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The 2010 Canadian Tourism Awards

The 2010 Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by The Toronto Star, were awarded at a gala dinner in Gatineau, Québec on November 2, 2010 as part of The Tourism congress, TIAC’s annual conference.

The 2010 finalists and recipients are listed below.

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The 2010 finalists and recipients are:


Recipient: The Wickaninnish Inn (Tofino, British Columbia)

The Wickaninnish Inn is a family-owned Relais & Chateaux resort, with full service restaurant, lounge, library and spa located on the open Pacific Ocean at Tofino, BC.  Its owners played a significant role in the establishment of Pacific Rim National Park in 1971.  The current ‘Wick Inn’ recreates the rustic elegance of its earlier namesake Inn in a modern context.  Opened in August 1996, the new 75 room resort makes widespread use of local wood, including reclaimed Douglas Fir, whole red cedar trees anchoring the Port Cochere and hand adzed local cedar throughout the interior.

Finalist: CN Tower (Toronto, Ontario)

Canada’s National Tower has achieved a remarkable legacy as icon, landmark, one of the world’s top tourist destinations and one of Canada’s most celebrated and visited attractions.  After 34 years, it remains the Tallest Tower, an engineering marvel and internationally acclaimed entertainment and dining destination attracting 1.5+ million annual visitors.  It has flourished as a symbol of Canadian achievement representing the awe-inspiring experiences throughout Canada.

Finalist: Estrimont Suites & Spa (Orford, Québec)

Nouvel hôtel de villégiature haut de gamme, Estrimont Suites & Spa offre 95 suites spacieuses avec foyer, installations modernes de spa, un centre de santé, un salle à manger gastronomique, et un centre de congrès.  Après avoir eu l’audace de transformer l’Auberge Estrimont en un condotel, la direction a eu le courage de se relever d’un incendie ayant détruit toute la partie centrale et de remettre l’hôtel sur le marché avec un succès retentissant.  Dès la réouverture en 2008, l’hôtel a excellé, et l’équipe a fait rayonner la région dans toute la province.



Recipient: Sépaq (Québec)

Sépaq, Québec’s outdoors network, has become a true leader in the nature tourism field.  It maintains over 80,000 km2 occupied by 22 national parks, a marine park co-managed with Parks Canada, the Quebec Aquarium, 15 wildlife reserves, and several other facilities.  A multitude of activities promote the enhancement and discovery of its facilities.  In so doing, Sépaq respects high-quality standards and ensures both the sustainability of facilities and the protection of the resources entrusted to its care.

Finalist: COWS Inc. (Cavendish, Prince Edward Island)

COWS is a family-owned ice cream retail business, which began in 1983 with an old fashion recipe.  In a very short time the COWS ice cream and products quickly became a symbol of PEI.  COWS has since grown to 10 retail stores across Canada, a clothing line, COWS cheddar cheese, Ann of Green Gables chocolates, an online store and the newly opened COWS Creamery.  COWS’ super-premium ice cream continues to drive the company's success and has made it as recognizable as Anne herself.

Finalist: RCR Hospitality Group (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Founded in Halifax, NS in 1974, the RCR Hospitality Group is today is part of the Halifax industry fabric, operating five restaurants, 2 pubs, an event facility, a full service, high end catering company along with a resort property located on Nova Scotia's south shore.  RCR lives for the big picture and has created a culture whereby every member of the team, from server, to hostess to President assumes personal responsibility for the complete satisfaction for each and every guest.



Recipient: Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park Historical Village (Calgary, Alberta)

Gasoline Alley opened in April 2009 as part of a massive expansion at Heritage Park Historical Village.  It highlights the importance and influence of the oil and gas industry as well as the automobile itself on the colonization of western Canada and the development of its distinct culture.  Showcasing North America’s largest and rarest public collections of antique vehicles, air and gasoline pumps, the museum adds to the city’s tourism offerings by enticing and engaging a broader family demographic in a unique way.

Finalist: Le Jardin des glaciers (Baie-Comeau, Québec)

Le Jardin des glaciers de Baie-Comeau promet une rencontre unique avec la dernière glaciation, les changements climatiques et la thématique des peuples.  Situé en bordure du fleuve Saint-Laurent et plein cœur de la réserve mondiale de la biosphère Manicouagan-Uapishka, le Jardin des glaciers est un site intégré d'interprétation, d'exploration et d'éducation dont les valeurs reposent sur un contenu scientifique, dans un environnement inusité et exceptionnel.

