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Staff newsletter

Now Playing Toronto (NPTO) officially launched to consumers on April 5th. A big congratulations to everyone involved in supporting the launch! 

Developed in partnership with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, along with an Arts and Culture Advisory Council made up of leaders across major arts disciplines in Toronto, Now Playing Toronto captures the full scope and scale of experiences on offer and is designed to be the best place to find everything happening in Toronto tonight, this weekend or a month from now. 

This new events calendar is launching at a critical time for the sector as it re-emerges from Covid-19 and is welcome news for many! 

We’d love your help spreading the word, please follow the channels (@nowplayingtoronto / @nowplayingTO)  and share on your socials with #NewPlayingToronto - you can use our graphics or reshare Destination Toronto’s posts.



It's an exciting time at Destination Toronto with lots of new hires bringing more vibrancy to the organization. Please join us in welcoming:
Ivie Ndep (pronounced ee-vee-eh), Marketing Specialist (she/her): Ivie is a dynamic marketer who enjoys finding new and innovative ways to bring marketing campaigns to life. She has spent the past few years in the Marketing and Advertising Agency world, executing campaigns for clients such as Air Canada and Harley-Davidson. She has successfully managed several marketing projects leading to customer acquisition growth, increased brand awareness, and community engagement.
Aimy Thai, Marketing Specialist (she/her): Aimy comes to DT from Tourism London (Ontario) where she applied her marketing acumen across social media, paid marketing campaigns, earned media and industry partner relations. She will be providing planning support on and managing the execution of our domestic marketing programs, both hyperlocal and our drive and short haul fly markets.
Rini Sojan, Accounting Coordinator (she/her): Please welcome our newest finance team member, Rini Sojan, in the role of Accounting Coordinator. Rini earned her Master of Commerce in India and has been progressing in her finance roles for the past few years with diligence & enthusiasm! She’s been very busy getting up to speed on Certify and Ariett, and she’ll be your main contact with any AP questions/concerns.
Kathy Motton (rhymes with cotton), Senior Manager, Corporate & Internal Communications (she/her): Kathy most recently worked at Childhood Cancer Canada overseeing marketing and communications, and prior to that role worked at several PR agencies including experience representing other destinations (like NYC and Arizona) in Canada. Kathy will work closely with colleagues throughout the organization, in all departments, leading communications with our local community and stakeholders, as well as internal to our organization. 
Sohee Maeng, Marketing Specialist (she/her): Sohee is coming to us from the Korea Tourism Offices in Toronto, where she’s worked on some very cool digital campaigns, including livestream tours, an HGTV video series, incredible food content, and influencer programs spanning TikTok to YouTube. She’ll be providing planning and execution support on a variety of content initiatives, including some key content partnerships and travel trade marketing deployment projects
Jennifer Main, Associate Director, Destination Services (she/her), Jennifer brings over 19 years of Business & Consumer Events experience, 18 of which were with GES Canada, Toronto. She will contribute to the planning, development and delivery of an effective destination services program to ensure: key business accounts achieve their success metrics, community stakeholder’s benefit from high levels of repeat bookings, and business development events positively impact the conversion of prospects to confirmed clients.    

If you've not done so yet, feel free to send them a note to say hi and introduce yourself!


Congratulations to Lindsay Earle for completing a Simpleview Brainery Certification! 

Lindsay is the first person at Destination Toronto to complete this Level 5 CRM Accreditation in the Member/Partner discipline. It was an intense 45-day online course with a 75-minute exam at the end that required 80% to pass (Linday got a 96.4%!)!

Congrats to Amy Shen who has been accepted in the 30 under 30 class for 2022 for Destinations International! You can read more about the honour here.

Celebrating our Leisure Trade Sales Team, who are back in the office and promoting Toronto being fully open for international travel. Our first Eblast was sent to Leisure Travel Trade clients. 

Congrats to Farnaz, who won the Turning Red All Staff Group Watch Party prize of $100 GC to Lee Restaurant. Thank you to everyone who joined the Party. 

Contracts with in-market PR agencies have been renewed and the media relations team is back active in our UK, Mexico, and Germany priority International Markets.  

Congrats to the CRM Project Update Team for their hard work updating the business community contacts in the CRM and these incredible numbers:

  • Total Accounts Updated: 675
  • Total Contacts Added: 321
  • Total Contacts Updated: 1555 
  • Total Listings Updated: 284

Also, congrats to the Update Team on the Hotel Room & Meeting Space information updates. Previously, the room information lived in a spreadsheet, but now with one simple click you can see each hotel's number of guest rooms, meeting rooms (including meeting room names & sizes, capacities, floor plans, etc), hotel star rating, number of 1-bed/2-bed rooms, and more.

Do you have a win or kudos you want included in next month's newsletter? Email us with your shout out! 



moving forward

An at-a-glance look at the month ahead for the DT teams.



