Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 20, 2017. The winners of Travel Manitoba’s 19th annual Manitoba Tourism Awards were announced last night at a gala dinner at the Manitoba Museum’s Alloway Hall. The Manitoba Tourism Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the provincial tourism industry, including promoting Manitoba as a destination, providing memorable service to visitors and developing the tourism industry.

The Honourable Blaine Pedersen, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade and Chair of Travel Manitoba’s Board of Directors, Stuart Murray, presented the awards to the winners of each category. The winners are:

Aspiring Youth Award

Jane Harkness: As the Assistant Curator and Tour Guide at the Virden Pioneer Home Museum, Jane, a high school student, has shared her passion for local heritage by creating and promoting special events and exhibits.

Event of the Year Award, budget under $5,000

Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes’ Snowdance Festival of Music + Winter: Combing the intriguing characters and talented artists that work at Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes with a passion for nature and winter sport has resulted in a festival which has had a positive impact on the entire community of Falcon Lake.

Event of the Year Award, budget over $5,000

Fire and Water Music Festival: This festival for artists by artists added new programming features and shifted marketing efforts to a younger demographic, resulting in an increase in attendance of 60%.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Bill Brereton: An explorer, storyteller and visitor ambassador: Bill has dedicated more than four decades to the preservation and presentation of Manitoba heritage in his work with the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.

Indigenous Tourism Award

Feast Café and Bistro: This Winnipeg restaurant is showcasing Indigenous culture and immersing guests in a modern Indigenous experience. The menu, the artwork and décor highlight the unique history and current opportunities within the Indigenous community and the community at large.

Innovation Award

Assiniboine Park Conservancy: Dinosaurs Alive!® added to Assiniboine Park Zoo’s ranking as a must-see tourist destination by offering an additional visitor experience, included with regular admission, that appealed to dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages.

Marketing Excellence Award

Clear Lake Country: A marketing campaign designed to increase awareness and visitation to Riding Mountain National Park for the Winter Adventure Weekend saw strong social media results as well as local businesses reaping the rewards of increased visitation.

Partnership Award

Winnipeg Folk Festival & Birds Hill Provincial Park: Working together for 44 years, these partners have strengthened and evolved their relationship, working collaboratively to ensure an excellent festival experience as well as proper care and preservation of the park.

Award of Distinction – Individual

Raquel Lincoln: Thanks to innovative marketing and outstanding customer service, Raquel’s entrepreneurial success in the north Whiteshell includes turning Pinewood Lodge into one of the region’s top resorts and spearheading the area’s TransCanada Trail development.

Winnipeg Airports Authority Award of Distinction – Business

Frontiers North Adventures: Marking 30 years in operation, Frontiers North Adventures delivers quality nature experiences in a sustainable and responsible manner, inspiring guests to become invested in Manitoba’s north.

Travel Manitoba also recognized the 2017 Canada Summer Games during the awards ceremony for its contributions to the province’s tourism industry.

“Manitoba’s success as a tourism destination is linked directly to the achievements of those businesses and individuals who have been recognized by the Manitoba Tourism Awards,” said Colin Ferguson, Travel Manitoba President and CEO. “What all of 51 nominees, 30 finalists and 10 winners have in common is the ability to offer exceptional service and engaging and distinctive experiences that are the core of our province’s tourism industry.”

Nominations for the Manitoba Tourism Awards are submitted by industry peers and finalists and winners were selected by an industry-based judging panel. Winners received a trophy and the right to use the Manitoba Tourism Award symbol for advertising and promotion as well as promotion on Travel Manitoba’s website.

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Media Contact:

Linda Whitfield, Vice President, Marketing & Communications; (204) 927-7825


Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.5 billion tourism industry. In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, research and public information.