Don Braden In Memoriam

May 12, 2015

To contribute a donation in Memory of Don Braden to the Blue Mountain Village Foundation, please click HERE

Don Braden relocated to The Blue Mountains from Toronto in 2004.   He loved skiing and enjoyed cycling.  If you had ever had the good fortune to speak with Don, he would tell you his most cherished and rewarding accomplishments were his children.  He was a passionate and dedicated father who relished every moment spent with them.

His contribution to the community and the economic development of The Blue Mountains is extraordinary.  Given the list of his accomplishments below, it is safe to say this region and his role in it was his passion.

Don was appointed President of the Blue Mountain Village Association in December 2004.  In his capacity as President, he directed its key activities: (i) destination marketing; (ii) events and animation; (iii) ensuring a safe, clean and well maintained environment for guests and (iv) government relations.

Under Don’s direction, The Blue Mountain Village Association has received the following recognition and awards:

Destination Marketing Association International
Destination Marketing Accreditation Program  2013
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario
Marketing Partnership of the Year 2010
Industry Excellence, Georgian Bay Destination Development Finalist for Tourism Innovator of the Year 2009
The Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce
Business of the Year 2014
Special Merit for Events 2009
Site Enhancement for Plunge! Aquatic Centre  2006
Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance
Culinary Tourism Leadership 2013 & 2014
Culinary Tourism Experience  2011
Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
Premier’s Agri-Food Innovation Excellence  2012
Festivals and Events Ontario
Best Community Partner Outreach Program  2015
Canada’s Only Guitar Trail, Best New Festival/Event  2015
Apple Harvest Festival, Best Community Partner Outreach Program  2015
Salsa at Blue Mountain, TOP 100  2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 & 2009
Blue Mountains Apple Harvest Festival, TOP 100  2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012
Peak to Shore Music Festival, TOP 100  2012 & 2010
Blue Mountains Chili Cook-off, TOP 100 2009
Regional Tourism Marketing Partnership
Charlie Kelly Award – Grey Bruce Region Tourism Contribution 2014
Salsa at Blue Mountain, Best New Tourism Initiative  2009

Don was also President of the Blue Mountain Village Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the Georgian Bay region through its financial support of charitable organizations in the areas of health, human services, education, the arts, culture, the environment and recreation. The Foundation has raised in excess of $710,000, which has gone directly back into the local community since its inception in July 2004.

Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce 
Site Enhancement 2006
Special Merit 2009

His contribution to the local community and tourist industry in Ontario did not stop there.
• He was elected to the Town of the Blue Mountains Integrated Sustainability Committee as 1 of 4 community members.
• Don was chair in 2009-10 of the Georgian Bay Destination Development Partnership, a product development and marketing alliance that is developing the Georgian Bay as a destination icon in Ontario.
• He was a member of the Transition Team for RTO7 (Provincial Regional Tourism Organization for Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe Tourism Region), its Board Selection Committee, Priority Projects Committee and Partnership Advisory Committee.
• He was a past chair of the Grey County Tourism Committee.
• Additionally, he sat as a director on the board of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) to represent the DMO/RTO sectors.

Prior to joining the Blue Mountain Village Association, Don was a partner in an association management company based in Toronto that provided a full range of services to a widely divergent group of associations.

Don managed associations representing many different business sectors, both provincial and national in scope. This experience included the marketing of memberships, trade shows and conferences. This had often been coupled with securing sponsorships to assist in the funding of the events. Don also developed strong communications programs for the clients based on their particular needs including newsletters, a 72-page magazine, web sites, various electronic messaging systems and media relations programs. Additionally, he was a registered lobbyist at the provincial and federal levels.

Prior to his association experience, Don was president of a national telecommunications equipment supplier and spent 10 years in the federal government in the area of Competition Law enforcement. Don graduated from the University of Victoria with a BA in economics.

Our most sincere, heartfelt condolences go out to Don’s family. We will remember him with admiration, fondness and a smile.


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