2019 Best Managed Companies winner events recap

Accelerate | Fuel for the future

Welcome Reception

On April 16th, the 2019 Canada’s Best Managed Companies gathered at Arcadian Court for a celebratory welcome reception. The evening commenced by honouring new Gold and Platinum winners at a special awards ceremony presented by National Best Managed co-leaders Lorrie King and Peter Brown from Deloitte and Jim Logan from CIBC. Following the ceremony, the new Gold and Platinum winners convened in the main reception to celebrate with requalifying Best Managed winners from across the country.

Deloitte Partner and Quebec Best Managed program leader, Brigitte Vachon and Symposium host, Tony Chapman delivered opening remarks recognizing 477 companies currently in the Best Managed community, and sharing details of the program’s continued global expansion.

As the Best Managed network continues to expand beyond Canadian borders, now with a presence in 14 countries, the event featured a global theme highlighting various visual elements, outstanding entertainment as well as a wide selection of globally inspired food and beverage offerings.

The evening provided winners the opportunity to celebrate with internal teams, build new connections and leverage existing relationships across the Best Managed network.


Nearly 750 representatives from Canada’s Best Managed Companies gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Wednesday, April 17 for the annual symposium. This event marked an opportunity for businesses from across Canada, including sponsors and global guests, to gather, learn and network with their peers.

Throughout the day, attendees participated in keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities, all touching on the theme of the event, “accelerate your business.” The host, Tony Chapman, TV and Radio Personality, led attendees on a journey through the Symposium, helping to dive deeper into the topics presented by the keynote presenters, reinforcing this theme.

The three keynote presentations focused on developing an understanding of the environment in which businesses operate. Benjamin Tal, Managing Director and Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC, kicked off the morning keynote with his presentation: “Where in the world are we?” His discussion shed light on the current Canadian economy. Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Co-Founder Gapminder Foundation & Co-Writer of the bestseller, Factfulness, led the lunch keynote. Anna encouraged attendees to dispel their own biases to help their business thrive. Her optimistic presentation and examples of real families surprised many, illustrating how a better understanding of neighbours and the world can open new doors. Jesse Hirsh, Futurist, Researcher & Internet Strategist and Duncan Stewart, Director of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Research for Deloitte Canada led the closing keynote presentation. Their topic, Accelerating your business, offered a platform for both to debate the future of technology.

Not to be outdone by the keynote speakers, the breakout sessions, held in the morning and the afternoon, offered attendees a chance to choose their preferred session. Each session targeted an aspect of business, including: M&A, finance, innovation, IPO, family business, diversity & inclusion and AI. Presenters were selected from subject-matter experts among our sponsors. Following each breakout session, attendees were invited to learn more about our Best Managed program sponsors by checking out their booths in the Sponsor Hall.

The 2019 Symposium ended with a bang! Sponsors, program leads, and speakers took to the stage to close the Toronto Stock Exchange for the day. Just as the buzzer sounded, confetti shot into the audience, signaling not only the end of the trading day, but the conclusion of our Symposium as well.


Following the symposium, over 1600 guests celebrated this year’s success with dinner, awards and entertainment at the 2019 Gala. The guest list included over 250 companies among the program winners, sponsors from CIBC, Canadian Business, TMX Group, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and Deloitte Private, as well as entertainment from hosts Dave Kelly and Heather Hiscox and a musical performance from Alan Doyle.

As CEOs and award acceptors gathered in a VIP reception for networking, a champagne toast and backstage instructions, other guests were greeted with live jazz music in the main hall and a spectacular chandelier entrance feature. The awards portion kicked off soon after with a stellar dance performance followed by an empowering video and welcome from the evening’s hosts. Dave Kelly, an award-winning host, writer, and interviewer was joined by seven year veteran host Heather Hiscox of CBC to commemorate the evening and tell the stories of the 2019 winners.

47 new winners took the stage to receive their very first Best Managed award from program sponsors and to end the evening, long standing milestone companies were recognized onstage to commemorate 15, 20 and 25 years in the program. Weaved throughout the evening were interviews with companies that highlighted this year’s theme: Fuel for the future. These stories showcased each company’s globalization, innovation and longevity in business; all key components for success in the future. Companies included Oppenheimer Group and their early beginnings, bringing the first kiwi fruits to Canada over 100 years ago, and Groupe Germain, a Montreal based hotel stemming from a small family business that has expanded nationwide.

As the gala hosts and Peter Brown and Lorrie King, co-leaders of the program said their adieus participants heard guitars strumming and excitement building as Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea kicked off the after-party. Guests didn’t have to be an east coaster to want to hit the dancefloor with a mix of sea shanties and rock ’n roll. The evening concluded with a late night bite across the street at Boston Pizza – a 25 year Best Managed company!

A truly inspiring evening that has left everyone buzzing weeks later! Click here to check out photos from all of the events.

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