Announcing the 2016 Explore Canada Awards of Excellence winners

2016 Explore Canada Awards of Excellence Winners

Destination Canada celebrated the best in travel and tourism storytelling today at the 13th annual Explore Canada Awards of Excellence.

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Congratulations to the following 2016 winners:

World-class Attractions, Festivals and Events Award
Christine O'Toole, Washington Post (USA) 
“How circus-loving Montreal has persisted as the big top of the world
Judge Alyson Walker, VP Brand Partnerships - Bell Media, enjoyed the behind-the-scenes stories in this winning article: “The different elements in the story were very impactful and extremely interesting. I have been to Montreal many times and this absolutely compelled me to want to book a trip and return to Montreal again to explore some of the great aspects of the city that I learned in this article. A great story and very compelling read.”

Culinary Canada Award
Michael Shapiro, Inspirato Magazine (USA)
“Go Fish: Vancouver chefs lead the way on sustainable seafood”
Gail Simmons, Food & Wine’s Special Projects Director, Permanent Judge on BRAVO’s “Top Chef,” and Co-founder of Bumble Pie Productions was delighted judging this winner: “In his in-depth exploration of Vancouver's seafood restaurant scene, Michael Shapiro not only thoroughly and thoughtfully explains the timely issues surrounding ocean sustainability and the efforts being made by Vancouver to improve it, but also succeeds in making me very, very hungry for the extraordinary and often unlikely ingredients used by the city's most talented and conscientious chefs.”

Vibrant Cities Award
John Lee, LA Times (USA)
“On-foot beer crawling in Vancouver's East Van, the craft beer capital of Canada”
Judge Jackie Braun, VP, Director - Consumer & Digital Marketing, MasterCard was taken inside this winning story: “The average traveler reads about the famous sites and traditional “must do’s” – this content gives the reader more of an inside perspective of Vancouver and inspires anyone who wants to venture outside those typical stops and experience life as a resident. It’s as though the reader is on the journey with the writer and they are experiencing every step, tasting each of the beers, and spending time in each of the breweries as the writer does.”

Adventure at all Levels Award
Rodrigo Maruco Ruas de Oliveira, Viagem Cultural (Brazil)
“Whistler, Canada”
Todd Wagner, VP, Entertainment Platform & Operations, GoPro knows a thing or two about adventure and was inspired by this winning entry: “The footage brought the adventures to life and made me want to visit and experience the destinations covered in the video.”

Natural Wonders
Karl Teuschl, 3sat (Germany)
“Faszination Kanada: Die Arktis - Expedition in die Nordwestpassage”
Judge Alex Howard, Destination Editor - Canada & Western US, Lonely Planet was moved by the compelling imagery from this winner: “The documentary unpacks the mystery of the fabled Northwest Passage, while also capturing the stark beauty of Northern Canada. It manages to merge the trifecta of pleasures in travel documentary: a sense of exploration, historical context and the promise that you, the viewer, can experience it with our very own eyes.”

Best Media Itinerary Award
Tourism Whistler
“Whistler 50th Anniversary Press Trip”
Norie Quintos, Editor-at-Large, National Geographic Travel Media,, enjoyed the spirit of story-telling and collaboration in judging this winner: “For its ambition, scope, and ability to offer a variety of experiences while retaining a strong hook, kudos to Whistler. It developed an itinerary that didn't just showcase the resort town's current offerings, but provided the historical narrative for visitors to understand how it came to be. I especially liked that so many characters—legendary Olympians, the locals who developed Whistler—were included.”

Most Innovative PR Campaign Award
Tourism Vancouver
“PCMA Convening Leaders Vancouver”
Travel journalist, founder of travel-planning site, and TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate, Wendy Perrin, found this an easy call to judge due to the creative effort shown by Vancouver: “PR for conferences is typically boring, with formulaic videos and social media that merely shares and retweets what attendees post. What made the PCMA Convening Leaders Vancouver campaign innovative is that they created an unusual (and adorable) video starring toddlers, and they used social media as a customer-service tool, answering attendees’ questions and solving their problems.”

Destination Canada’s coveted Explore Canada Awards of Excellence celebrate stellar content creation from the tourism industry and travel media. The awards are announced annually at GoMedia Canada, Destination Canada’s premier media event.

Posted: 2016-10-19