Tourism Westman hands out awards

Successful the award for event of the 12 months at the 2023 Tribute to Tourism Gala is a testomony to how difficult personnel and organizers at Manitoba Ag Days have worked to bring the celebration back to a write-up-pandemic environment, normal supervisor Kristen Phillips suggests.

“It was amazing to actually have the function, and then to be recognized as event of the year was just these a cherry on leading,” Phillips advised the Sunlight. “Our board of administrators is such a passionate group of farmers who care about the ag industry. Our function is in pretty superior palms.”

The awards gala, hosted by Tourism Westman, was held on Wednesday at the Souris-Glenwood Memorial Elaborate in Souris, 47 kilometres southwest of Brandon. Attended by 175 attendees, it was the initial gala held given that the commence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Manitoba Ag Times, which took spot at the Keystone Centre in Brandon in January, was also the to start with time that occasion returned to in-person attendance since 2020.

Virtual occasions with online video-recorded speakers had been held in 2021 and 2022.

“All the tricky work that was place in 36 months right before the clearly show was exceptionally tough,” Phillips explained.

Manitoba Ag Times, a not-for-financial gain, volunteer-led, provincially incorporated corporation, draws up to 40,000 individuals every year with an economic affect of $350 million, Tourism Westman says. The 2023 celebration produced 4,151 space nights for local motels by itself.

Brandon Tourism gained the advertising and marketing excellence tribute, an award that acknowledges a business enterprise, corporation, celebration or attraction that has formulated an helpful promoting marketing campaign that increases tourism to southwestern Manitoba, for its new web-site and app.

The application was made to align with Brandon Tourism’s new manufacturer, which focuses on the city’s foodstuff, lifestyle and vast assortment of ordeals. Lanny Stewart, director of internet marketing and communications with Brandon Tourism, mentioned winning the award left him sensation “humbled and honoured.”

“This is a Brandon Tourism award, [because] this is a crew effort and hard work,” Stewart said. “There are a great deal of persons behind the scenes below who hold the teach on track, so to speak. So, it’s a wonderful workforce and we’re delighted to be recognized.”

Minnedosa’s Tom Occasion received the volunteer of the yr award for his get the job done on the groomed and managed trails that individuals love year-spherical at the Squirrel Hills Path Park in Minnedosa.

Instance, who has charted the trails and led the advancement and placement of signage, warming shacks and professional-active problems capturing, claims just being nominated was a “great emotion,” but profitable the award was a huge honour. He hopes that his case in point will lead many others in the community to check out how they can volunteer their time for the gain of many others.

“It’s rewarding to do some thing that can aid other men and women,” Occasion said.

The Souris Hotel gained the service excellence award for the shipping of exemplary assistance and improvement of customer practical experience as shown by means of a substantial diploma of visitor pleasure. Formally open to the community in 2018, the business enterprise has a 9.3 out of 10 score on scheduling.com, a 4.6 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, and has been ranked by the Travelmyth algorithm as a single of the leading 50 inns in Manitoba in quite a few categories.

The Aspiring Youth award went to Cassandra Cardy and Zac Easton of Minnedosa, who fulfilled though learning resourceful communications at Purple River School. The duo’s interest in internet marketing and branding led them to produce a social media adhering to in which they showcased eating delights in Winnipeg and the United States. The pair just lately ordered the Dari Isle cafe in Minnedosa.

Section 6 Brewing Co., The Dock on Princess and Kickin’ Axe in Brandon won the partnership award, which recognizes alliances that display a co-operative method to tourism development and advertising.

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation won the award for Indigenous tourism for Dakota Country Winterfest, a 4-working day immersive occasion that incorporates the tradition and traditions of the Dakota people today by regular video games, cultural exhibits, sports, a talent show and more.

The resilience and innovation award was offered to La Bella Terra greenhouse in Minnedosa for demonstrating innovation, resilience, adaptation and support for their community group all through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Ride Like Ole” celebration in Minnedosa won the award for exceptional contribution by an unique. The occasion was named immediately after Ole Heie, an aspiring 12-year-aged elite athlete who died the summer of 2021 whilst out on a operate.

Following discussion with the Heie spouse and children, the plan of 172-kilometre bike journey fundraiser planned for the Squirrel Hills path park was named in his honour and featured seven cyclists making the trek from the historic Inglis elevators, traversing Riding Mountain Nationwide Park and ending at the park’s historic Eastgate site.

Amid the seven mountain bicycle riders to total the overall ride had been Ole’s mothers and fathers, Leigh and Rob Heie, Richard Dupuis, Dave Ternier, Paul Archbutt and Tim Frykoda, all of whom are Valley Life Recreation Inc. board customers, and close friend Kevin Earl, together with Ole’s sister Ava and other friends and loved ones becoming a member of for the second half of the trip.

What began as a local party with the intention of increasing $17,200 culminated with $30,000 contributed to Minnedosa’s Squirrel Hills Path Park in Ole’s title. A new path was also named Ole’s Way.

The Mid-West Demonstrate N’ Glow in Hamiota gained the award for celebration of the calendar year with a price range underneath $5,000.

Miranda Leybourne, Community Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sunshine