Julie Turenne-Maynard, executive director of Rivers West; Fraser Stewart, a volunteer in the Selkirk won provincials awards from Travel Manitoba. Gail McDonald, manager of ITA, was also a nominee at the 15th annual awards.
Stars are shining bright in the Interlake, as three provincial tourism awards were handed out to volunteers and organizations from the region last week.
Taking home the hardware from Travel Manitoba’s awards were Julie Turenne-Maynard, executive director of Rivers West; Fraser Stewart, a volunteer in the Selkirk and St. Clements area; and the Maniopogo Fest in St. Laurent.
“I’m really honoured just to be a finalist,” said Turenne-Maynard.
“To have won is a huge honour and a wonderful surprise.”
Turenne-Maynard accepted the Winnipeg Airport Authoirty’s award of distinction on behalf of Rivers West. They were recognized for promoting tourism, sustaining cultural heritage, as well as working collaboratively with all levels of government, First Nations, as well as stakeholders and local citizens.
Stewart was deemed volunteer of the year for his 39-year involvement with the community. Over the years he has dedicated his time to the St. Clements Heritage committee, the Selkirk Biz tourism committee, the Marine Museum of Manitoba, Rivers West, as well as Bed and Breakfast Manitoba.
The Manipogo Festival was awarded the Aboriginal tourism award because of all of the traditions the festival celebrates, including St. Laurent’s Metis fishing, modern fiddling, jigging and story telling. The festival also features many fun winter activities.
While the Interlake shone brightly in being the best of the best in many categories, there were also a few people and organizations that were finalists as well. Gail MacDonald, manager of the Interlake Tourism Association, was nominated for the award of distinction for her involvement with developing the West Interlake Trading Company as well as her position in tourism. Lockport Dam Family Festival was also a nominee for event of the year, while Riverton’s Integrity Foods was a finalist for product development.
“Out of six to have three make it to the finals is very good,” MacDonald said of nominations to Travel Manitoba made by the ITA.
This was the 15th annual Travel Manitoba awards.