Tourism HR Canada Welcomes Restaurants Canada CEO to Its Board

Christian Buhagiar brings key insights from tourism’s largest industry group

(OTTAWA, ON—February 24, 2023) Tourism HR Canada today announces the appointment of Restaurants Canada President and CEO Christian Buhagiar to its board of directors. Christian brings vast governance experience and will provide an important voice from the food and beverage services industry as it and other tourism-related industries continue to address a variety of workforce challenges.

Christian will begin his term immediately and joins a dedicated group of tourism leaders representing industry, education, and associations from across Canada. The board’s guidance helps Tourism HR Canada play a lead role in national attraction, retention, and skills development initiatives, of heightened importance as the sector tackles a labour shortage and skills mismatches. As the industry hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic, tourism’s workforce has 118,000 fewer individuals than the same month pre-COVID.

“We are delighted that Christian will represent Restaurants Canada and add his solid experience to our board,” states Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “His leadership and unique perspective complement the competencies of our directors and our organization looks forward to his contributions on key strategies to growing a vibrant, skilled tourism workforce.”

Christian is a decisive leader and seasoned executive with experience in the for-profit, non-profit, academic, and government sectors. Over the course of his 25-year career, he has developed a broad set of skills and experiences including corporate-wide strategy and business planning, competitive intelligence, marketing, branding and communications, and stakeholder and government relations.

An experienced board member, having served on ten boards across the not-for-profit and government sectors, Christian has served on such committees as governance, human resources, risk, audit, and a variety of special committees.

He is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program and other director courses, holds a Masters Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, and is recognized for his knowledge of corporate governance leading practices.

Christian joined Restaurants Canada in July 2022; the not-for-profit foodservice association represents over 30,000 restaurant operators, foodservice chains, and suppliers across Canada.

Christian joins recently appointed directors France Dionne, Executive Director of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), and Xavier Gret, CEO of the Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme (CQRHT).

Tourism HR Canada board and staff members thank outgoing directors Vince Accardi (Ontario Motor Coach Association and Motor Coach Canada), Frederic Dimanche (Toronto Metropolitan University), and Shannon Fontaine (Manitoba Tourism Education Council/Manitoba Tourism Education College) for their steady guidance and significant contributions, and look forward to ongoing collaboration.


About Tourism HR Canada:

Tourism HR Canada is a pan-Canadian organization with a mandate aimed at building a world-leading tourism workforce. It facilitates, coordinates, and enables human resource development activities that support a globally competitive and sustainable industry and foster the development of a dynamic and resilient workforce. The organization works with the industry to attract, train, and retain valuable tourism professionals by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Media Enquiries:

Heather Elder, Director, Marketing, Tourism HR Canada,

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