Media Release

Local tourism champions honoured at 2019 Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction

Local tourism champions honoured at 2019 Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction

WINNIPEG, MB – The city’s tourism and hospitality movers and shakers celebrated industry excellence during the eighth annual Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction presented by Canad Inns. Award nominees and finalists received their honours in front of 200 people at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre this afternoon.

Tourism Winnipeg, alongside Mayor Brian Bowman and emcee Ace Burpee, hosted the awards recognizing some of the people, places, organizations and events that offered a superior tourism experience to visitors in Winnipeg last year.

“The examples of excellence showcased today demonstrate how our city’s great people can draw international attention to Winnipeg. We want to keep that momentum going -- these awards are a platform for us to thank everyone for their hard work, passion and dedication to enhance the visitor experience, which in turn helps grow our tourism economy,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.

Winners were selected from a long list of nominees across twelve categories, including a lifetime recognition award for Bob Sparrow, CEO of Sparrow Hotels. Coming from a family including three generations of hoteliers, Bob has dedicated his professional career to putting Winnipeg on the map.  

“The winners and nominees for the 2019 Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction should be incredibly proud of their leadership, innovation, professionalism and creativity,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Often, the first interaction visitors have in Winnipeg is with members of our tourism industry. All of these nominees have gone above and beyond to ensure visitors leave with a positive impression of Winnipeg, which helps to increase tourism.”

The full list of 2019 Tourism Awards of Distinction winners are:

Volunteer of the Year: Jen Stark - World Masters Ultimate Club Championships

Employee of the Year: Derrick Ross - The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre

Leader of the Year: Jonathan Strauss - Strauss event & association management

Small Business of the Year: Chandra Kremski and Charla Smeall - Third + Bird

Large Business of the Year: The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview

Bring It Home Award (Meetings & Conventions): Jason Denbow - 2018 Community Futures National Event

Bring It Home Award (Sports & Special Events): 2018 Canadian Ringette Championships

Marketing Campaign (Under $2,500): Wall-to-Wall Mural & Culture Festival - Synonym Art Consultation

Marketing Campaign (Over $2,500): Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

Innovation of the Year: Activations - Exchange District BIZ

Partner of the Year: Sandra Rosenberg - Holiday Inn Winnipeg South

Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Sparrow - Sparrow Hotels

Images available upon request.

About Tourism Winnipeg

Tourism Winnipeg is the city’s official destination marketing organization. A division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully-integrated tourism industry that enhances the city of Winnipeg’s economic growth through the acquisition of meetings, conventions, events, group travel and leisure tourism, while increasing visitation and delivering the best possible visitor experience.



For further information about each award winner, as well as nominees in each category for the 2019 Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction, please contact:

Gillian Chester

Manager, Communications & Travel Media

Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.

Phone: 204.954.1977 Cell: 204.296.0425



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