There really are no words to describe how one plans to say “good-bye” to Susan Walsh, Special Events Coordinator with the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
It has taken nearly a year to prepare for March 31st which will mark Susan’s last day at the Log Cabin. “This may be her last day with us, but her legacy lives on and the list of people hoping she’ll help them is a long one. I only hope she’ll find some time to rest once she’s actually retired!” said Jill Raycroft, CEO.
Susan’s touch on events and entertainment within the City of Belleville is at the root of so much that still happens, it’s hard to imagine what she hasn’t been a part of in her 25+ year career with event planning and management. Following her departure at the BIA in the mid-2000s, then Mayor Neil Ellis suggested the City of Belleville create a second contract for the Chamber that would serve to implement and organize major free-admission festivals to be held in the City. The Belleville Waterfront & Ethnic Festival was the significant event at the time. Over the course of the past 15 years, with Susan’s creativity, passion for making people smile and connection to the entertainment industry, the complement of events include three Family FUNfests, Canada Day, the Waterfront Multicultural Festival and the Santa Claus Parade. Throw in a Pan Am tournament and a couple of Hometown Hockey broadcasts, along with Diwali in 2022 and you begin to understand how integral she has been to the event scene here in Belleville. As a talented performer first (and always at heart), she has built long-term relationships with so many of the artists and entertainers and agencies across the province, they can’t wait to be asked to join an event line-up. She takes the same care in building relationships with both the community partners who sponsor the events and the staff and volunteers that do all that behind-the-scenes work.
Receiving the “Key to the City” from Mayor Neil Ellis at the March 27th Council meeting was such a well-deserved honour. Raycroft noted “We all appreciate that one of Susan’s strongest champions presented her with the Key and on behalf of Council, the City has recognized she is a class act that deserves top billing for all she’s contributed to the community. It has been a privilege to be a part of the work she does.”
Tiffany Young, a graduate of Loyalist College’s Business Administration diploma, Project Management and PR & Event Management post-graduate programs, has been working alongside Susan since July 1, 2022 – coming on board to assist with the Canada Day event and right into the Waterfront & Multicultural Festival. The BCC is committed to their responsibility to the City with this contract and the best way to ensure there was someone ready to fill the shoes Susan is leaving was to have this person in place to support almost a year’s worth of events from the ground up.
The BCC continues to support the work of visitor services, now under the banner of Discover Belleville. City Council also awarded a third contract to manage the PopUps on the Bay along with two additional events for the Caribbean and South Asian communities at their meeting on March 27. These contracts are in place through the end of 2023.
Media is invited to connect with Tiffany Young at firstname.lastname@example.org and we encourage you to follow us @DiscoverBelleville on both Facebook and Instagram.