Local tourism expert gets Queen’s medal

Cranbrook’s Dave Butler recognized for work in tourism.

Cranbrook’s Dave Butler has earned the gratitude of the province for his work in tourism.

The B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Pat Bell has recognized Cranbrook’s Dave Butler with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on the Provincial Destination Marketing Organization Taskforce.

Butler, a strong advocate for the tourism industry, was chair of the taskforce up to November 2012, when it led to the creation of Destination B.C.

“It was a great surprise and a very humbling honour,” Butler told the Townsman. “The work I had done that led to the medal was being part of a team of people who worked over about 16 months to put a new Crown corporation together. It involved a lot of negotiations with ministers and senior deputies. It was a huge amount of work so it was a great honour and humbling for sure.”

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett presented the medal to Butler on Friday, March 1 in Cranbrook on behalf of Minister Bell.

Fellow tourism expert Lana Denoni of Victoria, and Donald McInnes, chair of the Clean Energy Association, were also recognized last week by Minister Bell.

“I am delighted to have the honour of presenting these three extraordinary British Columbians with the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Lana Denoni, Dave Butler and Donald McInnes have dedicated their lives to creating jobs and improving their communities. I commend them for their hard work and success,” said Bell.

Butler works for Canadian Mountain Holidays as its director of sustainability, and he is the first vice-president with the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce.

In that role, Butler is working with Canadian Rockies International Airport managing director Tristen Chernove to re-examine Cranbrook’s approach to tourism.

“In the past, in general, tourism hasn’t really been on Cranbrook’s radar necessarily to the same degree that it has been in other communities. I understand that: we’ve done so well with being a regular service centre, hospital, education, mining, forestry, railways. But I think it’s time now to take another look at tourism and see what we can do with it here,” said Butler.

The committee is hoping to hire a coordinator who can look at tourism initiatives in Cranbrook, he went on.

“We would love to have somebody who is passionate and could just run with it. Once that person is in place, which I hope is soon, then that individual will start to look at everything from what our branding is, starting to put some packages together, looking at setting up some kind of an organization to focus on tourism in the community,” said Butler.