Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 7:15 PM

Tourism Awards Presented

Locally made awards for the 2019 Tourism Awards on top of a table with a green tablecloth with the City Logo St. John's in white text

The City of St. John’s presented the winners of the 2019 Tourism Awards at individual, private ceremonies at City Hall due to COVID-19 precautions.

“I am pleased to present these awards to the individuals and organizations that offer outstanding services and positive experiences to visitors to our capital city,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “Tourism is an important sector of our economy and the work these groups and individuals do make us a sought-after destination.”

Discovery Award
This award acknowledges an individual, business, attraction, event or community organization that offers new or innovative tourism-related products, services, or activities which enhance the St. John’s tourism industry.

Over the last two years, Quidi Vidi Charters have given their passengers an experience they will never forget. Captains Battcock and Browne show good old Newfoundland Hospitality when they take tourists and locals out from their wharf in Quidi Vidi Harbour out to the Atlantic Ocean. They tell stories and legends of our Atlantic coast while witnessing the sights of Signal Hill and Cape Spear. Passengers even have the opportunity to try their hand at jigging a cod, and then are brought back to the wharf to learn how to clean, gut, and fry the fish. Quidi Vidi Charters shows their passengers a traditional Newfoundland experience in a unique and innovative way.  


Signal Award
Presented annually to an individual, group or company who has made significant contribution to the evolution and sustainability of the cruise ship industry in St. John’s.

Newfoundland dogs are a well-loved symbol of our province and typically one of the first things a visitor looks for when they arrive in St. John’s. Luckily, cruise ship passengers do not have to look far. As part of the City of St. John’s Dockside Welcome Program, one of these 100-pound friendly giants will greet them as they disembark.

As an important part of the welcoming committee, the Newfoundland Dogs and their handlers are some of the first faces cruise passengers meet when they arrive in our city. Passengers stop in their tracks to wait their turn to pet and take a photo of our four-legged ambassador leaving lots of love for both the dogs and passenger’s hearts. 


Sport Tourism
Presented annually to an individual, group or organization who through the hosting of a sporting event has made significant contribution to the tourism industry in St. John’s

From February 21 to 24 of 2019, St. John’s played host to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifier. During this event, players, coaches and fans from all over the globe visited St. John’s. It was the first time in 30 years that the Canadian National Team visited the province.

Canadian Basketball’s National Seniors Men’s Team defeated Chile and Venezuela in both their games to a well-attended event at Mile One Centre. The event not only hosted 2 qualifying games but also several soldout player, coach, and official clinics. The games were professionally broadcast over the internet, with additional game highlights covered by national tv broadcasters and sports writers. 


Event of the Year
Presented annually to the group or organization who, through the production of an event, best exemplifies the spirit of St. John’s and generates tourism visitation to the St. John’s region.

Canadian Progress Club (St. John’s) organized the 1st Ribfest in the province in aid of 2 local charities: Vera Perlin Society and Special Olympics NL. Ribfest occurred in Pleasantville and took place from July 18-20, 2019. The event featured 3 professional “ribbers”, local food trucks, BBQ competition, and family friendly entertainment. Over 6,000 attendees made this 3-day event one to remember.


Legend Award
This pinnacle award recognizes an individual or group who has made significant contribution to the enhancement of tourism in St. John’s.

Larry Dohey grew up in St. Bride’s and was one of 13 children. His love for his family, friends and his province are shown in his life’s work. His passing in August 2019, left a huge hole in the community.

Larry was well known throughout the province due to not only his professional work but also his volunteer contribution to many organizations. At the time of his passing, Larry worked at The Rooms as Director of Programming and Public Engagement. This position allowed him to meet many people and to showcase his love of history. Prior to joining The Rooms staff, Larry was director of the archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s and director of the Basilica Museum and Library. Outside of work, Larry’s passion for his province was seen in his online blog "Archival Moments," which he wrote about the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. The blog’s success led to a regular weekly radio program – "Archival Moments" on 590 VOCM which he co-hosted.

Larry served as president of the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archivists, he was a member of the board of directors of Destination St. John’s, the Victoria Park Foundation, the Irish Newfoundland Association and a former vice-president of the Newfoundland Historical Society.

Larry was an incredible ambassador for the City of St. John’s and for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Award of Distinction
Presented by Destination St. John’s this award recognizes the work of a local planning committee or individual who was instrumental in bringing a meeting/conference/event to St. John’s.

Sandra Whiffen is the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. and has been in the role for over 5 years. In that time, as a passionate leader, she has led countless innovative initiatives alongside the HabitatNL Board of Directors and her habitat NL team. This includes revitalizing the organization’s retail and office presence through a major relocation and expansion, as well as improving operational efficiency to position the organization to assist even more low-income working families with obtaining home ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador.