St. John’s names tourism ‘legend’

Colin MacLean
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George Street Festival, Canadian Medical Association among award winners

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.

Great honour

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.”

Other winners

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.

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

Organizations: Department of Tourism, The Destination, General Council Meeting of the Canadian Medical Association

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Recent comments

  • edmund
    June 20, 2012 - 10:31

    They should have a "Howdy Doody" award for the person who thinks they are contributing to profitable tourism in the city but is not prepared to show us the numbers and a whimp when it comes to protecting our parks and historic sites from intruders and illegal occupiers. Our so called mayor wins this award, nose up in the air, hands down, no problem. Bucky King, god rest his soul, did a better job and had a much better impact on tourism than any of the current self serving crowd like O'keefe, who like nothing more than to see their pictures in the paper and tell each other what a great job they are doing. Well guess what, they could have been doing a whole lot better for a very long time. The city is filthy dirty, the roads are deplorable and the parks are in disrepair. To take any pride in that and make awards is simply dispicable. You should be ashamed.

  • Frank M
    June 20, 2012 - 09:21

    A quote from the article: "Walsh was not alone on the podium. Several other prominent groups and citizens were also recognized for their contribution to the city." Don't you think you could have published their names as well? Condolences to Brenda Walsh and her brother, former Premier Brian Peckford on the passing of their Mother. It could not have been an easy week to accept this award.

  • Standing O
    June 20, 2012 - 09:10

    Clap Clap Clap

  • Mindy
    June 20, 2012 - 08:49

    GOOD NEWS--you are right--it is great to see this award. I live in the city and it has been a delight to take a taxi now and then. Great conversation and friendly. You got the odd one but overall they are great people. Congrats to "Eric Barron" don't know the guy but I'm sure to get this recognition over the many drivers -- he deserves it.

  • Good news
    June 20, 2012 - 07:14

    It is so nice to read a good news story for a change. I was especially pleased to hear about the Victoria Wagon award. I don't know the recipient but if he is anything like the wonderful taxi drivers I have met in my many visits to St John's over the years, it was well deserved. They really are embassadors for your wonderful city. I tell everyone I know whose going to St John's, even if they plan to rent a car, to take a couple of taxi rides--you're always to a great conversation, colourful commentary and local info. What a smart city council to recognize this!