New chairperson appointed at Destination Canada

News Release

Canada’s national tourism marketing organization welcomes new board leader Ben Cowan-Dewar

February 27, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced the appointment of Ben Cowan-Dewar as chairperson of the Board of Directors of Destination Canada, effective February 22, 2017. The search for the new chairperson was done under the Government of Canada’s new appointment approach, which supports an open, transparent and merit-based selection process that will not only result in the recommendation of high-quality candidates but also achieve gender parity and truly reflect Canada’s diversity.

Mr. Cowan-Dewar, who comes from Ontario, has had an impressive career in Nova Scotia’s tourism industry as a successful entrepreneur and experienced destination marketer. He is well known for the success of Cabot Links, an internationally recognized golf resort he co-founded in Inverness, Nova Scotia. Mr. Cowan-Dewar also served as chair of the Board of Directors of Tourism Nova Scotia, a pioneering destination marketing organization, where he implemented a marketing and product development strategy for Nova Scotia’s tourism industry.

Minister Chagger also took the opportunity to thank outgoing chairperson Ms. Olga Ilich for her valuable contributions during her tenure.

As Canada’s national tourism marketing organization, Destination Canada is responsible for marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination where travellers can enjoy extraordinary experiences. Working in collaboration with the Canadian tourism industry and the provinces and territories, Destination Canada serves as a consistent voice for Canada in the international tourism marketplace. As tourism is a key driver of Canada’s economy, Destination Canada plays an important role in growing Canadian tourism export revenues, supporting the creation of jobs, and increasing the global competitiveness of Canada’s travel and tourism sector.


“2016 was a record-breaking year for tourism in Canada. This was fuelled by leaders in the industry from coast to coast to coast, who work tirelessly to showcase our incredible experiences and destinations to the world. Mr. Cowan-Dewar is one of our tourism industry’s great leaders. His trailblazing work in the Maritimes—which included building his own business and supporting other tourism operators as chair of Tourism Nova Scotia’s Board of Directors—will be of great value in his new role as the chair of the Board of Destination Canada. I look forward to working with Mr. Cowan-Dewar and the Destination Canada team as they continue to promote Canada’s world-class tourism industry and create economic growth for middle-class Canadians.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Quick Facts

  • The Government is committed to promoting increased tourism to Canada, and Destination Canada has a strong track record of working with partners to maximize the impact of marketing campaigns. A strong and thriving tourism industry creates jobs and generates economic growth for middle-class Canadians.
  • Destination Canada is governed by a board of directors that is reflective of best practices in modern corporate governance. The chairperson leads a board of up to 12 members who oversee the management of Destination Canada and provide strategic guidance and effective oversight.

Associated Links


Follow Minister Chagger on social media.
Twitter: @MinofSBT
Instagram: minofsbt

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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