Marsha Walden appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Destination Canada

News release

August 18, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced the appointment of Marsha Walden as President and Chief Executive Officer of Destination Canada effective August 24, 2020. This appointment was made following an open, transparent and merit-based selection process.

Before accepting this appointment, Mrs. Walden had been President and CEO of Destination British Columbia since 2013. Throughout her career, she occupied several executive positions, notably with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and BBDO Canada.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Program: Leading Change and Organizational Renewal, and she holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.

Destination Canada markets Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination. In collaboration with partners in the Canadian tourism sector, Destination Canada creates marketing campaigns designed to showcase the best our country has to offer. Destination Canada also provides research and industry data to partners, equipping them to optimize their business.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected global tourism. Destination Canada, a federal Crown corporation, has been agile in pivoting its focus from international marketing to domestic marketing to encourage the safe travel of Canadians within our borders and support Canada’s tourism sector during this challenging period.


“We know the tremendous contribution of the tourism sector to our communities, large and small. It supports good jobs in rural areas, small towns, Indigenous communities and big cities from coast to coast to coast. I look forward to working with Marsha Walden, whose excellent track record in this sector will be a tremendous asset that will help steer Destination Canada throughout the recovery of our country’s visitor economy.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“Marsha Walden is a respected, trusted and active member of the ‘Team Canada’ tourism community, bringing incredible depth and knowledge. Her thought leadership and excellent track record will steer the mid- and long-term planning of Destination Canada throughout the recovery of the country’s resilient visitor economy.”
– Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chair of the Board of Directors, Destination Canada

Quick facts

  • In 2019, a record 22.1 million visitors travelled to Canada.

  • Tourism expenditures reached an estimated $105.1 billion last year.

  • In 2019, tourism supported approximately 748,000 jobs in communities across Canada and contributed an estimated $43.7 billion in gross domestic product.

  • On May 31, 2020, Destination Canada announced a new partnership with the provinces and territories to deliver locally led marketing programs encouraging Canadians to discover their own backyard.

  • Over the next 18 months, Destination Canada will invest $30 million with provincial and territorial marketing organizations to support the recovery of communities.

Associated links


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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