  • Client Event:  Milwaukee + Madison - April: Milwaukee and Madison are secondary source cities for lead generation of target account prospects. Kori Gassaway & Vinita Das will conduct sales calls and client events in Milwaukee and Madison, nurture existing client and 3rd party relationships, and bolster brand awareness.  They plan to deliver 8-10 clients in Milwaukee and 6-8 in Madison.
  • Destination Celebration - April 5th - Kansas City: Event sponsorship opportunity at the MPI Northern California Chapter- Annual Conference & Expo in San Francisco, CA, and Destination Toronto will be represented by Farnaz Mirza at the annual trade show with a Tabletop Toronto display.
  • MPI Northern California Chapter- Annual Conference & Expo - April 5th San Francisco, CA: DT will be represented by our in-market Sales Director, Kimberly Leary with a 10x10 booth.  We will be attending the annual trade show with an Event sponsorship opportunity.
  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Confirmed in Toronto for October 2022: Eight members from the AACAP team are expected to arrive in Toronto on April 5th to commence their site tour from April 5 through April 7th. Indira Murli will be joining the clients for the three-day jam-packed itinerary.
  • Client Event Philadelphia - April 6th: Philadelphia, a secondary source city for lead generation of target account prospects, nurturing existing client and 3rd party relationships, and bolstering brand awareness.  Our in-market Sales Director Regina Rink will host a culinary-themed client event at Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia for 8-10 Clients.
  • CSAE Tete a Tete - April 6th - Ottawa: Tête-à-Tête, now enters its 32nd year. The schedule is packed with informative roundtable discussions, expert panel presentations and engaging speakers. And, of course, over 75 exhibitors with products and services that can help us meet our goals. Audience in attendance are primarily Associations and 3rd party Planners. Toronto will host a 20'x20' exhibit booth to allow our team and Partners to join us in the booth.
  • Global Meetings Industry Day - April 7th
  • PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter Event - April 7th: Event sponsorship opportunity at the PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter Event in Philadelphia, PA. Regina Rink to represent Team Toronto.
  • Montreal Sales Mission - Week of April 11th: A two-day sales mission in Montreal, a key source city for lead generation of target account prospects in the Canadian Corporate market.  This sales trip will focus on nurturing existing clients and 3rd party relationships.  To get in front of decision-makers, engagement may include the creative execution of an event(s) that supports Toronto’s “Culture Evolves Here” narrative and focused individual and group sales presentations. Debbie Miller to represent DT.
  • International Association for the Study of Pain - Confirmed in Toronto for September 2022 The IASP planning team will be in Toronto April 12 - 13 for their planning leading up to their meeting in September. Indira Murli will be joining the IASP team for the two-day site visit.
  • Destination Canada - Life Sciences Sector Dinner -  April 27 - Chicago: DCBE team will lead this event and host a life sciences-focused client dinner to connect with key clients in the Chicago region. Our in-market Sales Director Kori Gassaway will represent DT.
  • Experiential Membership Summit - Las Vegas April 27 - 29, 2022: EMS is a buyer program with dedicated appointments with 5000+ global buyers.  DT Sponsorship at the event reflects the introduction to the  'Culture Evolves Here' creative theme, present in our 10'x30' activation space. Heather Neale & Kimberly Leary will represent Team Toronto.
  • Destination Services: Our Destination Services team will be busy hosting 3 confirmed CW clients travelling to Toronto on-site visit that involves logistical planning leading up to their meeting.
  • American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) - Confirmed for March 2024: Nancy will be joining the three clients from ACMG on a three-day site visit. 


  • Travel Trade participated in the ARF Quebec member roundtable with 18 Quebec-based tours and inbound receptive operators. This provided us with the opportunity to learn about market trends and what operators are seeking in response to their client's needs. Travel Trade provided an update of all that Toronto has to offer and introduced new products for possible inclusion in future Toronto programs. 
  • Travel Trade recently hosted six luxury travel agents who are based in New York City. The travel agents visited Toronto on a FAM tour sponsored by Air Canada and the Ritz Carlton Toronto. As part of their Toronto experience, DT member partner BeSpoke Experiences curated a unique visit to the Distillery District.
  • Travel Trade sent out an eblast to our database of trade clients which you can review here.


  • Disney Turning Red Promotional Campaign ended on Sunday, March 27, 2022 
    The program delivered 28,413 entries (goal was 5,000) into the contest and 23,974 new subscribers to Stories of the 6ix E-Newsletter.
  • Looking ahead the media relations team is working on plans that include:
    • Domestic Canadian Market;
    • Hosting Canadian Journalists on individual press trips;
    • Brandon Gonez Show Episode in April that will feature Toronto;
    • Hosting several US-based freelancers in April;
    • Vanessa is attending TravelCon - a three-day conference that allows the media relations team to connect with industry leaders, influencers, and celebrated writers through keynote speeches, breakout tutorial sessions, networking events, and industry panels.
    • We are currently in discussions with the following US media regarding potential future opportunities:
      • AFAR
      • Wall Street Journal
      • Conde Nast Traveler
      • TIME
      • Meetings and Conventions Publications
    • In terms of International Markets, we are negotiating media opportunities with UK National Geographic and BBC as well as planning the first International Group Press Trip.


