Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Creative Communicator Gillian, Puts Spotlight on Winnipeg

Gillian Leschasin has a career in media relations which combines the best of many worlds. She is able to work in the tourism industry, able to meet interesting people and able to share her love of Winnipeg through another passion of hers – writing. And what better topic to write about than the beautiful city of Winnipeg?! Her job at Tourism Winnipeg allows her to do just that.

Gillian’s office is located in the magnificent, iconic Paris Building on Portage Avenue. Gillian takes pride in the style of architecture found in Winnipeg’s downtown area and Exchange District. She appreciates and admires the beauty and history of the 99 year old Paris building every time she steps into it.
Every morning as she makes her way into her office, Gillian is greeted by the friendly staff employed by Tourism Winnipeg. She receives a stack of newspaper clippings that her receptionist has clipped for her and which might be relevant to Winnipeg’s tourism industry. Once at her desk, she skims through the news articles and browses through online news links and social media sites. It’s imperative that she pays particular attention to any economic developments occurring in Winnipeg that could affect the tourism industry.
The city’s economic developments are an important part to the local tourism industry. The addition of Ikea, the return of the Winnipeg Jets, the upcoming opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Journey to Churchill Exhibit are just some of the positive developments increasing Winnipeg’s tourism industry. These types of projects are followed very closely by the staff at Tourism Winnipeg as the potential for tourism increases with successful economic projects.
Gillian also fields media calls relating to Winnipeg. She is a liaison for local media, helping prepare statements, media releases, arranging spokespeople and answering questions relating to travel and tourism.
Throughout the year Gillian is busy writing, updating and editing travel brochures, booklets and events guides. She writes introductions and descriptions, editorials and advertorials and Winnipeg factoids. This is one of her favourite parts of her job, and she does it with a lot of creativity and passion.
Gillian started her writing career at the Red River College Creative Communications program. She worked as a features reporter and editor with The Manitoban, the University of Manitoba student newspaper. She was fortunate to receive a work placement with A Channel Breakfast Television which led to two years at CBC, working with television, radio, the music library, and the lifestyle television program. She became the point person for “Guide to Best Things in Winnipeg,” doing research and setting up interviews. On top of that she was editor of “Where” magazine and “Ciao!” magazine, two local magazines catering to hotels and restaurants. Gillian’s love and passion for all things Winnipeg shone through in every one of her endeavours.
Gillian is fortunate in that she isn’t always office-bound. She has opportunity to travel throughout Manitoba with travel writers from around the world. These journalists come to Manitoba to familiarize themselves with the tourism possibilities found in Manitoba and Gillian travels along as their guide. These trips are called “Group Familiarization Trips” or “Fam-Trips” for short.

Gillian’s days are never boring. There are always new things to showcase in Manitoba, new tours to take, new people to meet and always new items to write about. Gillian treasures her career with Tourism Winnipeg and she especially treasures her beautiful hometown – Winnipeg.

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