Some of the region’s most dynamic community volunteers, organizations and businesses will be recognized at the Central Manitoba Tourism Awards gala on April 25 at the Minnewasta Golf Club in Morden and Portage la Prairie is deservedly well-represented.

Portage nominees include Dave Oshust as Volunteer of the Year; Portage Rotary Club and PCRC for Partnership Award for their collaboration with the Prairie Dirt Dash, Whoop & Hollar Folk Fest for marketing excellence, the Fort La Reine Museum for an Innovation award, Oscar May for Aspiring Youth, Portage Exhibition is up for an Award of Distinction and the organizers of the Manitoba Airshow for Event of the Year, budget over $5,000.

The event celebrates the individuals and organizations that have taken a leading role in creating a  for their communities.

Travel Manitoba estimates that more than 1.2 Million visitors are welcomed by this region each year, accounting for $101 Million in local economic impact. Home to an array of Provincial Star Attractions, signature festivals and unique curiosities, we have a lot that we can be proud of. CMT is one of five regional tourism associations in the province and coordinates a multi-community marketing strategy to attract visitors to the region. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in the industry in 2018.

Excellence will be recognized in nine categories, including the following nominees:


Volunteer of the Year
Wally Cobb (R.M. of Pembina)

Dorothy Derksen (Plum Coulee)

Jackie Johnson (Pilot Mound)

Rick Klippenstein (Morden)

Dave Oshust (Portage la Prairie)

Partnership Award

Portage la Prairie Dirt Dash

Portage the Prairie Dirt Dash (Portage Rotary Club / PCRC)

Run for the Hills Marathon (Treherne)

Marketing Excellence

Stardust Drive-In (Morden)

Whoop & Hollar Folk Fest (Portage la Prairie)

Innovation Award

Altona Hotel (Altona)

Bella’s Castle (Morden)

Le Rideau Escape Room (Portage la Prairie)

Mound Wildlife (Pilot Mound)

Aspiring Youth

Oscar May (Portage la Prairie)

Jay Siemens (Altona)

Award of Distinction – Individual

Bruce Tascona (Manitoba World War 1 Museum)

Joe Wiwchar (Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame)

Award of Distinction – Organization/Business

Gallery in the Park (Altona)

Harvest Moon Society (Clearwater)

Portage Exhibition (Portage la Prairie)

Prairie Foods (Plum Coulee)

Syl’s Drive-In (Carman)


Event of the Year – Budget Under $5,000

Belgian Bowling (Treherne)

Legends Car Drag Races (Altona)

Raptor Festival (La Riviere)


Event of the Year – Budget Over $5,000

Carman Country Fair (Carman)

Honey Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival (Manitou)

Prairie Hill Motocross (Pilot Mound)

Manitoba Air Show (Portage la Prairie)


The gala takes place on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Lake Minnewasta Golf & Country Club in Morden. Those interested in attending the gala and support your local nominees can book tickets by contacting CMTA General Manager Colleen Kyle at

Tickets are $30 for an individual or $200 for a table of eight.

Nominate a community champion and plan to attend to support your local candidate as we tip our hat to all of the men and women who shine the spotlight brightly for guests each year.