Dean Nelson named LGBT Tourism Leader of the Year

Travel Gay Canada, the nation’s LGBT tourism association, names Whistler Pride’s CEO, Dean Nelson, Tourism Leader of the Year.

On Thursday, June 15th at the fifth-annual LGBT Summit of the Americas hosted by the Canadian Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) in Toronto, Ontario, Travel Gay Canada recognized Canada’s LGBT Travel champions. Dean Nelson, CEO of Alpenglow Production and Executive Producer of the annual Whistler Pride and Ski Festival was recognized as the nation’s LGBT Tourism Leader of the year.

In an interview with Brandon Barrett of Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine, the paper reported:

Nelson was instrumental in establishing the Olympics’ first-ever LGBTQ pavilion, Pride House, for the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler and Vancouver. That led to similar venues at the London 2012 Olympics, the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto, and other international sporting events. Nelson was also a vocal presence ahead of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, where attempts to establish a Pride House were struck down by Russian officials. However, thanks to lobbying from Nelson and other gay rights activists, sexual orientation was added to the Olympic Charter’s anti-discrimination clause following the 2014 Games.

It’s just a wonderful recognition from my peers and some of my mentors to acknowledge some of the work I’ve done over the last 10 years,” Nelson said. “It’s a pretty big moment for me.

Since taking over the 2006 festival with just two weeks notice, Nelson has transformed Whistler Pride into one of North America’s largest gay ski weeks. The municipality has been declaring Whistler Pride Week to coincide with the event since 2012, and in September, will unveil two rainbow-coloured Pride crosswalks on Main Street. (click here to read full article)

Travel Gay Canada also recognized the following organizations in their contribution to Canada’s LGBT Travel industry:

Best Destination Marketing Campaign

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation accepted by Debra Mansillo and Rey Stephen

Best LGBT Focused Travel Story  

Jasper, Alberta written by Steve Polyak of GayCalgary Magazine

Best New LGBT Website

Canada Gay Weddings accepted by Joe Plati

Best Airline LGBT Marketing Campaign

Delta Air Lines accepted by Steven Larkin

Best Photograph depicting LGBT Tourism

Prince Edward County accepted by Rebecca Lamb