CEO, The Butchart Gardens

As Chief Executive Officer of The Butchart Gardens, Mr. Cowen is actively involved in leadership positions in the tourism and business communities, representing The Gardens at both the local and international levels.   Mr. Cowen has a long tenure with The Gardens, having been appointed General Manager in 2007 with responsibility for leading a team in excess of 500 staff and overseeing daily operations and strategic initiatives.

Active in developing Garden Tourism as a vibrant provincial and national sector, Dave serves as the founding Past President of Gardens British Columbia and is a board member of the National Garden Council.  With many years of management and tourism leadership experience, he has presented at the World Garden Tourism Conference in Metz, France and Suncheon, Korea and has spoken at the American Public Garden Association in Miami.

Dave is currently Chair of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Co-chair of the Tourism Committee for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). He was formerly Chair of Destination Greater Victoria and has been an active member on various boards and organizations throughout the region.  He the proud recipient of the PNWER Robert Day Memorial Award, which is awarded to someone in the private sector who has played a major role in bringing collaboration between cross-border organizations and stakeholders. He is active in SKAL, an international organization of tourism leaders, and in his many years of public speaking and training others to speak, he is proud to have assisted numerous community organizations, including the UVIC Diploma in Business program.