And the award goes to...

The time between those 5 words and the ones that follow can seem like an eternity, but what if the name called is yours? I’m betting it would be worth the wait.

I can speak from experience, because this is exactly what happened last night at the Ontario Tourism Summit Awards, which were hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp. and the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance as part of the 2012 Ontario Tourism Summit. We were up for a Sustainable Tourism Award for our Sustainability initiatives and our Local Food program. The category was announced, we held our breath, and we won.

They call it an award, but it’s also as much a reward. Recycling tonnes of carpet and spending half a million dollars on local food for one event is not an easy task, and it’s more than just being able to say, “we did this.” The results ripple through entire communities, resulting in landfills that are a lot less full, cleaner air and water, and farms that live on to provide us with fresh food. The award may be the MTCC’s, but the rewards belong to everyone.

For more information about the great local programmes at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, check out their blog here.

 - Kelly Hughes, Local Food Procurement Officer at Metro Toronto Convention Centre