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Destination Canada Awarded IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award

The IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award recognized Destination Canada's business event sustainability advancements through the Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan

Destination Canada, the national tourism organization, is proud to be the recipient of the 2023 IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award, acknowledging the organization’s commitment to driving sustainability and innovation through the Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan. Launched in the spring of 2022, Destination Canada’s Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan is a first-of-its-kind national program aimed at improving the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability practices of business events hosted in Canada.

“This is a remarkable recognition for Canada and our business events community. It signals that Destination Canada has laid down a marker for change, globally, alongside our city partners,” says Marsha Walden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada. “We’re on track to building a more resilient, sustainable and regenerative future for tourism.”

Adds Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director, Business Events, accepting the award for Destination Canada. “We’ve always said that sustainability requires a collaborative approach. This reaffirms that we are all in this together as we work to reach our industry’s target of net zero. We are so grateful to be recognized — and look forward to continuing to drive change within our industry by showing the environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts of sustainable business events.”

Granted annually, IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award nominations are evaluated by a global panel of judges across the business events sector based on a set criterion that measures:

  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Economic, socio-cultural, and environmental impact
  • Legacy
  • Commitment to continuous improvement
  • Commitment to industry education

“A big congratulations to Destination Canada! As the industry sets its sights on adapting to Net Zero targets, the need for innovation increases. The creativity and commitment to collaboration evident in this year’s entrants has been really inspiring to see.” says Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group.

Events Industry Council (EIC) CEO Amy Calvert adds, “The IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award champions the organizations and leaders whose actions are creating a positive impact on the environment and communities, as well as strengthening the global business events industry as a whole. The IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award places a very deliberate focus on innovation, creative thinking, and collaboration. This plan along with a culture that supports accelerating impact through the power of the collective is one that serves as a model for our industry.”

To date, sixteen Canadian destinations are participating in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) as part of the Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan. These destinations are: Banff Lake Louise, CalgaryCharlottetownEdmontonHalifaxKelowna, Montréal, Niagara FallsOttawa, Québec City, SaskatoonSt. John’sTorontoVancouverVictoria, and Winnipeg. Once complete in the spring of 2024, the Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan will provide turnkey economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability programs to global clients to drive action, raise standards, and propel the entire business event industry toward being more sustainable.


“A year ago, almost to the day, Destination Canada launched its Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan at IMEX Frankfurt 2022 under the leadership of Virginie De Visscher (Senior Director, Business Events, Destination Canada). A true champion for sustainability and someone whose passion and dedication toward continuous learning goes well beyond the workplace, this award is a testament to Virginie’s approach. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with our industry as we continue to drive action and raise the standards for business event sustainability in Canada.”

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau
Executive Director, Business Events, Destination Canada

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