Toronto's Black Heritage Draws Recognition and Visitors



    
    Two major U.S. professional associations choose Toronto for upcoming
    conventions
    

    TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Tourism Toronto and Toronto City Councillor
Michael Thompson brought together community leaders at a special Black History
Month event yesterday to build momentum for Toronto as a leading global
destination.
    "This is an important visitor market that represents a growth opportunity
for Toronto, particularly through the professional associations that are
choosing to bring their international conventions here," said David Whitaker,
President and CEO of Tourism Toronto.
    Tourism and community leaders came together at the opening of a special
exhibition: "Many Rivers to Cross: The Toronto Journey, 1900-1950." The
exhibition is curated by Toronto historian, Dr. Sheldon Taylor, and runs from
February 11 through 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the landmark St. Lawrence
Hall, 157 King Street East. The show includes 55 period photos and artifacts
including a rare copy of a book of poetry, Songs in the Shadows, written in
the 1940s, and a reproduction of the 1930s Free Lance newspaper detailing the
response of Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia.
    Tourism Toronto is providing bus transportation for several school groups
who will visit the exhibition this week, as well as sponsoring a visitor guide
to Black History Month events that is being distributed around the city and
also online.
    "Our exciting city and strong community leaders are the things that make
our city attractive to so many," said City Councillor Michael Thompson.
"Community leaders are the ambassadors who help spread the word to a variety
of people who then consider Toronto a great place to visit."

    Convention wins for Toronto

    Tourism Toronto also announced last evening that Toronto has won two
significant bids to host prominent associations' future conventions. The
National Medical Association has chosen Toronto for its convention in July
2013, and will confirm that choice at its upcoming House of Delegates meeting
in March. With more than 5,000 delegates and over 9,000 hotel room nights,
this meeting is projected to generate $8.9 million in direct spending in
Toronto.
    "Toronto embodies many of the values of our organization: its diversity
and the economic opportunities it affords African-Americans - particularly
medical professionals and others in the science fields - is what compelled NMA
to select Toronto," said Dr. Mohammad N. Akhter, Executive Director of the
National Medical Association. "We're excited to come to such a welcoming,
vibrant city."
    The Black Nurses' Association has also confirmed it will hold its 2009
Annual Meeting in Toronto, bringing more than 1,000 delegates this July.
    In addition, Toronto will welcome more than 10,000 delegates of the
National Society of Black Engineers in 2010 - a meeting projected to generate
approximately $15 million in direct spending.
    "Toronto's story is being heard by professionals like doctors, nurses and
engineers," said David Whitaker. "And we are rightly recognized as a place
that celebrates diversity and unlimited opportunity."

    About Tourism Toronto

    Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an
industry association of more than 1,200 members established to strategically
sell and market the Greater Toronto Region as a remarkable destination for
tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. For
more information on Tourism Toronto, please visit www.SeeTorontoNow.com.





For further information:

For further information: Cathy Riches, Corporate Communications
Specialist, Tourism Toronto, (416) 987-9077, criches@torcvb.com; Ihor Wons,
Executive Assistant, Councillor Michael Thompson, (416) 397-9274,
iwons@toronto.ca


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