At its first meeting of the year, following elections at the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) Annual General Meeting, Toronto, Ontario’s Blair McIntosh was elected to Chair the CSTA Board of Directors. Currently the Vice President, Sport at Special Olympics Canada, McIntosh has over 30 years of experience in the Canadian amateur sport system. He has served for the past several years as Vice Chair of the Board.
His extensive background includes time as CEO of Sport Alliance Ontario; Director, Sport at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games; Director of Games with the Sport Alliance of Ontario; several roles at the Sport Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation; and Director, Sport Tourism in London, Ontario. He has also served on several Mission Teams for Canada Games and Paralympic Games, including the role as Chef de Mission for Team Ontario at nine Canada Games and for Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
McIntosh is looking forward to his term as Chair, saying: “The CSTA is considered an industry leader across the globe and working with the dedicated staff and Board of Directors will be an honour and privilege. The CSTA provides a tremendous menu of services to its members including consulting services, steam2.0 along with many additional industry resources and tools which enable our members to become leaders in sport tourism within their jurisdictions and across the country.”
McIntosh succeeds London, Ontario’s Cheryl Finn, who had served as Chair since September of 2015. Finn will continue to sit on the CSTA Board as Past Chair. Moving into the role of Vice Chair is Nova Scotia’s Neal Alderson, who is the Manager, Events Nova Scotia with the Government of Nova Scotia. Alderson is a long-standing board member and brings significant experience in the major event industry as a consultant, marketing and communications professional and volunteer. Elected as Treasurer for the board is Heather Bury, Sport and Event Sales Executive with Saskatoon Sports Tourism. She has played a leadership role as a member of numerous host committees and was named a CSTA Sport Tourism Rising Star in 2018.
Rounding out the board members are Graham Brown, (Toronto, Ont.), Michelle Collens (Vancouver, B.C.), Janet Guthrie (Leduc, Alta.), Dean McIntosh (Calgary, Alta.) Julie Nadeau (Sherbrooke, Que.), Seamus O’Keefe, (St. John’s, Nfld.) and Scott Pritchard (Toronto, Ont.).
About the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA)
The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. The CSTA services over 500 members across Canada, including 130 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6.8 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors.