Winnipeg’s tourism industry gathered virtually on May 6, 2021 to celebrate successes and pay tribute to the people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer a superior tourism experience to visitors and Winnipeggers alike.
“It’s no secret that COVID-19 has hurt the tourism sector as hard or harder than every other sector of our economy,” said Dayna Spiring, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “We know it’s been stressful to change everything about the way we do business from cleaning to marketing to customer service, foodservice, admissions and more. This industry has proven its resilience as businesses continue to pivot. The awards were a wonderful opportunity to thank people in our tourism sector for raising the bar and encouraging them to keep the momentum going as we work together on Winnipeg's economic recovery.”
There were 12 awards handed out reflecting the excellence of our nominees in 2019. Some of our winners include: the 2019 National Gathering of Elders, a city-wide event hosted at RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg that came together in record time; Activate Games, an innovative live video game experience that is the first of its kind in the world and Zoo Lights Festival, which created an engaging marketing campaign to light up Assiniboine Park Zoo during the holiday season.
Tourism Winnipeg honoured Ida Albo as the winner of its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award goes to a person who has made an impact on the tourism industry and dedicated his or her life to promoting the city of Winnipeg and increasing the tourism economy. Albo was selected for her work in tourism as Managing Partner/Co-Owner of the Fort Garry Hotel Ascend Collection as well as her tourism efforts on a national level.
“Ida has travelled the world researching the best and has brought to Winnipeg Ten Spa, a yoga studio and now skin care. We are lucky to have her amongst us as she’s a dynamic tourism leader. We wish her all the best and extend our congratulations for the lifetime achievement award,” said Karen Goossen, Vice President of Marketing and Tourism at Tourism Winnipeg.
Also shown during the virtual event was a sneak peak of a Tourism Tribute video that will be released for Tourism Week in Canada, May 23-29 this year.
“These are unprecedented times and there were many businesses, organizations and leaders who stepped up during the pandemic and showcased the kindness, innovation, generosity and strength of our remarkable tourism industry,” said Spiring. “Winnipeg is better because of their valuable community contributions.”
Here is the full list:
Volunteer of the Year
Lee Woods, Pride Winnipeg
Employee of the Year
Andrew Swan, RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg - WINNER
Ramanpreet Kaur, Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites - WINNER
Blair Trelinski – Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Jordan Janzen – Delta Hotels by Marriott
Leader of the Year
Normand Gousseau, Enterprises Riel - WINNER
Tara Stefanson, Lazy Bear Lodge
Jason Smith, Smith Events
Small Business of the Year
Coal and Canary Candle Company - WINNER
Feast Café Bistro
Nonsuch Brewing Co.
Large Business of the Year
Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Team - WINNER
WOW Hospitality Concepts, Inc.
Residence Inn by Marriott Winnipeg
Bring it Home Award - Meetings & Conventions
2019 National Gathering of Elders – Mike Sutherland of Peguis First Nation - WINNER
The National Trust Conference 2019 – Heritage Winnipeg
Bring it Home Award – Sports & Special Events
2019 NORCECA Senior Men’s Continental Volleyball Championship - WINNER
2019 Senior Men’s National Team Exhibition Game – Team Canada vs Team Nigeria
2019 Canadian Native Fastball Championships
Marketing Campaign of the Year (Under $2500)
Dino Day 2019, Royal Canadian Mint - WINNER
West End BIZ – Restaurant Tours
The Fairmont Winnipeg – Backdoor Burger
Marketing Campaign of the Year (Over $2500)
2019 Zoo Lights Festival, Assiniboine Park Conservancy - WINNER
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Outlet Collection Winnipeg
Innovation of the Year
Activate Games - WINNER
Bon Appetit Saint-Boniface Culinary Tours – Tourisme Riel
The Common Patio – The Forks North Portage Partnership
Partner of the Year
Tom Borsa, Encore Canada
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ida Albo, Fort Garry Hotel Ascend Collection
For a full list of nominees, including videos and winner acceptance speeches, visit our event page.