Symposium Agenda

Registration; Royal Botanical Gardens

8:30AM - 9:00AM

Light Refreshments 

Opening Remarks & Updates

9:00AM - 10:00AM

HHBRTA Leadership will welcome and update you on initiatives, planning and activities. 

Why Experiences Matter

10:00AM - 10:45AM

Chris Hughes, BC Hughes and Jill Vandal, the Tourism Company, will lay the groundwork for the day, looking at where experiential travel fits in the business and strategy side of individual operations as well as the destinations they are located in. 


10:45AM - 11:00AM

Experience This!

11:00AM - 12:00PM

Robin Tapley , Canadian Adventure Expeditions will kick-start the learning, by sharing their insights, stories and behind-the-scenes preparation for experiences that deliver.  

Networking Lunch

12:00PM - 1:00PM

Network as you enjoy a tasty lunch. 

Updates by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario will also be provided  

Immerse, Experience, Learn

1:00PM - 3:10PM

Assigned to one of three groups, led by the pros from Canadian Adventure Expeditions and Royal Botanical Gardens, each attendee will be an active participant in each of the three immersive and inspirational experiences. Led from one location to the next by a group leader, you will have time to grab refreshment as you move from one to the other.

1. A-Buzz with Possibilities

A new age is emerging with young farmers with innovative ideas about how agriculture will be shaped. A snap-shot program will be delivered by Vanessa, with a live observation hive and honey tasting of various nectar varieties. You will learn about a how a honey bee colony lives together in harmony, how honey goes from flower to jar, and how Vanessa got started in beekeeping and turned it into an Api-Tourism experience in Ontario.

2. Medicinal, Edible and sometimes Deadly


Almost every year, the infamous mushroom makes viral headlines . Phrases such as, “Man poisoned after eating wild mushrooms”, surface media outlets, and it’s no wonder why we are left with a nervous feeling towards these mysterious plants. But truth be told they are often misunderstood and widely under appreciated.

Join Naturalist/Wildlife Photographer Robin Tapley on this unique introduction to the magical, medicinal and edible world of the wild mushroom.  For centuries cultures have relied on the medicinal properties discovered in a variety of mushroom species to boost an assortment of health and wellbeing properties. The Shiitake Mushroom (“Lentinula edodes”) is a Japanese delicacy packed solid with health-boosting properties. In ancient Eastern medicine the Ganoderma lucidum - the Reishi mushroom was once hailed as the “mushroom of immortality” and has been used over several centuries to treat a variety of disorders. As a culinary delicacy the pursuit of wild mushrooms has been a century old tradition that continues today. Bountiful producing locations are shrouded in a realm of mystery and secrecy as mushroom hunters time their search based on both the tumultuous weather and time of the year. As part of this unique presentation Robin has teamed up with an Executive Chef from the area to introduce you to a sampling of wild mushrooms perfectly paired with a selection of locally sourced fine wines from the area.


Come learn, explore and taste this local delicacy

3. Walk the Talk: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Designing and delivering seamless, engaging visitor experiences has a lot of moving parts. It takes time and effort to do well. Discover how RBG 'walks the talk’ as Jackson captures your imagination and challenges you to put your best foot forward. 

The Mix, Nosh, Sip Social

3:10PM - 4:00PM

A quick wrap-up session will tie it all together. Then finish the day by joining colleagues and Symposium experts in this casual reception celebrating local food and drink. Use this time to get 1:1 input on your new ideas, questions answered and direction for the next steps.

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