This award recognizes champions who are passionate about Ontario wine and industry prosperity, beyond those employed directly in the industry. Each year, Wine Growers Ontario and Ontario Craft Wineries bestow the honour to an individual who does not work in a winery, who has provided exemplary support for the Ontario wine industry through media, research, policy and regulation, education or advocacy, significantly contributing to the overall strength and long-term viability of the industry. This year, we congratulate Rebecca Mackenzie, President & CEO, Culinary Tourism Alliance.


Rebecca Mackenzie

President & CEO, Culinary Tourism Alliance

Passionate about the interconnection between food, agriculture, tourism, arts, and culture, Rebecca has been instrumental in developing tourism experiences including Prince Edward County (PEC)’s award-winning Taste Trail and the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA)’s Feast On® certification program.

In her role as President & CEO of the CTA, Rebecca manages highly participatory and asset-based community development projects at the regional, provincial, and national levels. She oversees programming, partnership development, and comprehensive marketing partnerships that aim to increase awareness of Canada’s food tourism offerings, including the recently launched Great Taste of Canada (June 2023).

Rebecca contributes her expertise to a variety of industry boards including as Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), Chair of Visit The County – PEC’s DMMO, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Gastronomic Tourism Network. She has written the curriculum for the Centennial College Food Tourism post-graduate program, contributed chapters to the second UNWTO Global Report on Gastronomic Tourism, produced a chapter, “Transforming the Terroir into a Tourist Destination”, in the 2019 Routledge Handbook of Gastronomic Tourism and supported the development of the Food Tourism Entrepreneurship post-graduate program at George Brown College.

Rebecca completed a Master of Arts in Global Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2021 with a specific interest in the Sustainable Development Goals. She is a part-time professor at George Brown College, teaching Gastronomy and Taste of Place.

She splits her time between Toronto and Prince Edward County with her husband Andrew, sons Jack and Liam, and their silver Labrador Blueberry.

“It’s an honour to receive this award – thank you to the OCW and WGO. The Ontario Wine Industry is a wonderful reflection of our taste of place.”

  • 2023 Wine Champion, Rebecca Mackenzie