News for the Hospitality Executive
Hotel Association of Canada Recognizes
Recipients of Hall of Fame Awards
Ottawa, ON, February 8, 2010 – On Thursday, February 4th, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) celebrated its sixth year of industry achievements at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, with its annual Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence Program.
The Hall of Fame Awards Program was developed by the HAC to recognize those of its members (individuals, companies or properties) that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Canada’s lodging industry.
“The goal of HAC’s awards program is to reward strong standards in the industry that will enable this country to remain competitive,” said Will Schmidt, Chair of the Hotel Association of Canada and event MC. “We are pleased to honour this year’s winners, whom we feel represent some of the finest examples of professionalism, quality and perfection.”
The Luncheon Gala opened with an address by Michele McKenzie, President of the Canadian Tourism Commission. Ms. McKenzie provided guests with an overview of how Canada will leverage the attention that will be focused on our country before, during and most importantly, after the Olympics.
Five Hall of Fame awards were presented under the categories of Humanitarianism, Human Resources, Energy & Environment and new this year, Outstanding Supplier of the Year.
In the category of Humanitarianism the award was presented to the Delta Brunswick, St. John, NB. The hotel was selected to receive the Humanitarian Award in recognition of its ongoing support of the community through a variety of initiatives: a long standing partnership with the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative; complimentary accommodation to out-of-town breast cancer surgery patients; support of the annual Super Walk for Parkinson’s; a hospitality related scholarship; and donations to numerous fundraisers for schools, the hospital, and other community groups.
The Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton, AB was awarded in the category of Human Resources for its outstanding service culture practices. The hotel has implemented numerous career development options, benefits & incentive programs, RRSP matching and in-depth job-specific orientation and training all of which have contributed to loyal staff and high guest-satisfaction rates. The property regularly recognizes the accomplishments of its staff through award programs and this investment in people has resulted in the hotel winning numerous HR awards from various industry groups. Wendy Swedlove, President of the Canadian Human Resource Tourism Council (CTHRC) relayed some of the resort’s many employee-focused initiatives to the audience just prior to presenting the award.
There was a tie this year for the Energy and Environment Award. The first recipient was the Hôtel du Vieux Québec, Québec City, QC. This property has undertaken a number of initiatives in the areas of carbon neutrality, installation of a green roof, property-wide conversion to energy-efficient lighting, and water-saving measures to name just a few. As well, the hotel now demands the same environmental responsibility from its many suppliers and has even assisted these companies in their movement towards providing greener options to their clients.
The Westin Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, also received the Energy & Environment Award for its programs including the introduction of Green Meeting Plan, responsible food planning and purchasing practices, and a building automation system to control HVAC. The hotel’s efforts also extend to the community through participation in Earth Hour, Ottawa’s Annual Capital Spring Clean-Up and donations to various local shelters. Hotel employees are directly involved in planning and implementing initiatives and the Green Committee even issues a quarterly newsletter to all staff in order to educate them on key energy and environmental issues.
New to the Awards slate this year was the Outstanding Supplier of the Year Award, introduced as a way to honour long-standing Allied Members of the association who have made significant contributions to both our industry and their lodging customers. Ecolab was the inaugural winner of this award having been selected for its high standard of customer service and support and professional approach to solving problems. Ecolab is also involved with the industry at a community level supporting industry-related programs at George Brown College and Ryerson University as well as sponsoring such events as the Canadian Hospitality Foundation Ball.
Following the awards presentations, the Honourable Rob Moore, newly appointed Minister for Small Business & Tourism, treated guests to a keynote address and later posed for photos with the award winners. Mr. Moore spoke to attendees about the extensive consultations he is carrying out following his appointment to the Cabinet. He also addressed what he called “Harvesting the Afterglow of the Olympics”
HAC is also pleased to announce this year’s winner of the Stephen Phillips Passion for Hospitality Bursary. Dedicated to the memory of Stephen H. Phillips, former Vice-Chairman and CEO of AFM Hospitality Corporation Inc., who passed away from cancer in early 2007, this bursary will be awarded annually to a hospitality student who best represents the qualities that Stephen Phillips brought to the industry. Kathlene Depooter, a Hotel & Food Administration student at the University of Guelph, was selected as the 2009 recipient of the Bursary. Though only in her early twenties Kathlene has demonstrated a dedication to the industry that is a fitting reflection of the bursary’s namesake.
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is a professional industry association representing the lodging industry in Canada. Its membership encompasses the provincial and territorial hotel associations, the corporate hotel chains, independent hotels, motels and resorts and the many suppliers to the hotel industry. HAC’s objective is to assist both its national and international members as they endeavor to enhance their competitiveness and achieve their bottom line.