Event of the Year

Presented to an organization, business or facility for hosting an event, conference, festival or gala that makes a substantial economic impact within the local community, attracts visitors from outside the community and creates an outstanding experience for attendees.

Gimli Ice Festival

The Gimli Ice Festival has evolved considerably over the past 12 years and in 2023 celebrated its most successful edition to date. Taking place both on and off the ice of Lake Winnipeg near the Gimli marina, the festival showcased local artists and artisans, a famous frozen fish toss, curling and hockey competitions, and car races on the ice.

The festival also featured the area’s diverse cultural history with Icelandic heritage performers as well as Indigenous cultural teachings and traditions. Managed and run entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers, the festival fosters pride in Gimli's cultural richness and draws people together from around the Interlake area and beyond to cherish its unique winter activities.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg – Culture Days

Nuit Blanche brought over 30,000 attendees to Winnipeg’s urban spaces in 2023, an exceptional turnout that reflects the event's continued appeal as a community-building celebration of the arts.

Nuit Blanche sets itself apart by its scale but also by the innovative activation of Winnipeg's urban centre with interactive art installations that captivate a diverse audience. As a forward-thinking and dynamic cultural event, Nuit Blanche is a catalyst for community engagement, artist collaboration and economic revitalization—reigniting the spirit of downtown Winnipeg.

Nuit Blanche’s 2023 event is a testament to the cultural significance and community impact of arts celebrations. Its enduring appeal and innovative approach make it worthy of recognition and celebration as a cultural gem in Winnipeg's annual calendar.

Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival

Truly grassroots, the Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival remains a non-profit event through the joint efforts of more than 60 volunteers, over 25 local sponsors, partnerships with community organizations and generous government grants.

Musical and artistic programming is carefully curated to reflect gender parity and cultural diversity of the region. With day one held on private, rural land and day two taking place at Island Park, roughly 200 visitors from outside of Portage la Prairie travel to the region to attend the weekend festivities. Increased traffic to local shops and restaurants, a boost in overnight stays, and opportunities for local food vendors and artisans to participate, are all great benefits to the community.

The Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival is committed to being an event that is affordable and accessible for all, while staying true to its roots.

Winnipeg Folk Festival

The Winnipeg Folk Festival’s eclectic lineup, inclusive programming and community focus has broad appeal that unites music enthusiasts, families and individuals and makes it a much-beloved event among many.

The tourism impact of the festival is large. Visitors travel from all over Manitoba, nearby provinces and the U.S. to attend, all of which generates revenue for the province. The environmental impact is softened through efforts to create a sustainable event. Over 2,000 volunteers come together each year to connect with the community and make this festival a success.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a celebration of music, community and social values. Through its dedication to volunteerism, community engagement, sustainability and fostering young talent, the festival continues to create a positive and memorable experience for all.

The 2023 World Police & Fire Games

The World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) brought thousands of athletes, coaches and support staff to Winnipeg in the summer of 2023 making it the largest sporting event in Manitoba’s history by participation. The unique structure of the event means that athletes are required to absorb associated costs for travel, logistics, hospitality and participation. Many athletes used this event as an opportunity for a vacation with their families, which created a significant $49.1 million economic impact to the community. These tourism dollars were spread to hundreds of local businesses, museums and attractions, restaurants and eateries, and hotels or other accommodations in and around Winnipeg. The WFPG brought prosperity to the region and provided a much-needed economic infusion to the host community.

U15 Girls Canadian Fastpitch Championship

The U15 Girls Canadian Fastpitch Championship hosted in Brandon brought the spotlight to Manitoba’s second-largest city and the sporting venue capacity, accommodations, restaurants and attractions this city has to offer.

Upgrades to the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex, possible through grants and fundraising, made it the first U15 Girls Canadian Fastpitch Championship to feature live streaming of every game. The championship was also a financial success, as it exceeded projected room night occupancy, sold over 700 event passes and generated more than three times the expected profits. The local community rallied to volunteer and the event established Brandon as an excellent host for future national championships.