2020 Tourism Awards Gala Winners

August 14, 2020


Congratulations to all of our 2020 Tourism Awards Winners!

Volunteer of the Year – Dorothy Derksen

Dorothy is a long-time resident of Plum Coulee and teacher who still substitutes teaches at the Plum Coulee Elementary school as well as teaching English to newcomers in Winkler and Plum Coulee.

Dorothy is involved in numerous community events and fundraisers. She is renowned for her plum sauce and plum jam which she makes every year for The Plum Coulee Plum Fest.

Dorothy also spends her time volunteering with the Plum Coulee Prairie View Elevator Museum as the Secretary/Treasurer and giving guided tours to visitors. She is a great storyteller and makes tours that much more interesting for everyone because she is so knowledgeable about the history of the area. Her involvement in fundraising and grant applications helps the museum to meet its financial goals to continue its work of preserving an important piece of Manitoba agriculture history.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Shelley Johnston, Mayghan McEachern, Trina Buhler

Marketing Excellence – Charley B’s

Charley B’s is a classic grill and ice cream parlor located in Winkler.  They are locally owned and operated and source their products from local farmers and businesses which generates a strong sense of community.  They are 100% woman-owned.  They serve all beef burgers made fresh daily and provide a large variety of uniquely named burgers along with an extensive menu.  They also offer a variety of ice cream that has something for everyone and makes this a popular spot for visitors to Winkler. Enjoy a beautiful Manitoba evening in their outdoor seating area.

Charley B’s marketing initiatives are always on brand and they excel when it comes to involving their customer base.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Willow Creek, Kasual Joe, Soul Deo, Whitecap Coffee, Prairie Foods, Clearwater Country Market.

Event of the Year (Under $5000) – Fort la Reine Museum & Portage Learning & Literacy Centre – I Heart Heritage Festival

The I Heart Heritage Festival is a multi-cultural celebration of people who call Portage and surrounding district their home. The festival is organized in partnership between Fort la Reine Museum and the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre.

The festival takes place at Fort la Reine Museum and includes 20+ unique cultural pavilions, a main stage for multicultural entertainment, family-friendly activities, and food vendors. The Festival is entirely community-led and highlights the beautiful diversity of the people who live in our region.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Neubergthal Heritage Foundation – Darp Day, Holland Chamber of Commerce – Santa Claus Parade, Boyne Book It Fun Run – 2k/5k/10k walk/run, Turkey Fest & Duck Race.

Event of the Year (Over $5000) – Honey, Garlic, & Maple Syrup Festival

The annual Honey Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival takes place on the first Saturday following Labour Day. The planning committee works hard all year to organize this well-attended festival where visitors can get a “Taste of the Pembina Valley”. The event was canceled for this year, but make sure to mark the date in your calendar for 2021!

Activities available to enjoy are Pancake Breakfast, Craft Show and Sale, Farmer’s Market, Display Booths, Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Vendors, Free Stage Entertainment, Cooking Demos, Historic Town Tours, Gourmet Alley, Beverage Gardens, all topped off with a delicious Buffet Supper.

Visit the Pembina.ca website for more information on next year’s festival!

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Genesis House – Unmasking Domestic Violence Gala, Plum Fest, Morden Corn and Apple Festival, Prairie Wind Music Fest, Mike Pritchard Memorial Golf Tournament.

Aspiring Youth – Madison Connolly

Madison is an integral member of the Portage la Prairie community who’s dedication and commitment to the Fort la Reine Museum has helped to spark a rejuvenated passion for our region’s heritage and cultural diversity through historic interpretation and public programming.

Visitors traveling across Canada make it a point to stop at and enjoy the museum and Madison’s enthusiasm helps to showcase the Portage la Prairie tourism industry and enhance the visitor experience.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Bloom Petals & Gifts – Owners Kristina & Madi, Madelyn Harman, Carson McConnell, Madison Johnston

Award of Distinction (Organization) – Plum Coulee Prairieview Elevator Museum

Plum Coulee Prairie View Elevator Museum is a unique venue that has transformed a fading prairie icon into a vibrant centre, promoting culture and preserving the past. The museum features different exhibits in grain bins that have been cut out to make rooms. A lot of the original grain elevator mechanics are featured, as well as the unique way grain elevators were built!

Follow them on Facebook for more information. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm from July – August with tours by appointment in June and September.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Minnewasta Golf and Country Club, Winkler Golf Club, Winkler Co-op, Altona Minor Baseball League, Crystal City Lions Club – Crystal City Campground renovations and upgrades, Dufferin Historical Museum.

Award of Distinction (Individual) – Rob Bolack – Bolack Christmas Lights

Since 2011, the Bolack family has transformed their Holland-area home to usher in the holiday season with a dazzling hour-long light display set to music. Growing brighter and more elaborate every year, 2019 saw Rob install an estimated 30,000 lights! The show ran from November to January and provided countless families with a sparkling holiday memory.

Follow Bolack Christmas Lights on Facebook to stay up to date on their 2020 plans!

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Katelin Letkeman – Owner at Charley B’s, Evelyn Janzen – Raptor Festival/La Riviere Recreation Centre Events, Madison Connolly – Fort la Reine Museum, Susan Mooney – Community Volunteer.

Innovation Award – Altona Hotel

Over the past several years, the Altona Hotel has brought a depth and variety of activities and events into Altona. From beer gardens during the annual Blues in the Park, to hosting an extended winter patio with snowmobile jumping on the closed down street outside to raising money for CancerCare, to axe throwing, to live music – they continually show creativity and initiative while providing excellent service, and diverse food menu, and are regularly fully-booked!

The Altona Hotel is doing a great job and is a good representation of innovative excellence in their community.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: VB Entertainment Center – Bowling/Mini Golf/Pool/Virtual Golf + more, Legends Bakery, Sharptooth Adventures, Quality Inn (Winkler) – Hotel, Tivoli Community Theater – Digital theater opening, Tiger Hills Arts Association – McFeetors Centre Building Renovation, Copper & Sparrow – Clothing Store, Syl’s – Drive In/Mini Golf Course, Second Chance Car Museum.

Partnership Award – St Claude Historical Society & St. Claude Tourism & Marketing Organization- 14 July Celebrations, Gaol Museum, Manitoba Dairy Museum, and Pinonneers Museum

Their decades worth of effort to preserve the history of their community will be enjoyed for many years to come! The July 14th celebrations is a town-wide event that celebrates Bastille Day. The Dairy Museum of Manitoba features local dairying from early practices to modern processing, agricultural exhibits, a one-room school, a chapel museum, and an old CPR station. The former gaol has been restored and is now open as a museum and tourist attraction. The building also houses the new Saint-Claude Tourist Information Centre.

These organizations have been key facilitators in bringing tourism to their community to showcase their francophone heritage.

Congratulations as well to all other nominees in this category: Pure Anada – Beauty Product Supplier, Louise Library and United Community Arts – Community Garden Project, Other Brother Roasters – Specialty Coffee Roaster, Cypress River-Holland CDC/Red Trail CruiZers/Tiger Hills Arts Assoc./Holland Ag Society  – Holland Canada Day Community Celebrations, SoVi Naturals, Carman Golf and Curling Club – Community Pro Am Tournament.