MONTREAL — Serge Simard passed away on May 1.
Simard began his career as a dishwasher and went on the hold several Food-and-Beverage positions with Hilton International, Loews, Sheraton Hotels and Delta Hotels. He joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 1985, holding progressive positions with The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. In 1993, Simard transferred to The Fairmont Royal York as executive assistant manager and director, Food & Beverage. In 1998, he joined the company’s corporate office as executive director, Food & Beverage and, in 2004, was named vice president, Food & Beverage, overseeing the global management of all Food & Beverage activities.
The Montreal native later left Canada to take on the position of regional vice-president, Africa & India for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts before returning to Canada as regional vice-president, Eastern Canada and general manager, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth — a position he held until his retirement in 2016.
Simard was a renowned champion of Canadian food and wine. His support of all things local and of small-scale growers and farmers has become a tenet of the hospitality industry in Canada today. He worked tirelessly to promote Canadian wines and played a key role in advancing the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) regulatory and appellation system.
Serge was recognized for his contributions to the industry by the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the Canadian Restaurant & Food Service Association, the International Food & Beverage Forum, Cuisine Canada and the Ontario Hostelry Institute.
He is survived by his wife Nimi; children Ludovic and Kristelle (Mike); two grandchildren; stepdaughters Iman and Jena; mother Claire Riopel Simard; sister Carole and brother Jocelyn.