Tourism HR Canada Presents Award to Aboriginal Experiences Executive Director

Tourism HR Canada Presents Award to Aboriginal Experiences Executive Director

OTTAWA, JUNE 2, 2016—Tourism HR Canada is pleased to announce that Trina Mather-Simard, Executive Director of Aboriginal Experiences, Art & Culture (AEAC) has been presented a Tourism HR Canada award to formally recognize her dedication to developing the Canadian tourism industry and its employees through training, certification and use of progressive HR management practices.

Ms. Mather-Simard has been instrumental in the development and delivery of the Aboriginal Cultural Ambassador (ACA) program, an innovative training program that focuses on training to employment and skills development in the Aboriginal Tourism sector. Developed as a national program through a partnership between Aboriginal Experiences, Art & Culture (AEAC) and OTEC, the ACA program combines core tourism industry skills with Aboriginal arts, culture and heritage training, and an eight week “field placement” with a tourism employer.

Graduates of the program have gained valuable workplace experience, and earn a nationally recognized certification and professional designation from emerit. Perhaps more importantly, ACA program participants graduate with improved confidence in their abilities, and with the skills they need to find and secure sustainable employment.

Group photo of Tourism HR Canada and Aboriginal Experiences staff
Group photo of Tourism HR Canada and Aboriginal Experiences staff

The ACA program has been recognized by Industry Canada as a success story of the Federal Tourism Strategy. This is just one example of the type of work Ms. Mather-Simard and her team at AEAC have been doing to develop the tourism workforce over many years.

Ms. Mather-Simard’s efforts to develop a professional Aboriginal tourism workforce help to address several issues: high Aboriginal unemployment, growing tourism sector labour shortages, and filling jobs in the growing Canadian Aboriginal tourism industry.

In 2011, over 525,000 tourism employees self-identified as Aboriginal, and this number is expected to rise. The Aboriginal population in Canada is growing faster than the general population, and is also younger. The combination of increased labour shortages due to an aging workforce and tourism’s traditional reliance on younger workers, Aboriginal youth will present the industry with a significant source of future employees.

With programs like ACA preparing individuals for careers in the tourism industry, employers can be confident that they can build a strong, professional team by hiring from the Aboriginal population. Ms. Mather-Simard’s efforts continue to improve not only the tourism industry, but the lives and well-being of ACA graduates and their communities.

Tourism HR Canada congratulates Ms. Mather-Simard on her accomplishments and contribution to the tourism sector, and wishes continued success for AEAC and its programs and initiatives.

For more information, contact:

Vince Accardi, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
Tourism HR Canada
(613) 231-6949 x 236
vaccardi@tourismhr.ca