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Forward Signs Wins Largest Contract Awarded to Diverse Supplier by TO2015

For Immediate Release

Toronto Signage Company Wins Largest Contract Awarded to Diverse Supplier by TO2015

Forward Signs to supply, install banners and signs in venues for TORONTO Pan Am/Parapan Am Games


TORONTO September 5, 2013 — The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is pleased to announce it has awarded a signage and installation contract to Toronto-based Forward Signs Inc. — its largest diverse supplier contract to date.

The company, which is certified as a diverse supplier by the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), won the contract worth up to $750,000 through a competitive procurement request for proposals.

“It’s wonderful that our made-in-Toronto signs and banners will be front and centre during the construction phase for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games,” said owner Simon Ho, who established Forward Signs in 1986 and employs 100 professionally trained employees in their Emblem Court facility in Scarborough. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our growing business and our employees couldn’t be more excited.”

For the Games, the business will manufacture and install temporary outdoor construction signs, banners and related work services at new and upgraded venues stretching across the Games footprint.

“As part of our commitment to hosting the ‘People’s Games,’ we’re focused on providing diverse businesses with the opportunity to participate in Games-related business opportunities,” explained Bill Zakarow, TO2015’s senior director of procurement. “Diversity and inclusion are a priority throughout TO2015. It is important that both our employee base and supplier base are representative of the diversity within the regional footprint of the Games.”

“With this recent award to Forward Signs, we’ve now used 150 diverse Canadian businesses, representing 23 per cent of our active suppliers, with contracts totaling close to $5 million,” he added. “Forward Signs was not only market competitive; they demonstrated their ability to provide quality products and reliable installation services.”

Diverse suppliers are Canadian businesses owned and operated 51 per cent or more by women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and individuals belonging to the LGBT community.

To qualify as such, businesses must self-identify on the Games’ online supplier database as meeting criteria in support of TO2015 diversity initiatives.

Ho heard about the procurement opportunity through TO2015’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Council. Created in 2011, the council engages and enables under-represented groups to actively participate in the procurement process for the Games. This includes seminars and other outreach activities.

“The council has actively worked to link TO2015 to a wide range of great suppliers,” stated Cassandra Dorrington, president of CAMSC. “These small- and medium-sized companies are important creators of jobs and wealth in their communities, and are keen to compete for opportunities around the largest multi-sport Games ever held in Canada.”

Zakarow  added, “The legacy benefit of our supplier diversity strategy will be demonstrated when companies like Forward Signs enjoy a business relationship with Canada’s construction companies for years after the Games are over.

“Through the Games, we are promoting supplier diversity in Canada and engaging local businesses delivering value for money,” he said.


About TO2015

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–14.


The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit


For further information, please contact:

Sylvia Kavanagh

Senior Manager, Media Relations, TO2015