Former Toronto councillor Kyle Rae is the recipient of the 2013 LGBT Tourism Leadership Award, presented by industry association Travel Gay Canada (TGC).
TGC recognized the openly gay former politician and community organizer as “a pioneer in supporting and promoting Toronto as a gay-friendly travel destination since 1981.”
“It is a sincere pleasure to present this award to Kyle, given the work that he has done to support the LGBT community as a whole and specifically in the gay travel industry,” says Colin Sines, president of TGC.
“Kyle’s efforts to position Toronto as a leading LGBT travel destination has made a lasting impact. Both Toronto and Ontario are very dedicated to this market now and are heavily involved in hosting WorldPride in 2014,” Sines says.
“This award is truly an honour and a privilege to receive,” Rae says. “I’ve been working to promote our city as a top travel destination for the LGBT community for 30 years, as I truly believe we have some of the best culture and attractions in the country. I dedicated my life to sharing that with others, and to be recognized for it is very rewarding.”
TGC says the annual award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Canada’s $7 billion LGBT tourism industry. Previous recipients include Vancouver businessman Angus Praught, in 2012, and former member of Parliament Charles LaPointe, in 2011.
Rae was Toronto’s first openly gay councillor and held office between 1991 and 2010. He was a coordinator of Toronto’s first annual Pride parade in 1981. He now works as a lecturer at Ryerson University and as a consultant.
The award was presented recently at TGC’s annual tourism conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
For more information on TGC, visit travelgaycanada.com.