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Responding To COVID-19: Industry Leadership Honours
 Last September 17, 2020 Canadian Manufacturing, PLANT and EP&T magazines hosted Responding To COVID-19: Industry Leadership Honours, a virtual gala to honour manufacturers from across Canada who went above and beyond to help out during the country’s pandemic response.

Canadian manufacturers and their workforces drastically altered their operations, bought new equipment and established new production shifts to accommodate the making of much needed products, such as PPEs and medical supplies. Others invented entirely new solutions, novel innovations to help detect the virus, stop its spread or kill it entirely. Healthcare product manufacturers meanwhile moved up production schedules and product launches and found ways for their existing products to help combat COVID-19.

During the gala10, awards were handed out to distinguished manufacturers, based on a selection of 175 submissions by a jury of industry peers, the media and the public sector.. A detailed rundown of the finalists and winners can be found online at the following link

The event featured a special welcome message from Navdeep Bains, Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, who has been at the forefront of the government’s COVID-19 response and who has worked hand-in-hand with manufacturers to ensure Canada was prepared to take on the virus.

The keynote speaker was Jayson Myers, the Chief Executive Officer of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), a not-for-profit corporation leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Myers talked about how Canadian manufacturers confronted the COVID crisis, and the challenges that still lie ahead for the manufacturing community as it faces post-pandemic recovery.

Machines Italia and the Italian Trade Commission were among the proud supporters of “Responding To COVID-19: Industry Leadership Honours” and presented the Machines Italia COVID Hero special award – for the Canadian company that made the most significant impact on the pandemic using Italian made machinery - to Bill Ashburn, Vice President Supply Chain, Master Blender at Forty Creek Distillery.   

This Canadian manufacturer, based in Grimsby, Ontario and part of the Campari Group, quickly turned around their brand new, state of the art facility – fully equipped with Italian machinery - to produce a high alcohol content hand sanitizer which was in short supply and desperately needed. They immediately donated the sanitizer to St. Catherine’s Hospital Niagara, Red Cross Niagara and other community and health organizations. They also donated high-strength alcohol to other local distillers to support their own creation of high-alcohol content hand sanitizer and made cash donations to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund to help support hospitality workers impacted by the pandemic. 

The video footage of the  award ceremony is available online at the following links: For further information on this initiative, please contact toronto [at] (subject: Machines%20Italia%20Newsletter)