October 2, 2018, Treaty 7 Territory (Calgary, Alberta) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) was on hand to celebrate and recognize three award-winning stories from international and Canadian media which showcased Indigenous experiences, during the annual GoMedia Canada 2018 media marketplace.

The Explore Canada Awards of Excellence recognize contributions to storytelling that inspire travellers to explore Canada. Every year, Destination Canada invites international and Canadian entrants – from journalists and influencers to photographers and videographers – to submit their inspired travel tales.  The awards are announced annually in the lead up to GoMedia Canada, Destination Canada’s premier travel media event.

“It was an honour to be among over 170 of my peers and 128 media as we celebrated together the work of many outstanding travel media.  Out of 11 awards presented, having three feature Indigenous Tourism Canada stakeholders and businesses really demonstrates the power of Indigenous stories,” says Dené Sinclair, ITAC’s director of marketing.

Oliver Gerhard, Edelweiss Magazin
Call of the Wild

With strong storytelling, superb nature shots and the search for his own roots, Oliver Gerhard takes us on a journey to the Canadian province of British Columbia. Oliver masterfully succeeds in documenting the life of the First Nations Peoples in the region around Vancouver. Judge Tamina Kallert, German travel journalist, TV presenter and author, feels the story can be characterized by outstanding images, a generous staging and a text that touches the reader’s soul. “Oliver Gerhard awakens emotions with his work.” And the desire to travel to Canada, to meet its people and to experience and respect its great nature.

Jenn Smith Nelson, The Toronto Star
Sea Wolf a highlight of B.C. travel experience that combines nature and Indigenous culture

WestJet’s Emerging Media and Media Relations team selected this enticing story as it depicts a unique, authentic and accessible experience that will resonate with Canadians and visitors. “We believe it will inspire readers to explore coastal British Columbia and seek out experiences like Jenn had with Sea Wolf Adventures.” Jenn’s writing and photography highlight a unique travel experience that our vast country is known for, rich in wilderness and Indigenous history. It pays the ultimate homage to travel – expect the unexpected because it can be amazing.

Christophe Migeon, Le Figaro magazine 
“Abitibi-Témiscamingue, l’été indien” (Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Indian Summer)

Judge Philippe Guersan has specialized in tourism and lifestyle reporting in France for more than 25 years, and from the very first lines of Christophe’s story says he was transported to another world. “The writing is high quality and makes you want to read on. You want to know more.” Christophe emotionally engages readers and makes them feel as though they are sharing in his travel experiences. “This gave me the desire to follow suit and discover this land unknown to me and meet its fascinating people,” says Guersan. The story also features many striking photographs that enhance the reader’s experience.

Further indication that International demand for Indigenous stories across Canada is growing is Sinclair’s full schedule of 32 appointments over the two days of the media marketplace this week, with travel journalists from 11 different countries.

More on the awards may be found here.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Indigenous tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories.  A new comprehensive 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada is also available in print and online—for industry, media and visitors from around the world. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourism.ca.


Media contacts:
Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, or jenna.hickman@onlybeattie.com
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca

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