Friends and family honour Serge Simard by creating George Brown Hospitality Award

Serge Simard Event photo

Photo from left to right: Cindy Gouveia, Laura Fairweather, Mairead Murray, Andrea Torrance, Carolyn Clark, Nimi Nanji Simard, Chiko Nanji, John Nadeau, Heather McCrory, Irene Butterworth, Lorraine Trotter, Janet Eger, Kim Gertler

On Thursday, October 18th, family, friends and colleagues of the late Serge Simard gathered to celebrate the life of the Canadian hospitality icon.

Over 150 guests came together in the Imperial Room of the Fairmont Royal York to remember Mr. Simard and pay tribute to his life and career. Serge’s career in hospitality is inspirational: he started as a dishwasher and ultimately rose to the position of Global Vice-President, Food and Beverage at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Serge famously was a champion of Canadian food and wine, advocating for the Vintners Quality Alliance regulatory and appellation system (VQA). Serge’s impact on the hospitality industry was also recognized by the Confrérie de la ChaÎne des Rôtisseurs, the Canadian Restaurant & Food Service Association, the International Food & Beverage Forum, Cuisine Canada, and the Ontario Hostelry Institute.

Serge’s closest family and friends chose to honour his legacy by creating an endowment in his name for students studying at George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA). “The Fairmont Serge Simard Endowment Fund for Global Hospitality Learning will give CHCA students opportunities to participate in hospitality placements abroad to gain the insights into the international hospitality sector that Serge valued so deeply. This endowment is a significant and tangible investment in the future of the Canadian hospitality sector” said Lorraine Trotter, Dean of George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

To date, donations totalling an incredible $136,000 have been collected to go towards the endowment fund. Awards funded by this endowment are available to students enrolled in the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts who are studying, or in a work placement, abroad; demonstrate financial need; are enrolled full-time and show a spirit of dedication to their studies; and who have a minimum GPA of 2.0. The first of these awards will be given out in Spring 2019.

Heather McCrory, Executive Vice President, Operations, North & Central America at AccorHotels noted that “We are honoured to pay tribute to Serge’s memory by partnering with George Brown College. Serge was an amazing individual with a larger than life personality. His passion for Canadian food and wine combined with his noteworthy career with Fairmont Hotels would have inspired any student who crossed his path. I cannot think of a more fitting way to celebrate his life and contributions than through this new endowment fund which will inspire and meaningfully assist others to follow in his footsteps.”

John Nadeau, President and CEO of Emjen Market Strategies Corp and long-time friend of Serge Simard, made many remarks throughout the evening in remembrance and celebration of his friend, Serge. “Serge was always focused on giving back and leaving a place better than when he had arrived. The endowment created in his name will ensure that more students will be able to experience hands-on learning opportunities that will better set themselves up for success down the road. Serge would be so proud to see this type of support made available to eager and passionate students.”

You can support the Fairmont Serge Simard Endowment for Global Hospitality Learning by making a donation online.

For more information about this endowment fund, please contact Sonya Tomas, Development Officer at the George Brown College Foundation, at (416) 415-5000 ext. 2063 or at sonya.tomas@georgebrown.ca