Finalist: Inc. (Ottawa, Ontario)

UrbanQuest recreates reality show style experiences into adventures for the average person.  Couples or families prepare for an evening out on the town with dinner at a nice restaurant – except the destination venue is a mystery.  To find the reservation, they have two hours to solve a series of clues.  The puzzles require interaction with local tourism sites in a unique new way.  With a cost of only $20, UrbanQuest is an affordable way to experience the city’s most popular attractions and lesser known ‘secret’ establishments.



Recipient: Wine Trail Rides – (Windsor, Ontario) is an online culinary guide to Essex County that provides information on the local dining scene.  In 2008, WindsorEats created the Wine Trail Rides, a scenic countryside cycle tour that allows participants to learn about the wineries, farms and conservation areas they visit.  The Wine Trail Rides have brought new visitors into the region and put a renewed focus on Windsor’s local assets.  This eco-tourism initiative was instrumental in securing a pilot project for the Bike Train in Essex County.

Finalist: Canadian Badlands Ltd. (Southeastern Alberta)

Canadian Badlands Ltd.  provides tourism development resources and services to 62 municipal government shareholders scattered over 90,000 sq.  km.  in South-eastern Alberta.  These municipalities work together to ensure economic diversification through tourism development.  CBL’s Resource Centre provides tourism resources such as images and booklets, grant writing assistance, education, asset assessment and more.  CBL’s cluster initiatives nurture tourism operators, initiate regional business consortia and develop local events for small rural communities.

Finalist: Tourism Moose Jaw (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan)

Tourism Moose Jaw promotes one of Saskatchewan’s major tourism centres on a shoestring budget.  With 2.5 permanent staff and as many as 13 seasonal employees in the summer, they must be innovative to accomplish their mission without breaking their $225,000 budget.  They do everything from heating baby bottles, to caring for visitors’ pets, to chauffeuring visitors personally, to conducting ghost tours on their replica 1911 trolley.  They also provide top-notch information on attractions throughout Southwest Saskatchewan.



Recipient: It’s OK to Cheat on Your City, Tourism Toronto and Tourisme Montréal (Joint Submission) (Toronto, Ontario / Montréal, Québec)

Although Montréal and Toronto have traditionally had a friendly rivalry, the two DMOs decided to band together to develop an innovative co-branded marketing campaign. The ensuing campaign, titled It’s OK to Cheat on Your City / Allez-y, trompez votre ville!was jointly developed by the DMO’s of both cities  and used innovative marketing and promotional tactics to gain positive exposure for both destinations and increased media and consumer attention, thus shifting perceptions of each city.

Finalist: Olympic Marketing Initiative, Pan-North Marketing Consortium (Representing Canada’s three Northern Territories)

Using the unique opportunity presented by the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, an integrated marketing and communications plan was implemented by the Pan North Marketing Consortium to build significant positive brand awareness for Canada’s North.  This campaign positioned the three northern territories as great places to visit, with a strategy to not only entice visitors but also to draw them in – all on a limited budget of under $1 million.

Finalist: Live! With Regis & Kelly, Prince Edward Island Department of Tourism and Culture (Charlottetown, PEI)

Prince Edward Island’s Department of Tourism and Culture took a departure from their usual marketing programming with their investment in the popular American talk show Live! with Regis & Kelly.  The natural beauty of the province provided a colourful backdrop for the show’s four live shows taped at Confederation Landing Park in Charlottetown in July, 2010.  The department expects a return on investment of at least 5:1 in the next 2-3 years. 



Recipient: The Halifax International Airport Authority (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The Halifax International Airport Authority operates the Robert Stanfield International Airport which functions as the region's principal full service airport and Atlantic Canada's gateway to the world.  The Airport is a major economic generator and job creator.  The HIAA team is active on a number of industry related committees and boards.  They willingly commit their time and energy in a hands-on capacity with any and all efforts to raise the profile of the destination both for tourism purposes and as a destination of choice for all reasons.

