Tourism Sault Ste. Marie head joins FEO Hall of Fame

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Ian McMillan addresses the crowd at the 2017 FEO Conference after being inducted into the FEO Hall of Fame.

With a tourism career spanning more than three decades, Ian McMillan was inducted into the Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) Hall of Fame last week. The Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie was given the honour at the closing ceremony of the 2017 FEO Conference on Friday evening. The award recognizes the exceptional achievements of individuals in the festival and event industry.

“Ian has been involved in the tourism sector for more than 35 years and has made an outstanding contribution to the festivals and events industry, both in Sault Ste. Marie and throughout the Ontario, with his involvement in a variety of provincial organizations,” said Kathrin Delutis, FEO’s Chief Executive Officer. “His leadership and dedication are the reason why he was inducted into this very prestigious group. We are so fortunate to have him as an advocate for the industry, and he truly represents the objectives of Festivals & Events Ontario.”

Ian was appointed the first Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie in 2001. Prior to that, he spent 18 years with the Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association. With his industry expertise, Ian currently sits as a Board member on a number of regional and provincial tourism organizations, including the Great Lakes Cruise Coalition, Travel Industry Council of Ontario, Attractions Ontario, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Tourism Northern Ontario, and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie works to draw visitors to the community using a number of methods. Its core techniques are attracting and supporting festivals, conferences and sports tournaments, selling vacation packages, undertaking product development initiatives, and engaging in promotional campaigns in strategic markets across Ontario and the U.S. Between 2008 and 2016, this activity generated more than 355,000 visitor days, $52.74 million in direct visitor spending, and millions more in indirect economic activity for the local economy.

“From the hundreds of major events he helped secure for the community, to the Agawa Canyon Train Tour Revitalization Project and other product development initiatives, Ian’s work has had a profound positive impact on the Sault’s tourism industry and the community in general,” said Kevin Wyer, Chair of the Tourism Sault Ste. Marie Management Committee and a Board member for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “Ian has the ability to bring people and groups together, and the respect he has earned in the tourism industry and with all levels of government has been extremely beneficial to our city.”

Established in 1987, FEO is a non-profit organization devoted to the growth and stability of the festival and event industry in the province. Since 2000, 35 people have been inducted into its Hall of Fame. Each individual is someone who has dedicated their career to the festival and event industry and who has made a lasting contribution to their community, festival, event or organization. The other 2017 inductees are Michael Langford from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (retired), along with the late Shane Sargant, who was an Event Planner with the Township of Cleaview.

Also during the awards ceremony of the 2017 FEO Conference, the Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival won Best New Festival or Event under $100,000. As well, Bon Soo Winter Carnival and Bushplane Days were named among FEO’s Top 100 festivals and events in Ontario. For more information, visit www.festivalsandeventsontario.ca.

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. For further details, visit www.saulttourism.com. Also online: www.sault-canada.com.