Skip to main content

Take the Lead took the stage once again at the Spring Dinner

HALIFAX, NS – Eleven community-minded volunteers were honoured at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Spring Dinner last evening for their roles in bringing nine events, representing more than $4.5 million in economic impact, to the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

The honourees, or Champions, took the stage Wednesday to receive recognition under Discover Halifax’s Take the Lead program, for bringing an event to our region. Take the Lead is a free program that supports non-event planners looking to bid, host, or execute a regional, national, or international event in Halifax.

HRM Mayor, Mike Savage, and Discover Halifax President and CEO, Ross Jefferson, recognized the eleven Champions for the leading roles they played in bringing nine events to the region.

“We’re proud to acknowledge these eleven Champions. Some led the pitch for Halifax as host, some served as event organizers, but the thing they all have in common is their commitment to the growth of our region,” says Mayor Savage. “All of them raised their hand and offered to volunteer time, skills, and energy to help bring events to Halifax. And for that, we thank you and your teams.”

Discover Halifax supports all local event Champions by helping them create a compelling pitch for the Halifax region, connecting event organizations with local resources, and helping get everyone ready to welcome the event.

“Hosting successful events is a valuable opportunity to showcase all that Halifax has to offer to national and international audiences that may not have otherwise thought about visiting us,” says Jefferson. “We’re pleased to be able to honour our 2024 take the Lead Champions, and I hope it inspires others to reach out about an event or conference they would like to see hosted in Halifax. Working together, we can accomplish more.”

While there are many who have taken the lead to bring big events to our region, you can read more about this years’ Champions by visiting They are:

  • Syed Sibte Raza Abidi, a Dalhousie professor who saw an opportunity for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine to come to Halifax in 2022;
  • Karalynn Burke, tapped by her golf club to come out of retirement, she hosted the 2023 Canadian Women's Amateur Golf Championships;
  • Lena Cameron and Ann Marie Siteman shared their passion for lawn bowling with HRM through the Canadian Mixed Pairs Championship, hosted here in 2023;
  • Dr. Allen Finley, Laura Gibson, and their team invited an international network of researchers and clinicians to Halifax for the International Symposium on Pediatric Pain in 2023;
  • Mark Gammon, a recreational curler who worked hard to bring the Canadian Pride Curling Championships to Halifax in 2023;
  • Dr. Chantal Hervieux, brought the International Social Innovation Research Conference to Halifax in 2022, marketing the event's first time in the Americas;
  • Denis Huck, a long-time soccer coach and administrator, stepped up again to lead Halifax to victory by landing the 2023 National Soccer Championships;
  • Holly LaPierre, a dedicated baseball fan and administrator whose commitment to female sport has brought the Senior Women's Nationals to Halifax in 2023; and
  • Dennis Pitts, the District Chief for Halifax Fire and Emergency, has stepped up to lead the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) conference in Halifax in 2023.


Click here to download a high-resolution image of the winners

IMG 0277
BACK ROW, L-R: Mark Gammon, Ann Marie Siteman, Dennis Pitts, Ross Jefferson, Mayor Mike Savage, Dr. Syed Sibte Raza Abidi | FRONT ROW, L-R: Lena Cameron, Laura Gibson, Dr. Allen Finley, Holly Lapierre, Denis Huck | Not pictured: Karalynn Burke, Dr. Chantal Hervieux