One of the highlights of the annual conference is the tourism awards gala, an opportunity to celebrate excellence in Ontario tourism and learn from some of the best. While we were nominated in 2008 for best campaign under $25 000, we were not so fortunate this year (Did I mention we took home 2 gold medals at this year's Canada Marketing Awards?) However, two of our local and regional tourism partners were acknowledged with an award this year, one directly and one indirectly. They deserve to be recognized for their contribution to the Tourism economy.
Gary and Joanie McGuffin won for best tourism photography this year for their emotionally moving cover shot of the summer 2008 Superior Outdoors Magazine featuring the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. Gary and Joanie are big friends of Tourism Thunder Bay and were important partners of the 2008 Seven Day With the Giant contest campaign. While Gary and Joanie live on the lake near Sault Ste Marie (I'm trying to convince them to relocate to Thunder Bay) their work on Lake Superior and in important Provincial Parks that the city is a gate way to, helps elevate the reputation of our city and region as a hub for some of North America's best outdoor experiences.
Equally important at the awards was the context of the winning photo in that it appears on the cover of Superior Outdoors, a 2 year old magazine celebrating the Lake Superior sustainable lifestyle that is produced right here in Thunder Bay by Darren and Michelle McChristie. This fantastic print and online editorial delight is quickly gaining attention across the North American sustainable tourism community and is, in its own right, elevating the region as a sustainable tourism destination of choice. Tourism Thunder Bay has been an advertiser in this magazine from its inception as we see the value it has in helping us reach new markets for affluent and educated outdoor seekers who are looking for experiences in and around the world's largest freshwater lake.
My team and I extend out heartfelt congratulations to Gary and Joanie for their great photographic interpretation of our great city and region and to Darren and Michelle McChristie for telling the story of Lake Superior in ways that have garnered them Provincial attention among their peers.
To learn more about the work of the McGuffins, visit http://www.garyandjoaniemcguffin.com/ To find out more about Superior Outdoors, visit http://www.superioroutdoors.ca/ or stop by Chapters in Thunder Bay to buy a copy.