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Staff newsletter

Tourism Relief Fund


Thank you to everyone for joining the April All-Hands meeting.

Sharing a reminder of the important details on the Tourism Relief Fund for your tourism business contacts, please:

  • Refer them to the website;
  • Note the hard deadline of May 15, 2022;
  • Be mindful that the rules of the fund state some business sectors such as hotels, restaurants, and retail are ineligible for this particular program, although some exclusions may apply;
  • Copy Alan Convery, TRF Project Manager, on the email, so that he or a team member can follow up with support.

Our goal is to reach as many tourism businesses as possible, so please feel free to proactively refer any business you think could benefit from the fund.

And if you have any questions, please reach out to Alan Convery



Welcoming our newest Destination Toronto team members:
Anirudh Bizlawan, Business Intelligence Architect (he/him): Ani will lead the B.I. team, helping to deepen DT's reliance on data and analytics both to inform our internal decision-making and also as a significant source of relevance within our community. Ani has worked in data science and business intelligence for 15 years, including the past 6 years in the travel sector with EF Tours, a tour operator focused on student and youth travel as well as other tour segments.
Alan Convery, Tourism Relief Fund Project Manager (he/him): Alan has joined us to lead theTourism Relief Fund project we are delivering on behalf of FedDev Ontario. Alan worked at TD bank for more than 20 years, a large portion of which was spent managing the bank's sponsorship and grant program. After TD, Alan was with TIFF overseeing government affairs, directly responsible for securing government and grant support. 

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


A big congratulations to Angela Jefferies!

Angela who was awarded the Chairs Award & Service Excellence Award from the Ottawa Gatineau Network at the 2022 CSAE Awards Ceremony. Angela was recognized for her consistent service to the organization as past chair, volunteer extraordinaire and special events committee to name just a few of the reasons. Well done Angela!


And a bicongratulations to Denise for becoming a Simpleview Certified Mentor in Membership / Partnership!

The Simpleview Certified Mentor in Membership/Partnership is the industry-recognized validation of one’s skills when working with a Destination Marketing Organization's members, partners or stakeholders using the Simpleview CRM. This certification requires an in-depth knowledge of creating and modifying records, such as accounts, contacts, listings, and events; building Searches and Reports to optimize data; managing internal workflows using external features and Admin functions. Way to go Denise!

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.




  • The GSS team wishes Cristina Massullo all the very best as she heads out on April 29th for her maternity leave. Cristina, we wish you and your family all the best  and we look forward to baby photos! 
  • Destination Services is thrilled to have Yolanda Cheung returning to Destination Services. Yolanda has hit the ground running and we look forward to seeing Yolanda flourish in her role. Welcome back, Yolanda! 


  • Destination Celebration: May 3 Columbus, OH - Composed of convention bureau satellite offices that are based in the Chicago area, and nearby Midwestern states.
  • HelmsBriscoe Annual Business Conference & Partner Fair - May 9-11,  Las Vegas, NV - HelmsBriscoe is an important 3rd Party Partner representing Planners from the US, UK and European markets.
  • Client Event: May 16-18 2022 Milwaukee & Madison, WI 
  • SITE Canada Regional Conference & Sales Mission: May 16-18 Vancouver - Two-day sales mission in Vancouver.
  • Client Event: May 27, 2022 Los Angeles, CA
  • IMEX Frankfurt: May 31-June 2 Frankfurt, Germany - Three-day annual hosted-buyer show that attracts primarily corporate and incentive, and secondarily, association buyers and PCOs.
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists - Hosted by GSS, a citywide opportunity for 2026 and the potential to bring 3000 delegates to our city.  


  • UK Trade FAMS, May 27-30 - Fam series is running in collaboration with Air Canada, UK based First Class Holidays and Destination Canada. Purpose to reintroduce Toronto as a key North American City Break destination to elite travel advisors selling First Class Holidays Toronto programs.
  • Rendez-vous Canada, May 24-27 - Rendez-vous Canada (RVC), Canada’s premier leisure tourism industry event, is taking place in Toronto at the MTCC. 350+ international tour operators come together with 600 Canadian tourism suppliers for four days of scheduled business meetings and networking sessions.  In partnership with Destination Ontario, Destination Toronto is coordinating an official Pre-RVC fam tour for trade buyers wanting to experience the depth and breadth of Toronto's product offerings.