Finalist: Canada Safeway Limited (Calgary, Alberta)

For 11 years, Canada Safeway Limited has provided unconditional support to Heritage Park Historical Village's Once Upon A Christmas and Canada Day special events, the Interpretation Department's Food Way Program, the Funding Department's golf tournament, Shindig and Taste of History Events.  It also contributed the Park’s fundraising campaign and to the development of an entire exhibit within Gasoline Alley Museum.  Their commitment has enhanced the park’s tourism experience in ways that would not have been possible without their support.

Finalist: Waterfront Development Corporation (Halifax & Lunenburg, Nova Scotia)

The Waterfront Development Corporation is a provincial crown corporation responsible for developing industrial lands along the Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts.  This development has made them the two most visited destinations in the province.  The Halifax waterfront is alive with activity, from events, festivals and buskers to the wonder of a working waterfront.  New large scale offices, hotels, residential developments, marine businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures contribute to a revitalized core for the provincial capital.



Recipient: Canada Day at Canada Place – Canada Place Corporation (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Canada Day at Canada Place (CDCP) is the largest Canada Day celebration outside Ottawa.  This year, 710,000 guests came to Canada Place and the surrounding streets for free family fun.  Canadian music and dance on four stages, celebration of soccer & sport in the spirit of the World Cup and our Navy’s 100th Anniversary, a Citizenship Ceremony, a parade, and fireworks allowed the celebrations to continue through the night.  The event’s longevity, strong attendance and corporate support speak to the event’s success and profile.

Finalist: Grand Chief Membertou 400 – Mi’kmaq Association of Cultural Studies (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Grand Chief Membertou 400 was a free public event designed to immerse visitors in the Mi’kmaq culture while honouring the life and legacy of one of the most distinguished Mi’kmaq leaders in our nation’s history, a Chief remembered for international peace, spiritual acceptance and cultural tolerance.  A magical celebration of the 400th anniversary of the great leader’s baptism, it marked the spiritual and cultural renewal of the Mi’kmaq Nation. The event brought 80,000 visitors to Halifax and was included in the Queen’s royal tour.

Finalist: Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Community-based and volunteer-driven, the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon is staged annually on the Victoria Day Holiday weekend.  The Marathon is now the largest marathon weekend east of Ottawa and has attracted over 37,000 participants in just 6 years.  The race route was designed to highlight this beautiful municipality and the iconic Halifax Harbour by incorporating the MacDonald Bridge.  The event provides an early kickstart to the tourism season and drives visitation to Halifax all summer long. 



Recipient: China Online Marketing Platform – Banff Lake Louise Tourism (Banff, Alberta)

Having recognized the tremendous potential of the Chinese market, BLLT has partnered with Dragon Trail to connect with Chinese consumers.  With Dragon Trail’s help, they developed a customized China Online Marketing Platform, which goes far beyond a traditional website.  The platform’s goal is to capture permission-based, targeted and relevant consumer data that will drive sales in a sustainable way.  Thanks to the campaign, BLLT saw increased awareness on Chinese social media sites as well as attention from various Chinese media.

Finalist: Halifax Sociable! – Destination Halifax (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Halifax Sociable! is an online community concept drawn from a local pub tradition that reflects one of Halifax’s greatest assets: the warmth and friendliness of its people.  A website within a larger brand website integrates all facets of DH’s social media presence, allowing users access to all of DH’s online venues from one central portal.  This gives DH an opportunity to leverage and engage Twitter users and Facebook fans in a space customized to the social media user’s desire for regularly, fresh multi-media content.

Finalist: I Want to be a Snow Bum! – Tourism Sun Peaks (Sun Peaks, British Columbia)

Tourism Sun Peaks’ I Want to be A Snow Bum campaign launched in October, 2009 to create a buzz prior to and during the winter season. Strategically launched through a combination of traditional and social media outlets, a video contest was hosted on a microsite (, where contestants had to submit a 60 second entry proving why they should come to Sun Peaks and blog to the world about the resort. The $30,000 prize package helped the campaign go viral through Facebook and Twitter and other online channels, resulting in thousands of web hits and hundreds of media articles about Sun Peaks.



Recipient: Au Diable Vert - Station de montagne (Glen Sutton, Quebec)

Au Diable Vert - Station de montagne, is an exceptional outdoor centre on a 200 acre historic farm nestled between the peaks of Jay Peak, Vt, and Mont Sutton, Quebec.  Perched at over 1,000 feet of altitude, it has one of the most breathtaking views in the Eastern Townships.  Offering guests a combination of eco-lodging and people-powered activities, guests leave their cars upon arrival they make their way on foot to their campsite, prospector tent, cabin, treegloo or treehouse where they immerse themselves in a respectful all-natural experience.

