Minister Chagger announces appointments to Destination Canada Board

News Release

Canada’s national tourism marketing agency welcomes eight new directors

April 19, 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 eight experienced leaders from the tourism industry to Destination Canada’s Board of Directors. 

Patricia Balsillie, Randy Garfield, Monique Gomel, Dave Laveau, Patricia Macdonald and Dragan Matovic have joined the Board effective immediately. Julie Canning and John Stanley Cook Jr. will assume their positions on the Board on February 1, 2018. 

These appointments were made under the Government of Canada’s new appointment approach. This approach supports an open, transparent and merit-based selection process—one that will result in gender parity through the recommendation of high-quality candidates who truly reflect Canada’s diversity.


“I am thrilled to be working with these eight industry leaders who are joining Destination Canada’s Board of Directors. Tourism is a strong economic driver for every Canadian community, supporting 1.7 million jobs and 200,000 businesses. Through Canada 150 and beyond, we will showcase our incredible experiences and destinations to the world and create middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

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

Quick Facts

  • As Canada’s national tourism marketing organization, Destination Canada is responsible for highlighting Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination where travellers can enjoy extraordinary experiences.

  • Destination Canada is governed by a board of directors of up to 12 members led by the chairperson. The Board oversees the management of Destination Canada and provides strategic guidance and oversight.

  • In 2016, international arrivals to Canada grew by 11.1 percent, to almost 20 million visitors.

  • As part of Budget 2017, the Government increased Destination Canada’s permanent funding to $95.5 million to attract more international visitors to Canada

  • Some 192,000 businesses support tourism in Canada, and the vast majority of these are small and medium-sized.

  • Under the Government’s new appointment approach, Ben Cowan-Dewar was announced as chairperson of Destination Canada’s Board of Directors, effective February 22, 2017.

Associated Links


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


Jonathan Dignan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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