Tag Archives: Kevin McGurgan

VisitBritain launches the “I Travel For …” tourism campaign

ITravel2

The theme of the new campaign is “I Travel For …” [insert what you travel to Great Britain for]

On Tuesday evening VisitBritain launched a new marketing campaign in Canada to boost tourism to Great Britain and Brits in Toronto was invited along to check it out.

The “I Travel For…” digital marketing campaign was officially launched at an evening reception at The Spoke Club hosted by VisitBritain with the British High Commissioner Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque CMG.

As well as VisitBritain’s campaign launch, the event showcased GREAT British food and drink in collaboration with the UK Government’s Department for International Trade and Scottish Development International.

Also in attendance were Gavin Landry, Executive Vice President, Americas, VisitBritain; Kevin McGurgan, the British Consul-General in Toronto and Director-General for Department for International Trade Canada; Dana Dickerson, Lead Trade Officer for Food & Drink at the British Consulate in Toronto; Liz Chester, Marketing Manager, British Consulate in Toronto (back when she was looking for a job); and — last but not least — Melissa Grelo, Co-Host of The Social and Your Morning on CTV (tweets express her views and not those of her employer).

Brits in Toronto had a really good chinwag and one manly hug with four out of those six people, before attempting to video the launch promo reel, getting 50% in and then cringing as our phone battery died.

Luckily, it’s online too:

Once the business part of the evening was over, it was time for the pleasure. Sourced from the UK, all of these food and drink products were showcased, providing guests with a taste of what visitors can expect while travelling to Britain in 2018. These products are also available to purchase in Canada! (Tell ’em Brits in Toronto sent you for zero $ off but gets our name out there a bit more, cheers.)

Great

GREAT!

ITravel1

Do you travel to meet the British locals?

ITravel3

Or travel to be an extra in Quadrophenia 2: The Dads Return For A Rumble

Fish and chips

British event? Must be some posh fish and chips somewh — oh, thank you

Haggis

Haggis on mashed potato with jus and forked peas you say? Don’t mind if I do

Lamb

Bone-in lamb with some extra lamb on the side? Think I just have room …

Cheese

Tons of cheese? No, I really can’t, getting a bit stuffed mate. Oh go on then you cheeky bugger!

Desserts

Oh sir, it’s only wafer thin

Whisky

Scottish whisky. Check

Penderyn

Welsh whisky. Check

Swag

4:23 a.m. on a work night, but with a brilliant swag bag

All in all … a brilliant launch party and we hope that our readers check out some of the products showcased and Brits in the UK see the great job that Brits in Toronto are doing here to encourage people to visit the UK. (That got a bit confusing.)

Advertisements

Do you want to work for the British Consul-General in Toronto?

Kevin McGurgan job

Folded arms body language at the job interview? Might as well get your coat

You know when you walk into a greasy spoon and the conversation goes something like this:

“Alright boss! What you ‘aving today?”
“Hey boss! My usual fry-up plus an extra fried slice please boss!”
“Nice one boss! How’s the missus?”
“She’s alright thanks boss! Can’t complain.”

Well, if you get this job, you’ll be able to walk into the office and say to Kevin McGurgan, British Consul-General in Toronto, “Morning boss! Nice weekend?” because he will be your actual BOSS, and you won’t have to josh around in nonsensical banter to lighten the Monday morning blah.

Yes, the British Consulate-General in Toronto is recruiting for the position of Executive Assistant. The position will report directly to the Consul-General and Director-General for the Department for International Trade in Canada (that’s the bloke in the photo and this is his tweet about it).

The position being offered will be on a full-time, permanent basis starting on April 3, subject to receipt of a successful security clearance. The position will be based at the British-Consulate General Toronto.

The application deadline is January 28 so get your skates on.

(And in case you’re wondering about some of the stuff you may be doing, you’re welcome.)

Behind the scenes of … the British-Consulate General in Toronto

Kevin McGurgan

“Please don’t skip to the end to find out who my favourite James Bond is! Pleeeaaasse!”

This is the third in our occasional “Behind the scenes of …” series that pulls back your gran’s curtains to take a peek behind everything British in Toronto. So far, we’ve gone behind the scenes of a fish and chip shop and a football blog and podcast.

Today we’re upping the game and going behind the scenes of the British-Consulate General in Toronto which represents the UK government in Ontario.

To help us out in that respect, we finally got in touch with Edinburgh native Kevin McGurgan, the British Consul-General in Toronto and Director-General for Department for International Trade Canada.

A very busy man having served duties in Russia, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, Syria and free gin offerings around the world, it took us a while to get this one set up. But, here we are.

So, time for the British Consul-General to spill the beans. The orange ones you get from British shops, not the dark brown sticky ones that look burnt and taste like molasses.

How long have you been the British Consul-General for and how did you get the job? Did you get a choice of cities and, if so, why Toronto?

I have been the British Consul-General since late 2014. All our jobs are decided by internal interview. There were other cities available but I wanted to come to Toronto for two reasons.

First I have worked with Canadians throughout my career: in London, at the UN and Afghanistan to name a few places. The opportunity to work and experience Canadian life and culture was too good to miss.