Finalist: The Joggins Fossil Institute Association (Joggins, Nova Scotia)

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a UNESCO-designated world heritage site, recognized and protected for having cultural or natural properties of outstanding value to humanity.  The cliffs and adjacent interpretive centre provide visitors with a look at nature as it would have been during the Carboniferous Period.  Visitors can look at million-year-old trees and footprints of creatures long extinct.  The site is built on principles of environmental and historical sustainability with features that help keep energy and resource use to a minimum.

Finalist: The Links at Crowbush Cove (Lakeside, Prince Edward Island)

The Links at Crowbush Cove overlook the north shore dunes of PEI and provide one of North America's very best golf courses.  While it is better known for providing spectacular (but affordable golf), the course has also earned a reputation for its efforts to protect the natural environment.  Special care has been taken to protect, preserve and enhance the sensitive sand dunes and wetlands ecosystems, and to protect the Piping Plover, a small endangered shore bird species which nests in small depressions in beach sands.



Recipient: Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre (Whistler, British Columbia)

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre embodies the spirit of partnership between the Squamish and Lil'wat aboriginal nations and is quickly becoming a cultural anchor for indigenous cultural tourism in Canada.  This innovative partnership provides unique cultural experiences and engaging programming, as well as the opportunity to learn more about aboriginal culture.  The SLCC promotes tourism on the international stage through performances, events, and activities at the SLCC and played an important role in the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2010 Olympic Games.

Finalist: Celtic Colours International Festival (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia)

Celtic Colours International Festival promotes, celebrates and develops Cape Breton’s living culture and hospitality by building cultural and economic relationships across Cape Breton and beyond.  The Festival takes place during the fall colours in communities throughout the island.  In 2009, 126 non-profit organizations partnered with Celtic Colours to present 44 concerts and 292 community events with the help of over 1,700 volunteers.  Attendees spent over $5.5 million and extended the tourist season by nearly two months.

Finalist: Confederation Centre of the Arts (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)

The CCOA is a national arts centre committed through heritage and the arts to engage and empower the imagination of our youth, honour and build on the vision of Canada’s founders, strengthen national identity, and increase the cultural and economic wealth of PEI, the region and the country.  For 46 years, the CCOA has offered world-class theatre productions, gallery exhibitions, heritage programming and arts education.  It is dedicated to fostering those things that enrich the mind, delight the heart, and help create a culture.



Recipient: Rodd Hotels & Resorts (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)

Founded by two newlyweds, Wally & Sally Rodd in 1935, today Rodd Hotels & Resorts is Atlantic Canada's largest privately-owned hotel chain with 9 properties throughout the Maritimes.  Rodd’s growth over the years is a testament to its efforts in human resources development.  With a team of highly-motivated and well-trained employees, Rodd sees relatively low employee turnover and ultimately, higher rates of customer satisfaction.

Finalist: The Fairmont Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Overlooking historic Portage and Main, The Fairmont Winnipeg welcomes guests with easy elegance and warm hospitality for all occasions from leisure trips to business meetings to weddings.  Training and development opportunities ensure that colleagues are both talented and highly engaged, driving guest satisfaction, and improved productivity and profitability.  The hotel and its parent chain have been recognized time and time again for their winning corporate culture and their efforts in occupational health and safety.

Finalist: The Prince George Hotel (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The Prince George Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia features 189 finely appointed guestrooms and 14 spacious suites.  The hotel offers staff professional development opportunities through a variety of training and certification programs, and regularly participates in activities to support tourism education.  The Prince George Hotel has also been an active employer of participants from the national Ready to Work program which represents alternative labour pools. 



Recipient: Barbara Radcliffe Rogers and Stillman Rogers (Richmond, New Hampshire)

Barbara Radcliffe and Stillman Rogers began writing about Canada when commissioned to write the first Frommer’s Guide to Atlantic Canada.  This experience inspired them to write the Adventure Guide to Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, a 600-page book updated in 2009, and later, the Adventure Guide to New Brunswick & PEI.  In addition their Adventure Guides, they have published 17 articles on Canada since January 2009.  As Intel Editor for Global Traveler Magazine, Barbara features Canadian destinations at every opportunity.  Stillman Rogers’ photography is also widely circulated.

