The annual Manitoba Tourism Awards celebrate every form of excellence – from marketing and service to industry development.
This year, 25 businesses, individuals and community organizations are in the running for top honours in ten categories. The finalists were announced by Travel Manitoba in late June, along with news that the September 30 awards event will move to a luncheon format for the first time.
“Anyone reviewing the nominations could not help but feel optimistic about the future of our industry,” said Colin Ferguson, President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “The most important strength of Manitoba tourism is the willingness to always aim higher – and judging by the number and quality of nominations we received, that spirit is definitely thriving in this province. These awards are a way of saying thank-you to those who set the pace.”
Since 1998, the awards program has recognized outstanding contributions to provincial tourism. An industry-based judging panel selects category finalists and winners from nominations made by industry peers. Winners receive a trophy and the right to use the Manitoba Tourism Award symbol for advertising and promotion on Travel Manitoba's website.
One of the more youthful finalists this year is Benjamin Gillies, primary founder and executive director of the Winnipeg Trolley Company. Ben is a finalist for the Aspiring Youth award, while his company is competing in the Product Development category.
“It’s thrilling and exciting to be recognized already through these nominations,” said Ben, whose company is midway through its second summer of providing tour services aboard Manitoba’s only heritage trolley. Ben is following in the footsteps of other finalists promoting experiential tourism – including Fraser Stewart, who has been a driving force behind several organizations in the south Interlake. Fraser is in the running for the Volunteer of the Year award.
“It’s an honour to be considered, but I also feel humbled because voluntarism is a team effort,” Fraser said. “There are so many people – like Gail McDonald – who are accomplishing great things for the industry.” Gail is also a finalist for this year’s awards. She has been nominated for the Winnipeg Airport Authority Award of Distinction in recognition of her 15 years of service in various industry roles.
The full list of finalists is posted on the awards website.
Please take a moment now to save the September 30 date on your calendar. Stay tuned for more details!