Winnipeg, Manitoba, December 3, 2015.  A major new attraction and a temporary restaurant are the Manitoba winners at the Canadian Tourism Awards, held December 2 in Ottawa. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights won the National Cultural Tourism Award and RAW: almond won the Brewster Travel Canada Innovator of the Year Award. The Canadian Tourism Awards are an initiative of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Michael Resch, owner of the Emerson Duty Free Shop was also inducted to the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame for his pioneering work in the Canadian Duty Free industry, as both the first holder of a Duty Free license and the owner of the longest operating Duty Free in Canadian history.

"Manitoba’s tourism opportunities are extraordinary and unique, and these honourees are a shining example of how our province truly is where Canada’s heart beats,” said Manitoba’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux. “We want the world to come and experience the province with us and it’s great to see our tourism industry receive this kind of recognition.”

Other Manitoba finalists at the awards included Travel Manitoba in the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts Marketing Campaign of the Year Award and Churchill Wild in both the Visa Canada Traveller Experience of the Year Award and the Hilton Worldwide Small or Medium-Sized Business of the Year Award.

Joe Kalturnyk, co-creator of RAW: almond along with Executive Chef Mandel Hitzer said, “To be recognized for our innovation is really exciting. We wanted to provide a dining experience that combines everything that’s awesome about Winnipeg: our culture, our cuisine, our arts scene, and our winter!”

“We are proud that Canada’s new national museum is contributing to the transformation of Winnipeg into an international tourist destination and hub of human rights education” said CMHR president and CEO John Young. “Our first year of operation -- in a building that’s already become a Canadian architectural landmark -- has been a truly amazing experience for everyone.”

- 30 -

Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.52 billion tourism industry. In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, research and public information.

Media Contact: Linda Whitfield, 204-927-7825