WINNIPEG — The best of the best in Manitoba’s tourism sector was honoured Thursday night at the 21st annual Manitoba Tourism Awards.
The awards show and gala dinner at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre handed out nine awards to recognize the most outstanding contributions to the province’s tourism industry.
“Manitoba’s tourism industry has had a big year,” said Colin Ferguson, Travel Manitoba president and CEO.
“With Lonely Planet naming Manitoba as one of the top 10 regions in the world to visit in 2019, our tourism industry continues to set the bar high. What all of the 88 nominees, 27 finalists and nine winners have in common is the ability to offer exceptional service along with engaging and distinctive experiences that are the core of our province’s tourism industry.”
The winners are:
Aspiring Youth Award
Megan Dudeck: Megan’s contributions to marketing, promotion and event planning in Riding Mountain National Park resulted in increased visitation to the park.
Event of the Year Award, budget under $5,000
Birds and Beer Flights: This new, sold-out event at Oak Hammock Marsh combined waterfowl viewing with beer tasting.
Event of the Year Award, budget over $5,000
Festival du Voyageur 50th Anniversary Edition: Innovations, upgrades and diverse programming complemented the revival of le Festival du Voyageur’s retro logo for its 50th anniversary milestone.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Richard Winton: Demonstrating leadership and team spirit, this enthusiastic volunteer has trained over 95% of new volunteers at Assiniboine Park and Zoo over the last six years.
Indigenous Tourism Award
Opaskwayak Indian Days: This long-running festival brings together the community and visitors to celebrate First Nations traditions, heritage and culture.
St. Labre 200: This small community is becoming known as the go-cart capital of Manitoba thanks to an innovative event welcoming 1,700 racers and spectators.
Marketing Excellence Award
27 Minutes for 27 Years, Mandela: Struggle for Freedom Campaign: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights found a way to tell Nelson Mandela’s story, generating enthusiasm and resulting in 21 million impressions.
Third + Bird Clear Lake Summer Market: With the goal of boosting the profile of both brands, this partnership created a new signature event in Riding Mountain National Park.
Award of Distinction – Ambassador
Karly McRae: Over the last 10 years, Karly has grown into a champion for tourism and economic development in Clear Lake Country in Riding Mountain National Park as the owner of Lakehouse Properties and the founder of Clear Lake Country destination marketing organization.