Canadian Franchise

Ryan Smolkin of Smoke’s Poutinerie Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award

Canadian Franchise Association Honors Late Founder & Chief Entertainment Officer


The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award has been posthumously awarded to Ryan Smolkin, Founder & Chief Entertainment Officer (CEO) of Smoke’s Poutinerie in recognition of his inspiring leadership, tremendous impact on the Canadian Franchising Community and passionate pursuit of GLOBAL DOMINATION! The award was presented on April 7, 2024, at the CFA Recognition Awards Luncheon, held during the 33rd Annual CFA National Convention in Montreal, Quebec.


“Ryan was a pillar of the CFA franchise community: an entrepreneur, franchisor, brand builder, and advocate for franchising,” says Sherry McNeil, CFA President and Chief Executive Officer. “He was a strong supporter of the CFA and gave freely of his time to support other members of the CFA community, including franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers. His passion, enthusiasm, and larger-than-life persona remind us to live each day to the fullest. Ryan and the positive impact he made on our community will be greatly missed.”


The Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledged Ryan Smolkin for his significant contribution and commitment to Franchising in Canada and abroad, as well as his demonstrated excellence throughout his lifetime and franchising career. Ryan Smolkin will continue to be a source of inspiration within the franchising community, always reminding us, that it’s important to have fun in our professional environments, and the path to success relies on independence, self-reliance, hard work, common sense and working your butt off!


“The definition of a legacy is the positive impact your life has had on other people – friends, colleagues and even strangers. Your legacy is the sum of your personal values, accomplishments and actions that resonate with the people around you,” says Mark Cunningham, President & COO, Smoke’s Poutinerie accepting the award on Smoke’s Poutinerie & Ryan Smolkin’s behalf.  “Ryan made an immense impact on the Canadian Franchise Association and the Franchising & FoodService Industry communities. I am honored to accept this Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of Ryan’s lasting legacy.”


In addition, Smoke’s Poutinerie received a Milestone Award in celebration of their 15 consecutive years as Canadian Franchise Association Members.


Enjoy this video presented during the Awards Ceremony in Remembrance of Ryan Smolkin.


To learn more about Smoke’s Poutinerie, visit or follow on LinkedInFacebookInstagramXTikTokSnapchat and YouTube.


For more information about the CFA Recognition Awards and a list of winners, visit the 2024 CFA Recognition Awards web page.


About Smoke’s Poutinerie

Founded in 2009 by creative genius Ryan Smolkin, Smoke’s Poutinerie is the World’s Largest & Original Poutinerie, inventing and leading the Quick Serve Poutine industry! Offering a broad menu focused on Poutine, Smoke’s Poutinerie has taken the Iconic Canadian dish of Fries, Cheese Curd and Gravy and has created an entirely new food category complete with unlimited variations of topping ingredients to choose from. The Smoke’s Poutinerie Vision is: GLOBAL DOMINATION by providing a Unique, Canadian Food Experience that will Entertain the World!


About the Canadian Franchise Association
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) helps everyday Canadians realize the dream of building their own business through the power of franchising. The CFA advocates on issues that impact this dream on behalf of more than 550 corporate members and over 40,000 franchisees from many of Canada’s best-known and emerging franchise brands. Beyond its role as the voice of the franchise industry, the CFA strengthens and develops franchising by delivering best-practice education and creating rewarding connections between Canadians and the opportunities in franchising. Franchising is the 12th largest industry in Canada and franchised businesses contribute over $120 billion per year to the Canadian economy, creating jobs for almost two million Canadians. Learn more at: or http://www.FranchiseCanada.Online.