Haldimand County is pleased to announce that Paddles of the Grand is a finalist for a Tourism Industry Award of Excellence in the category of Innovator of the Year from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). This award recognizes an organization or individual that created a new, innovative product, policy or service to promote and enhance tourism in their local community, region or the province of Ontario.
Paddles of the Grand developed as an extension of the PATH (Paddle Art Tour Haldimand), a 2021 municipal initiative involving both the Community Development & Partnerships and Economic Development & Tourism Divisions at Haldimand County, with a grant from the Tourism Relief Fund. Earlier this year, Paddles of the Grand was also a finalist for a 2022 Innovator of the Year award from Ontario’s Southwest Tourism Corporation.
“We are so proud of Paddles of the Grand and their continued growth, and are glad they are getting well-deserved credit for their hard work,” says Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism at Haldimand County. “It is an incredible honour to be recognized as a finalist amongst all the tourism experiences in Ontario.”
“What started as a COVID recovery project has grown into an unstoppable community initiative,” says Katrina Schmitz, Manager of Community Development & Partnerships at Haldimand County. “We are so proud to have been able to partner with paddle art creator Gina McIntee—and many other local artists—on the original PATH project and see how the community’s interest in the paddles has grown and expanded throughout Haldimand County, including in store windows in our communities.”
The Innovator of the Year award winner will be announced at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario’s conference during the gala awards on October 25, 2023.