Ottawa, ON: In response to how COVID-19 has affected its industry, Sport Tourism Canada (STC) has announced the formation of the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. The purpose is to develop an action plan for the responsible, safe and effective reopening of the $6.8 billion sport tourism industry.

The task force includes representatives from all stakeholders, including destinations, national/multi-sport organizations, facilities and suppliers to the industry. The group will work toward establishing and sharing guidelines and recommendations, specific to the sport tourism industry, to demonstrate to all levels of government that there is a clear plan to re-open the industry.

As of May 2020, there is no timeline nor process for the return of the sport tourism industry.  This includes the supports required to ensure that sport tourism and sport events will be positioned to contribute to the economic, social/cultural and sustainable recovery in communities of all sizes and in every province and territory in Canada. Sport tourism has proven to be a key element in recovery plans following major crises in the past with other pandemics and global events (e.g. 9/11, SARS, Fort McMurray wildfires) as travel patterns move back toward normal.

“Sport tourism serves as a significant economic driver at the community level, particularly with small businesses that depend heavily on the traffic generated by sport events,” said Rick Traer, STC CEO. “The recovery of our industry will be directly related to our ability to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment at over 200,000 sport events that occur in communities across Canada annually.”


  • To access the best and most relevant information, data and intelligence available on COVID-19 in Canada and globally specific to sport tourism and sport event hosting.
  • To provide ongoing assessment of the health of sport tourism and related sectors in Canada to determine what may be required to be event-ready once mass gatherings including sport events can occur.
  • To provide advice, support and guidance to all members of Sport Tourism Canada and all sport tourism industry stakeholders that enables readiness when sport events can once again be hosted in their communities.
  • To develop policy positions and recommendations for and by the sport tourism segment to inform all levels of government.
  • To provide channels for the sport tourism segment to access relevant funding and programs from all levels of government.
  • To develop best practices that can be shared and adapted for application by host cities, rights holders and other sport tourism industry sectors.
  • To develop a sport tourism recovery strategy and actions that can be adopted by STC members and stakeholder groups in the sport tourism segment.
  • To conclude operations once sport tourism has advanced from the recovery phase to the resiliency phase.

STC’s COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce includes leaders from across the country with a wealth of experience in the Canadian sport tourism industry. The task force members are:

  • Carson Ackroyd, Tourism Calgary
  • Neal Alderson, Events Nova Scotia
  • Brent Barootes, The Partnership Group
  • Carey Calder, Aboriginal Sport Circle
  • Bruce Dewar, CEO, Lift Partners
  • Benoit Girardin, LBB Strategies
  • Joe Guest, Soccer Canada
  • Janet Guthrie, City of Leduc
  • Annie Henry, Tourism Winnipeg
  • Jessica Kotsopolous, Westin Harbour Castle
  • Wayne Long, City of Charlottetown
  • Kerry MacDonald, Volleyball Canada
  • Sheena McCrate, St. John’s Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
  • Dean McIntosh, Hockey Canada
  • Doug McLean, Edmonton Events
  • Andreanne Paquet, Tourisme Montreal
  • Brad Peters, Tourism Saskatoon
  • Scott Ring, USports
  • Jillian Somers, City of Moncton
  • Lisa Ward, Tourism Dawson Creek
  • Blair McIntosh, Chair, STC
  • Rick Traer, CEO, STC

Grant MacDonald, former president of the STC, will serve as Chair of the Task Force. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19th.

About Sport Tourism Canada:

Sport Tourism Canada is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. STC services over 500 members across Canada, including 150 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6.8 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors.

For further information, please contact:
Rick Traer, CEO
Tel: 613-295-6388