Published on June 20, 2012
Brenda Walsh (centre) receives the Legend Award Tuesday at a city hall ceremony from Mayor Dennis O'Keefe (left) and Coun. Bruce Tilley. Walsh was one of five honourees at the 21st annual Tourism Awareness Awards. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
Published on June 20, 2012
The 27th annual George Street Festival won Event of the Year. — Telegram file photo
Brenda Walsh has been awarded The Legend Award by the City of St. John’s. Walsh spent her career as one of the first Newfoundlanders potential visitors to the province got to meet.
She spent many years as the marketing specialist for meetings, conventions and incentive travel market with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. She retired from that job last year.
Tuesday, she got a standing ovation from her peers who gathered in the council chambers of St. John’s for the city’s tourism awards ceremony.
Coun. Bruce Tilley told the assembled business people that Walsh’s contributions to the province and to St. John’s are many and far-reaching.
“Before Brenda, the corporate incentive market was unheard of.
“She was part of a deal that actually spearheaded the initiative to go after that market for this province. It is through Brenda’s hard work and team building that St. John’s is on the map in terms of a convention and meeting destination,” said Tilley.
Walsh told the crowd that it was a great honour to accept the award.
Promoting St. John’s as a destination city was not easy in the early years of advertising, she said, but it got much easier.
“Selling St. John’s as a convention destination was not easy, but as the years went by and our facilities improved, our sales team experienced a shift in the awareness of this destination.
She called St. John’s “a culturally rich, cosmopolitan city, with much to offer all of our visiting delegates.”
“It was wonderful to be there to experience that shift.”
Walsh was not alone on the podium.
Several other prominent groups and citizens were also recognized for their contribution to the city.
Event of the Year went to the 27th annual George Street Festival. The Signal Award went to Jack Fagan.
The Destination St. John’s Award of Distinction went to the 144th General Council Meeting of the Canadian Medical Association. The Victoria Wagon award (best taxi driver) went to Eric Barron.
Tilley also mentioned the creation of a new award, which is set to be given for the first time next year. The award will be presented to smaller businesses or events that have contributed to tourism for St. John’s.
“We want to be able to thank a broader range of contributors to this very, very important industry,” said Tilley.