Southwest Sask trio wins tourism hardware April 10

Saskatchewan’s tourism sector honoured businesses and individuals at the 25th annual Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala, which was celebrated in Saskatoon on April 10 at TCU Place.

“This 25th annual celebration of excellence in our industry was truly a special night. It was a chance to reflect on past accomplishments and the growth that has occurred, as well as acknowledge that the industry is in good hands as young entrepreneurs see the potential in tourism,” Pat Fiacco, Tourism Saskatchewan CEO, said. “Tourism Saskatchewan is pleased to host this tribute to the industry each year and honour impressive achievements. To the award finalists and recipients – congratulations!”
A 12-person tourism sector committee selected the 43 finalists and 14 award recipients from more than 100 nominations. The Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was selected by Norm Beug, Chair of Tourism Saskatchewan’s Board of Directors.
The winners of the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence for 2013 are:
 Business of the Year Award  (Under 50 Full-time Employees)
Sponsored by The Western Producer
Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd., Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
At Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd., professional guides offer a thrilling interpretive experience as guests soar through the air on a zipline over the lodgepole pine forest in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Open since July 2011, the attraction also offers a Treetop Adventure Park, 45-ft. Treetop Drop, climbing wall, slackline course, and mini-zips for the little ones. Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. enjoyed an exceptional year of operation in 2013. Operating seven days a week from May to October, it hosted more than 17,000 visitors. More than doubling its visitation, Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures increased its revenue by nearly 160 per cent from 2012. With a focus on providing an unmatched experience that is educational, exhilarating and safe, business partners Jori Kirk and Nick Coburn have built an exciting and popular tourism operation.

 Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award Sponsored by Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Shann Gowan, Cultural Festivals, Swift Current
Shann Gowan is the Cultural Festivals Coordinator and Artistic Director in Swift Current. Since 2002, Cultural Festivals has produced the Blenders Concert Series, StirCrazy Blues Festival, Long Day’s Night Music Festival, SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival, Up Close and Personal House Concerts, the Grand Piano Sessions and Coffeehouse musical components. In her role, Gowan is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the events and festivals, including artistic direction, operations and financial management, fundraising, marketing and public relations. She has been developing high-quality cultural programs since her first concert in 2002. Cultural Festivals produced more than 30 events with over 13,562 attendees in 2013. The economic benefit of these events is substantial, bringing in more than $1.7 million to the Swift Current community.

 Online Marketing Award Sponsored by Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority
Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd., Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Through the use of online technology as a primary marketing and administration tool, Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. demonstrates its commitment to environmental sustainability. Maintaining a dynamic online presence, engaging with customers through social media and providing online bookings and transactions have propelled the company on its swift ascent to becoming a highly successful business and a destination of choice. In addition to its informative website and presence on Facebook, Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. takes advantage of a variety of social media channels to connect with consumers and provide them with a sense of the energy and excitement that are part of the experience. In 2013, a more coordinated and concentrated approach to online technologies resulted in a 200 per cent increase in online bookings.

 Rookie of the Year Award  Sponsored by Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club
Harvest Eatery & Fresh Market, Shaunavon
Harvest Eatery & Fresh Market is an upscale, fresh-concept restaurant in Shaunavon that specializes in gourmet comfort food, sourcing local and seasonal ingredients. Located in the heart of the Cypress Hills Destination Area, this farm-to-table operation is the brainchild of Chef/Owner Garrett Thienes and his wife Kristy. Born and raised in Shaunavon, Thienes travelled the world for his culinary inspirations, and worked alongside some of the country’s top chefs. The 45-seat eatery served its first meal on July 1, 2013 and, since then, its tables have been full. Harvest Eatery & Fresh Market has reported a profit that exceeds projected numbers and continues to grow its customer base and reputation. It has been listed by CBC as the top fine dining establishment in rural Saskatchewan and will be featured on CityTV’s new food series The Prairie Diner.

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://ift.tt/ORQ8qa

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