Finalist: D. Grant Black (Wakaw, Saskatchewan)

Freelance writer, editor and travel journalist D.  Grant Black is a former editor for Western Living and Wish magazines and former editor-in-chief of Avenue West magazine.  After returning to Saskatchewan, Black now writes lifestyle, travel, business, humour and book critic content for several national news media and periodical publications, and in 2009, wrote the Saskatchewan Book of Musts: 101 Places Every Saskatchewanian Must See.  Black uncovers and profiles lesser-known destinations, increasing visitation to Saskatchewan.

Finalist: Canadian Geographic Travel – March 2010 Edition (Ottawa, Ontario)

With strong storytelling and stunning photography, the March 2010 (spring) issue of Canadian Geographic Travel highlights Canada's national parks and historic sites — many of which are within a short drive of major urban centres — as destinations we should all be drawn to.  This thematic issue of Canadian Geographic Travel brought together the talents of many of Canada's best writers and photographers to showcase the beauty and diversity of national parks and historic sites from coast to coast.  Each element, from the feature articles to the front-of-book briefs, is a self-contained story, but together they add up to a comprehensive and very attractive package.



Recipient: Guy Thériault, Parks Canada (Gatineau, Québec)

Guy Thériault has worked for Parks Canada for nearly 20 years, where he has held positions ranging from lockmaster to travel trade specialist.  He has also worked for tourism associations, hotel chains and guest services.  Guy has customer service and attention to detail in his veins.  Most recently, he has handled media relations for leisure travel media, and the results of his hard work and dedication are remarkable.  Thanks to Guy, Parks Canada has improved its visibility among domestic and international audiences.

Finalist: Debbie Aldous-Ibbitson, Tourism Saskatoon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

As Visitor Services Coordinator for Tourism Saskatoon, Debbie Aldous-Ibbitson is very passionate about the tourism industry and loves to share it with others.  Because she researches tourism products, attends events and explores the area on her own time, she is able to share first-hand information and suggest interesting itineraries.  Whether visitors enjoy museums, sporting activities, walking tours, shopping or casinos, Debbie is likely to be able to find the perfect activities to help them realize the excitement that is Saskatoon.

Finalist: Marian Perrett, Tour Guide, Ô TOURS (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

As a guide with O Tours since 2002, Marian Perrett is dedicated to determining the needs of her tour participants so that she can do whatever she can to meet those needs.  Focusing on the specific needs of the tour participants, Perrett understands the importance of quality.  She creates relationships and actively works alongside other tourism suppliers to ensure that each part of the tour meets the same standard of excellence.



Recipient: Sheila Smyth, Proprietor, A Suffolk House Bed and Breakfast (Edmonton, Alberta)

Since 2001, Sheila Smyth has generously supported local tourism events, projects and not-for-profit groups with her time, dedication and expertise.  She has been chair to the "Discover Historical Treasures" driving tour showcasing Strathcona County, a board member on the B&B Association of Alberta, and the Chair of the B&B Association of Greater Edmonton.  She was also a member of the Tourism Partnership Council in Edmonton, an industry-led advisory body, and the Treasurer for the non-profit Edmonton Regional Tourism Group, which works to support independent rural tourism operators.

Finalist: The Saint John Meet & Greet Committee (Saint John, New Brunswick)

The Meet & Greet Committee was established to welcome and assist the passengers of a diverted cruise ship in 1989, and has since grown from three volunteers to 75 today.  The team is now always on hand to greet passengers as they step ashore.  The volunteers welcome passengers with roses for women, lapel pins for men, and flags for the children.  The team provides tourism information and directions to thousands of cruise ship passengers annually, and their friendliness is the reason many passengers return time and time again.

Finalist: Harley Tingley, Chairman of the Board, Cape Enrage Interpretive Centre (Quispamsis, New Brunswick)

Harley Tingley’s efforts as Chairman of the Cape Enrage Interpretive Centre board speak volumes about his character.  Through his professionalism, vision, and commitment to Cape Enrage, Harley Tingley draws on his extensive experience and network of contacts to ensure a strong and effective board, to rally the community around Cape Enrage, and to develop a solid business plan.  He has demonstrated unwavering commitment and dedication through numerous personal initiatives, including advancing funds to ensure continued operations.