  • Launching Now Playing Toronto - the most comprehensive resource for arts and culture events in Toronto. This is a vital part of our strategy to leverage data opportunities around "things to do" and has been built in close partnership with leaders in the arts community. Check it out and share it widely! The full announcement is here
  • This month our lineup of community events kicks off with the virtual Spring Briefing on April 11. Following this event, a full calendar of EDGE events will begin, with the full lineup posted shortly in the Events & Education section of the Terminal. If you haven't registered for the Spring Briefing, you can do so here.
  • As the first quarter has ended, the Business Intelligence team is presenting three new quarterly reports, covering Sales Production, Pace and Marketing Insights. All reports will be posted in the BI section of the Terminal in the coming days. 


  • Our Finance team completed the substantive part of the 2021 audit. Our audited Financial Statements will be presented to our stakeholders at April’s Finance and Audit Committee meeting and again at the Board of Directors meeting on April 25th
  • Andrew Franklin would like to extend a Toronto-sized thank you to Valerie Miller who was invaluable to the successful completion of the audit.



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Destination Toronto Intranet

HIVE app

DT Office Pre-access Questionnaire


Destination Toronto is hosting 2 upcoming wellness webinars with our EAP provider Lifeworks!

April webinar

The first webinar is 5 Buckets Principle on Friday, April 22 at 10 am 

The webinar will review the 5 Buckets Principle of work/life balance to get the tools to prioritize what is and should be important to them. Participants will learn: how to think about the big picture without ignoring the little things that matter; how to find the time to manage it all, including time for themselves and for fun, by identifying priorities, making choices and managing expectations.

Save the date!

Save the date for the second webinar, Getting Organized on Friday, May 6 at 10 am.

This session will help you determine your organizational quotient, explore why we’re disorganized, examine the benefits of organization and identify how to start. It addresses both home and work, discusses storage issues, helps you determine if disorganization is a problem and offers resources.

Each session is one hour in length and virtual. If you are interested in either or both webinars, just reply to Monique's email with: “1”,” 2” or “Both”.

getting to know

Each edition of PULSE, we’re asking 3 questions to 3 phenomenal DT team members. We’re willing to bet you’ll learn a few tidbits about some of our fave DT people. 

Angela Jefferies (she/her)
Sales Director, Canada & International Association

What do you like most about working from home?
I have worked from home since 2008, it's not new to me. It has been an incredibly positive experience over the past 14 years. I can’t lie though, there have been times when it was a bit lonely - mainly in the dead of winter. But that has all changed now! The ease at which we can jump on Zoom call, video chat or Teams has really made the home office life that much better. And I am no longer alone, since my husband also works at home these days. The downside of course is when he gets to the leftovers before I do at lunchtime or finishes the coffee!! 

Tell us about your most memorable trip
Most memorable trip was a 7-day sailing excursion with friends on Georgian Bay, sailing the channel north of Manitoulin Island. It is a part of Ontario that many people don’t experience and at times, it was like being in the Caribbean. The crystal clear water of Georgian Bay and the white quartz rock formations are simply breathtaking!

When someone tells you they’re visiting the 6ix, what’s the first thing you recommend experiencing?
You have to experience the CN Tour Edge Walk. I did the Edge Walk with a client a few years ago and it was incredible. It was most certainly a bonding experience and such a positive experience. The guides are top-notch and make you feel like an absolute superhero….and who doesn’t love that feeling! 

Vanessa Somarriba (she/her)
Senior Media Relations Manager

What is your favourite WFH accessory?
My Google Nest! My partner gave it to me for Christmas, and I never knew how much I needed one. I especially love that I can yell at it to be quiet or turn up without getting off my chair! :) 

What’s your favourite travel hack?
Pack a water bottle, lots of snacks and entertainment, i.e books, sudoku, downloaded podcasts. You never know if you’ll be stuck somewhere without access to anything so best to be prepared. It sounds like a mom thing, but it’s actually an only-child thing!

When someone tells you they’re visiting the 6ix, what’s the first thing you recommend experiencing?
Kensington Market. No matter their interests, age or where they are coming from. It’s so unique, fun and interesting. Spend an afternoon eating, walking, shopping, and people-watching. Just maybe not in January. :)

Nancy Hall (she/her)
Destination Specialist

Are you an early bird or night owl?
Early Bird. I always joke that you won’t get brilliance from me after 4 pm.  

Who is your favourite person to travel with? 
My husband. I don’t think we would have married each other if we weren’t travel compatible! Both adventurous and easy-going. If we have a roof over our heads, the rest is discovery.

 What’s one Toronto hidden gem you swear by?
TERRONI Price rooftop patio. Just North of the downtown core near Summerhill, the patio bar is a great place to perch on a hot summer day while sipping Peroni beer and taking in those fantastic views!



Debbie Miller (April 7)
Andrew Weir (April 9)
Catalina Matamoros (April 9)
Dan Young (April 12)
Maxine Morrell-West (April 13)
Tara Dordon (April 14)
Kathy Motton (April 27)


Lauren Jerome (3 years on April 1)
Lindsay Earle (5 years on April 3)
Thomas Huller (17 years on April 10)
Mara Rodas (4 years on April 15)


Destination Toronto
207 Queens Quay West, Suite 405, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7, Canada

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