  • New content series currently in development - You Gotta See What We See. Currently in planning and pre-production now but in the next month we'll be developing a rollout plan for the content hub and social. 
  • Team is also supporting development of NHIE and Hilton content series via web development and social activations. 
  • TikTok continues to grow (just over 9500 followers now and more than 71K Likes). New and upcoming this month: Top eats in East Chinatown and Picnic Pairings.
  • Attendance building (6 Stack): continuing client engagement and marketing support for: Collision, DI, Call of Duty, ISMRM & ISMRT, Intl Assoc for Study of Pain 
  • BE-segment content: confirmed content partnerships with Ignite and Canadian Special Events. Planning is now underway
  • Team is engaging with MTCC and Ex Place on our new BE Guest Contributor Program
  • Cultures Evolve (BE-segment creative campaign) launches 1st event activation at EMS2022 April 27-29 (pictures to follow)
  • Cultures Evolve Here Playbook: Working towards finalizing the playbook to provide guidance on how we can use and further expand on the Cultures Evolve campaign.
  • Digital Business Cards: Will be creating digital business cards to reduce paper waste and printing costs. Will also make it easier to connect with new and old clients through a seamless and interactive way.
  • Sales Email Templates: Launched sales email templates for the GSS team to help with speeding up the process for creating and sending out sales emails. This also helps with being consistent with what we show and send out to existing and new clients.


Canada - Never Have I Ever Confessions
  • Campaign launching early June in pan-Ontario Markets and Montreal
  • Shooting video this weekend April 30/May 1 (fingers crossed it stays sunny!)
  • Inclusion in greater DT programs playbook underway and in development
US- You Gotta See What We See 
  • Campaign Launching late June in key markets within the US (NYC/New Jersey Washington, DC, San Francisco/San Jose, Chicago).  


Destination Ontario:
  • US Border State Partnership Campaign
    • Launching  May through July in in New York State and Michigan markets leveraging the idea of Getting to Know your Neighbours and inspiring Weekend Adventurers to visit.
  • Domestic Pan- Ontario Partnership Campaign
    • Launching w/o April 25th within domestic Pan-Ontario markets, encouraging Ontarians to take advantage of a staycation this summer.  Running through early June.  Creative focus is on Arts and Culture

Gumball 3000

  • Ultimate Guide to Gumball live by May 3.
  • Working through contest details with marketing partner Curiocity, whereby winner receives a curated bespoke Gumball 3000 Toronto experience

Hilton Content Series 

  • Engaging tourism insiders in Toronto (a mix of attactions/Hilton/experience providers) to tell us their ultimate day in Toronto
  • Finalizing content and briefings with Hilton on hero and pillar video and article content that will live on
  • Program to launch first week of June


  • Finalizing new e-newsletter template with next e-newsletter scheduled in June.
  • Working closely with Leisure Trade team on marketing development of confirmed JMAs with CANUSA and America Unlimited in German market.


  • Canada
    • RVC Media FAM being planned
    • Pitching Summer Press Trips
    • Will attend TMAC Conference in June
  •  US MR
    • Sustainability/Earth Day pitching
    • Hosting AFAR magazine and working on stories with Cosmo, Conde Nast Traveler and Travel Weekly
  • International
    • UK Wellness/Sustainability Itinerary
    • UK Biennial Int'l press trip planning
    • UK & DE Mission Planning, July
    • MX Festivals Pitching


  • Continue outreach for the Tourism Relief Fund to drive applications and support businesses through the application process. The application window closes May 15, and the next step will be a comprehensive evaluation by a review panel aimed at having decisions announced in June. Any inquiries about the program should be directed to the dedicated web site ( and to Alan Convery.
  • Announcement of the Michelin Guide for Toronto on May 10 (very confidential until then!). Once the guide is announced, our partnership with Michelin as well as Destination Ontario and Destination Canada focuses on content and storytelling to elevate our culinary story.
  • Continue to expand events listings and content for Now Playing Toronto, driving more people to the site as a resource for events and encouraging more event producers to list their events.
  • Business Intelligence team is working on new dashboards to provide more data and analytics to internal teams and also to share with our stakeholder community. Dashboards will be ready to use later this spring.
  • Complete the Annual Report and prepare for the Annual General Meeting - our key annual governance meeting - on June 9.



