tourism from Royal Roads University. Prior to his move to Golden, John spent the previous 6 years in whistler most recently as Director of Food & Beverage for the Burrard Group in Whistler B.C., delivering two new F&B concepts to the Whistler Market over a 3 year period.
John currently serves as the Vice President of the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce and was a strong supported of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. John was nominated for the "Rising Star" Award in 2016 for the Whistler Chamber of Commerce annual awards. John is also a member of the Golden Rotary organization and has previously served on the Board of Directors for Parkinson's BC, and as a member of both the Restaurant & Bar Associations in Whistler. In his spare time John is an active father and husband and enjoys exploring all of what B.C. has to offer.

Barry Zwueste of St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino in Cranbrook
Barry has an extensive and successful background in the tourism and hospitality industry primarily in Alberta and British Columbia. He is currently serving as a Director for the BC Hotel Association following a twelve-year Board position with the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association where he ascended to the position of First Vice-Chair and held, at various times, positions as Chairman of their Finance, Government Relations and Membership Services pillars as well as Chairman for their Destination Marketing Fund Review Task Force. He was awarded a Life Membership by the AHLA in 2012.

Throughout his career, Barry has been an advocate for tourism. He was actively engaged in the Community Tourism Action Plan for Jasper, Alberta and was elected to the Jasper Townsite Committee in 1990. He was also a founding Director of the Canmore Kananaskis Tourism Association. Barry was Co-Chair of the West Edmonton Destination Marketing Fund (DMF) and Chair of the Edmonton DMF from 2005 to 2011.

Barry is currently C.E.O. for the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, which, in addition to the fabulous amenities that already exist at the resort has, under his direction, added a new 120 site RV Park which will be the most spectacular in the Kootenays. In the spring of 2018 St. Eugene will be adding a unique hands-on, experiential, Ktunaxa First Nations program, which will provide authentic Ktunaxa experiences including an authentic overnight tipi experience. Prior to joining St. Eugene, Barry has held senior executive positions at prestigious resort and city-centre hotels across Canada primarily with the former Canadian Pacific Hotel family.

MPs on the Hot Seat  at the  #TIABCSummit 2017 agree - #BCTourismMatters

Banff-Airdrie Conservative MP Blake Richards (left), Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns (centre), and Cloverdale-Langley-City Liberal MP John Aldag discussed and debated national tourism issues ranging from CRA assessments on campgrounds and labour shortages, to protection of wild salmon stocks and short-term rentals.

Send them your comments, suggestions and concerns on tourism issues that matter to your business:

Public Engagement on Legalized Marijuana

Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth recently announced an exte nsive public  engagement on how legalized marijuana will be sold and regulated in BC. Until  Nov. 1, British Columbians, municipalities, stakeholders, and others can visit the BC Cannabis Regulation Engagement website and offer their thoughts on a host of issues related to legalization, including distribution and retail, minimum age, personal possession limits, public use, and impaired driving.


Visit https://interceptum.com/s/en/BCCannabisRegulation and complete the government's survey. The form will take about 10 minutes to complete and asks questions on a host of issues, but the critical part of the survey revolves around the best retail option and specifically whether cannabis ought to be sold in liquor stores.

As you answer each question in the survey, please bear in mind ABLE BC's goal of seeing adult-use recreational cannabis being sold in BC's liquor stores.  Please be clear: your replies to this survey WILL matter. Other groups will also be mobilizing, we need the help of every single licensee who supports this position to complete the survey as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or require additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact ABLE BC at  jeff@ablebc.ca or  604-499-2566.
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