St. Lawrence Parks CEO, Darren Dalgleish named Tourism Champion of the Year.


Attractions Ontario has named Darren Dalgleish, General Manager & CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission as one of two recipients of the Tourism Champion of the Year award. 

Attractions Ontario introduced the new award category “Tourism Champion of the Year” in 2013, to recognize individuals in the tourism industry with the following criteria:

•provided significant organizational employee assistance, commitment, enthusiasm and used specific expertise in guiding the business

•provided exceptional internal and external customer service

•shown exemplary initiative and leadership

•illustrated depth of involvement in the business.

Darren Dalgleish joined the SLPC in April 2011, charged with the challenge to execute a corporate transformation to create business growth and long term sustainability.  

Bringing with him extensive experience in business renewal and development, in just two years he has led the implementation of significant changes at the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to ‘lean’ business processes and reduce waste, improve market share, cost effectiveness, preserve the core attractions and enrich opportunities around them, research and build new events with a primary focus on customer satisfaction.  

Dalgleish introduced the ‘Kaizen’ business philosophy of continuous improvement and has engaged staff from all levels of the organization to identify and bring forward ideas for incremental change improvement.  The results of a net performance improvement of 40 percent speaks for itself.

Dalgleish is quick to share the honour with his team commenting: “We wouldn’t realize the business results we’ve achieved in the past two years without the entire St. Lawrence Parks team working cohesively and without the combined innovation and enthusiasm that our staff share for our attractions, recreational products and experiential integration and satisfaction.”

The SLPC staff have enjoyed recent industry accolades for event excellence from Festivals and Events Ontario including 2012 Top New Event of the Year honours for Upper Canada Village’s new fall event Pumpkinferno and Top 100 Events in Ontario for Fort Henry’s Sunset Ceremonies (eighth time) and Upper Canada Village’s winter lights festival Alight at Night (third time).

Looking forward to 2013, Dalgleish has exciting plans for more improvements and the introduction of exciting new events and program enhancements.  

“We are just starting to hit our stride.  This summer we will introduce an exciting new high-tech sound and light wall projection experience as part of Fort Henry’s Sunset Ceremonies that will transform the visitor experience.  In August we will host the PGA Tour Canada ‘Great Waterway Classic’ at Upper Canada Golf Course.  This will be the first PGA Tour Canada event in Ontario.”  

“Upper Canada Village is developing another new event called ‘Food Lover’s Field Days’ scheduled for August.  Plus we have invested over $1.6 million in our parks infrastructure to vastly improve our visitor services and their experience camping in our campgrounds. It’s another exciting year of growth and support for our surrounding communities and partners.”

Celebrate Ontario recently awarded the SLPC $300,000 to fund four events including Fort Henry’s Concert Series and Fort Fright and Upper Canada Village’s Pumpkinferno and Alight at Night.

The SLPC strives to boost the local economy through the enrichment of product mix and is confident that the regional communities and municipalities will realize significant benefits. 

 Product enrichment is a key part of the SLPC’s strategic direction to serve the community in a thoughtful and entrepreneurial manner by making its vast array of attractions and experiences more economically accessible and collaborative while at the same time ensuring future growth and fiscal improvement.


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