Photo courtesy of Mike Phang Photography.
Tourism Vancouver (British Columbia) is bidding goodbye to President & CEO Rick Antonson this month. Antonson has been at the helm of Vancouver’s destination marketing organization for two decades and has been at the forefront of some of its most exciting successes. Under his leadership, the organization launched the bid for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games and initiated the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Taskforce. Other programs and events that began under his helm, were the city’s annual clean-up initiative Keep Vancouver Spectacular, the annual restaurant promotion Dine Out Vancouver Festival, and Tickets Tonight, a same-day, half-price ticket outlet for sports, performing arts and cultural events.
On April 22, more than 600 members of Vancouver’s tourism community gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre to formally bid adieu to Antonson. The event included some of his favorite foods, including hot dogs, popcorn and wine.
In addition to serving as CEO of Tourism Vancouver, Antonson also chaired Destination Marketing Association International (based in Washington, DC), served as deputy chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, was a founding board member of the Canadian Tourism Commission and is currently president of Pacific Coast Public Broadcasting. He is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Antonson is leaving to become a full-time author. His books to date include To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey Through West Africa, Route 66 Still Kicks: Driving America's Main Street, and the forthcoming Full Moon Over Noah's Ark: An Odyssey to Mount Ararat. He also co-authored Slumach's Gold: In Search of a Legend.
On behalf of Northwest Meetings + Events, best of luck, Rick, on your exciting new venture and we’ll see you at the next book signing!