Second. The role itself. As well as Consul-General I lead the UK’s Department for International Trade team, responsible for helping UK companies export to Canada and Canadian business invest in the UK. I wanted to help grow the UK’s prosperity and this was the perfect role to do so.

Explain what your role entails and the services that the British Consulate in Toronto provides to Brits.

I have three roles. The first is explaining to Torontonians and Ontarians what is happening in the UK, what the UK is doing globally and why that matters to them. In the other direction I explain to UK colleagues, mainly in Government, what is happening in Ontario and Toronto and why that should matter to them.

The second is my trade and investment role.

The third is the protection of British nationals and providing consular services to UK nationals. Those services range from citizenship ceremonies for new nationals to providing emergency travel documents when passports are lost or stolen (as sometimes happens!).

What’s been the most unusual request for help that you or the British Consulate has provided?

We get many requests from advice on what’s the best British pub to visit — The Queen and Beaver is a good place to start — to can we buy British poppies for Remembrance Day? (Answer: Yes.)

I can’t think of any particularly unusual request here but my colleagues elsewhere have received some. This Independent article gives a good summary about them, from bacon to Spanish nudists. [C’mon, click bait? Really Kev? OK.]

Is Toronto still a good destination for a Brit to consider moving to and why?

Toronto is a great destination for business and living. As the city and its economy continues to grow, there’s increased demands for British goods, services and expertise and I’ve met successful Brits [ahem, *cough cough*] who are seeing their businesses grow, from food and drink to financial services, interior design to recruitment consultancy.

It’s also such a great place to live with fantastic public amenities like the Toronto Public Library to great sports teams such as the Leafs and Toronto FC.

The Toronto Ravines are my favourite place. They are where I go to reconnect and recharge at the end of the week, either for a run or long walk with our dog, Cody.

Feel free to tell us anything about the British Consulate or exciting diplomatic life abroad that Brits in Toronto readers should know.

It’s a great privilege to represent your country overseas and make a difference for British nationals, the economy and global security.

At the Consulate we are always thinking of ways to involve ourselves in city life and for the second time, we climbed the CN Tower to raise funds and awareness for World Wildlife Fund Canada. We’ll be doing the same again next year.

One of the most recent exciting times was the Invictus Games in Toronto. It was inspirational watching all athletes, celebrate their success and see how Torontonians welcomed them to the city, helped along by some fabulous weather.

Sean Connery or Daniel Craig?

Connery. Always.

Hanging out at the British Beverage Showcase

British Beverage Showcase signs

Yep, this is definitely the right place!

So on Thursday Brits in Toronto was invited to attend the British Beverage Showcase, pitched thus:

“British Consul General Kevin McGurgan, OBE invites you to an exclusive trade tasting event featuring exciting newly released UK beverages and mixers. Guests are invited to discover a selection of UK products recently launched or coming soon to the LCBO and the Beer Store, as well as a range of non-alcoholic mixers. This showcase will feature over twenty British and Northern Irish beverage products, including gins, vodkas, whiskies, beers, ciders, coolers, mixers and English sparkling wine.”

Right? Done deal. Half-day vacation from work booked immediately.

Two funny coincidences to get the afternoon started right: my Uber driver was a bloke from Manchester who moved to Toronto in 1972, so we compared notes on Brits living in the city and not one — but TWO — Aston Martins passed us on the road. And you don’t see that every day. Brits everywhere!

The British Beverage Showcase was held at the very nice Wychwood Barns venue, and had all the vendors lined up either side. There were at least 26, so I was very glad I wasn’t driving.

Being the caring hosts they were, there was a nice food table to help soak up some of the booze featuring cheeses, fruit, scones and real, authentic CLOTTED CREAM no less. Not the spray can crap, but the real thick stuff. Delish. Good start.

British Beverage Showcase food

Yes. Real clotted cream. And some grapes

My guest and I started at one end of the aisle and zig-zagged our way down, trying a little of everything. Here’s some of the standouts that I can recommend:

Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka and Black Cow Cheddar (one of the best cheeses I’ve had, actually, so good)
anCnoc Highland Single Malt Whisky
Bloom London Dry Gin (I don’t even like gin but this was bloody lovely)
Penderyn Dragon Series (I can confirm WELSH whisky is definitely worth a tipple)
Thunder Toffee & Vodka Spirit Drink (sweet and good for a shot)
Franklin & Sons Ltd. Natural Indian Tonic Water
Hobgoblin Gold (not a fan of the original but the Gold is, well, gold)
Benromach (15-year-old whisky)

Once I had my happy face on I wandered around looking for some familiar Brits. I spotted the owner of The Caledonian, had a chat with Scottish Chef John Higgins (who pulled a face when I mentioned the Welsh whisky for some reason) and also met the legend himself, British Consul General Kevin McGurgan.

This was an excellent example of how to really show off the best British imports into Canada and Brits in Toronto was extremely grateful to have been a part of it.

There’s more photos here.

Here’s the hosts:

British Beverage Showcase program

These hosts know how to throw a free booze and cheese party, let me tell ya

UK’s Department for International Trade

Visit Britain

Scottish Development International

Visit Scotland

A big Brits in Toronto link love to them and here’s to a really enjoyable afternoon!