As the Chair of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, Cheryl Finn, closed out the 19th annual Sport Events Congress in Ottawa, she challenged the members of the sport tourism industry to apply the many learnings gleaned from the annual event’s program.
From March 19th to the 21st , approximately 400 sport event rights holders, destinations, suppliers and sponsors participated in business-to-business activities, professional development and networking sessions. CSTA partnered with Ottawa Tourism to host the event in the city, which included the RNATION Redblacks Tailgate Party at Lansdowne to showcase the destination to delegates.
Three outstanding keynote speakers provided inspiration to the delegates, beginning with CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, followed by Mary Moran, former CEO of the Calgary 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid and Destination Canada’s President & CEO David F. Goldstein.
One of the highlights of the conference was the announcement of the Global Sport Impact (GSI) Canada Index, first introduced in 2018. CSTA, in partnership with Sportcal, the publisher of the annual Global Sport Impact (GSI) Nations and Cities Index, has developed the GSI Canada Index. The Index ranks cities hosting national sports championships and international sports events in Canada through a data-driven assessment and provides an independent analysis from internationally recognized experts in the field. There were 119 cities, 433 national championships and 261 international events included in the compilation of the 2019 GSI Canada Index. The results of the ranking had Montreal in 1st, Quebec City in 2nd and Edmonton in 3rd for cities over 500,000 in population.
The complete index, including further breakdown by city population and the top national championships, is on the CSTA website.
The SEC19 workshops featured a wide range of presenters on current trending topics in the sport tourism industry, including the conundrum of legalized cannabis, and the growing phenomenon of esports. Several sessions were highly interactive, allowing delegates the opportunity for open dialogue and sharing of ideas, concepts and experiences.
Another featured activity of SEC19 was the Sport Events Exchange where 40 different sport organizations ‘speed-dated’ with destinations for eight minutes at a time to see if their sport and the city/region would be a good match. Over 600 appointments occurred during the sessions.
CBC / Radio-Canada Broadcaster and Olympian Alexandre Despatie hosted the marquee event, the 13th PRESTIGE Awards Presentation presented by Saskatoon Sports Tourism followed by the PRESTIGE Awards Networking Reception & Luncheon presented by IHG. The PRESTIGE awards honoured the best in 2018 sport tourism events, volunteers, organizations and sponsors. Videos featuring all finalists, and photos of the recipients are available on the CSTA website.
Chair Cheryl Finn thanked Grant MacDonald of Fall River, Nova Scotia for his steadfast commitment to the industry as he finished serving 12 years on the Board of Directors. Also leaving the Board after serving their terms were Janelle Janis (Edmonton, Alta.), Reggie Lang (Edmonton, Alta.) and Katherine Henderson (Ottawa, Ont.).
Elected to the CSTA Board of Directors for two-year terms (2019 – 2021) were Neal Alderson (Halifax, N.S.), Michelle Collens (Vancouver, B.C.), Janet Guthrie (Leduc, Alta.), Dean McIntosh (Calgary, Alta.) and Scott Pritchard (Toronto, Ont.).
Remaining on the Board for the 2018-2020 term are: Graham Brown, (Toronto, Ont.), Heather Bury (Saskatoon, Sask.), Cheryl Finn, (London, Ont.), Blair McIntosh,Vice-Chair (Toronto, Ont.), Julie
Nadeau (Sherbrooke, Que.), and Seamus O’Keefe, (St. John’s, Nfld.).
For more details on the CSTA’s 2018 activities, review the infographic version of the 2018 Annual Report.
Save the dates for 2020 and 2021
#SEC20 – Edmonton Convention Centre, Edmonton (March 24-26, 2020)
#SEC21 – The Westin Ottawa (March 8-10, 2021)
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.