Walter Oster, former chairman of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s Board of Directors, is the 2017 recipient of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Canadian Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It gives us great pride to see Walter receive this incredibly well-deserved Canadian Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award”, said Barry Smith, president and CEO at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). “Those of us who had the pleasure of working for him knew him as a man of action, dedicated to improving business at the MTCC and attracting tourism to Toronto and the Province of Ontario.”
Oster was one of 14 organizations and individuals honoured by TIAC at the 2017 Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by The Toronto Star. The awards were given at a dinner held Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec.
Oster, who served as chairman of the Board of Directors at the MTCC from 1998 to 2017, remained dedicated to public service for 29 years. He had an instrumental role in expanding the centre’s footprint by working with three levels of government to build the South Building, which, when it opened in 1997, enabled the MTCC to attract larger Canadian, U.S. and international conventions.
In addition, Oster also served as past Chair of the Board at Tourism Toronto, and sat on the boards of the Canadian Restaurants & Food Services Association, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, Kids Healthlink Foundation, Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada and at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).
The 13 other 2017 winners are:
The Air Canada Business of the Year Award: Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre – Sun Peaks, BC
The VIA Rail Community Outreach Award: Great Wolf Lodge – Niagara Falls, ON
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre Event of the Year Award: Half Corked Marathon: Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association – Oliver, BC
The VISA Canada Innovator of the Year Award: Canada Cape Breton Field Unit – Louisbourg, NS
The Pursuit Adventure/Outdoors Award: Au Diable Vert – Sutton, QC
The Diversey & Restaurants Canada Culinary Tourism Experience Award: The Flight Across the Top of Canada: Edible Canada – Vancouver, BC
The Accor Hotels Marketing Campaign of the Year Award: “The Views are Different Here”: Tourism Toronto – Toronto, ON
The ITAC Aboriginal (Indigenous) Cultural Tourism Award: Tourism Industry of Wendake – Wendake, QC
The Hilton Worldwide Small or Medium-Sized Business of the Year Award: WindsorEats – Windsor, ON
The WestJet Social Media Initiative of the Year Award: “Test Drive Canada”: Air Canada – Dorval, QC
The Transat Sustainable Tourism Award: Churchill Wild – Churchill, MB
The Tourism HR Tourism Employee of the Year Award: Debra Elless: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – Vancouver, BC
The CANADA 150 Diversity Award: SESQUI Inc. – Toronto, ON
“Tonight’s Canadian Tourism Awards have showcased our diverse industry to the fullest. Myself and everyone at TIAC are honoured to recognize the outstanding innovation, dedication and expertise all of our nominees and winners again this year. Recognizing and celebrating these accomplishments is very important, as these industry successes ensure that Canada continues to be seen as a world-class destination,” said TIAC President and CEO, Charlotte Bell.
“It is a privilege to join such impressive, hard-working high achievers, innovators, marketers and entrepreneurs who make Canada a top destination for tourists. Your hard work and dedication are what help grow this vital sector, and the warm welcome you provide each year to millions of visitors from around the world is what keeps them coming back again and again. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer sincere congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the 2017 Canadian Tourism Awards,” said Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.