Destination Toronto’s CRM wiki


Destination Toronto Intranet

HIVE app

DT Office Pre-access Questionnaire


Some upcoming HR sessions:

  • Getting Organized on Friday May 6 at 10 am
  • This session  will help you determine your own 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.
  • Either May 24 or May 30 at 10 am : Fostering Queer and Trans-Inclusive Spaces – Introductory level workshop
      • 90-minutes
      • Covers language, terminology and the basics of gender and sexuality diversity (which includes discussion on pronouns)This is an introductory discussion and meant as a starting place – facilitator will share action items and strategies for affirming queer and trans people, but there is much learning to do beyond this intro-level session
      • Attendance will be mandatory- HR will schedule staff into either session.
  • Sun Life Pension Information Session Friday June 3 at 10 am. 
    This will be a general overview of our Registered Company Pension Plan, review if and understanding the pension plan investment options and utilizing the Sun Life Financial retirement planning tools.
    Attendance will be mandatory for any staff member that joined the pension plan in the last 6 months or will be joining in the next 6 months. 
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. 

Andrew Franklin (he/him)
Financial Controller
What is your Wi-Fi named?
Our Wi-Fi name is DJJazzyDress. Dress coming from Drew and my wife Jess. Don't overthink it.
Tell us about your most memorable trip.
My most memorable trip was a University study fellowship to Canadian battlefields in France. We visited Vimy, Beaumont-Hamel, Dieppe and spent the majority of our time in Normandy and each student researched and presented the story of a fallen Canadian soldier at their gravesite.
What’s your favourite season in Toronto, and why?
So in general I would rank the seasons as such: Spring, Fall, Summer, Winter but in Toronto fall is the best because I live on the Don Valley and it's a beautiful sight when the leaves change colour.

Yolanda Cheung (she/her)
Destination Services Specialist

What is your favourite WFH accessory?
My stash of chocolate. Does that count as an accessory?
Tell us about your most memorable trip.   
That's a hard one, either scuba diving with the manta rays in the Great Barrier Reef or a cycling trip I did in Spain.  I got to ride a small portion of the El Camino which had been on my bucket list for a long time.
What’s something in Toronto that is at the top of your Never Have I Ever bucket list?
The Easter Seals Drop Zone where you get to abseil down the side of a building for a good cause.  I'm still undecided on the dressing like a superhero part!  Or ,fingers crossed, going to a FIFA 2026 match!

Jeremy Maunder (he/him)
Acting Director, Global Marketing

What is the most unique thing you have within reach of your desk?
An amethyst crystal my sister got me for Christmas to calm the mind and spirit.  Crystals aren’t my thing but she swears by them and it’s very pretty!
What destination is at the top of your 2022 travel list?
Italy!  Hopefully October or early November.  My partner and I will just eat and drink our way through that vacation. :)
What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?
For takeout Jatujak 100%, it’s a Thai restaurant in Scarborough, has some of the best Thai we’ve eaten in the city!   If we’re going out, our latest discovery is The Beech Tree.  Tiny restaurant at Kingston Road and Main St.  Such interesting flavour combinations, fabulous cocktails and equally fabulous service.

Celebrating Work Anniversaries!

Lindsay Cowell - thirty three year anniversary (May 1, 1989)
Linda Bruton - nine year anniversary (May 21, 2013)
Jessica Halliday - seven year anniversary (May 25, 2015)
Angela Jefferies - five year anniversary ( May 1, 2017)
Menisha Moses - four year anniversary (May 9, 2018)


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

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