MONTREAL, March 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Last night, the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois (Québec tourism awards) for the Greater Montréal region were awarded to 12 local recipients who distinguished themselves by their excellent service. The winners were honoured in their respective category during a gala evening held at the new Bourgie Pavilion of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). Suzanne Giguère, Deputy Minister for tourism and Helen Fotopulos, Councillor for the Côtes-des-Neiges district and member of the city's Executive Committee responsible for culture, heritage, design and the status of women, were also in attendance.
This highly anticipated event took place under the aegis of Jacques Parisien, Chairman of the Board, and the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal. The charming master of ceremonies, Catherine Pogonat, helped create a festive and convivial evening that included many pleasant surprises. The guests - all members of the industry - were treated to a cocktail reception and a musical presentation by the Québec jazz ensemble, The Lost Fingers.
Now in its 26th year, the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois recognizes tourism industry professionals - individuals as well as businesses - who, through their efforts, initiative and excellent work, help attract an ever-growing number of visitors to Montréal and make this city a world-class tourist destination.
"Montréal's international reputation for excellence is due in large part to the quality of services offered to visitors by our industry professionals," said the Honourable Charles Lapointe. "The unflagging dedication and enthusiasm they display year in, year out, help make Montréal one of the most welcoming cities on the planet and the envy of other destinations. I applaud all who participated in this prestigious competition for their exceptional performance, and offer my most sincere congratulations to the winners!"
The highest distinction of the evening, the Grand Prix du tourisme québécois' Grand Ulysse trophy, was awarded to Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, for her efforts to give the Museum a fourth pavilion exclusively devoted to Canadian art, and for her involvement in initiatives designed to make the Museum more widely accessible. Ms. Bondil's visionary programme allowed for the noteworthy introduction of fashion and music into the MMFA. In and of itself, the exhibition dedicated to designer Jean-Paul Gauthier attracted over 175,000 visitors. Moreover, under her direction, the Museum recently received funding in the amount of $18.5 million to build an international art pavilion. This will allow for the accommodation of a collection, the generous gift of Michal and Renata Hornstein, worth $75 million. Last January, Ms. Bondil was awarded the distinction of Personnalité de la semaine, by La Presse and Radio Canada, for her contribution in promoting Montréal.
For the first time this year, a prize was awarded in the new "Environmentally responsible events" category. The winner was the Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montréal Convention Centre).
2012 Grands Prix du tourisme québécois - Montréal recipients:
Tourist attractions - between 25,000 and 100,000 visitors
Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau
Tourist attractions - More than 100,000 visitors
The Montreal Eaton Centre
Environmental and adventure tourism
Environmentally responsible events
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of less than $300,000
Montréal International Dragon Boat Race Festival
Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of between $300,000 and $1 million
presented by Aéroports de Montréal
Montreal Chamber Music Festival
Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of over $1 million, presented by Sid Lee
Pop Montreal International Music Festival
Accommodation - less than 40 units, presented by Touché! PHD
Auberge de La Fontaine
Accommodation — between 40 and 199 units
Auberge du Vieux-Port
Accommodation — 200 units or more, presented by Air Canada
Hyatt Regency Montréal
Accommodation — bed and breakfasts
Tourist services, presented by the Journal de Montréal
La Vitrine culturelle
Grand Ulysse trophy
Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Regional winners may be entered in the Québec Tourism Awards' provincial edition. This year, only eight finalists per category will be selected from among the winners from all Québec's tourist regions. The national awards gala will be held on May 28, 2012, at the Centre de foires de Sherbrooke.
The gala, organized by Tourisme Montréal, has been classified for the first time as environmentally responsible and is aiming to reach Level 2 of BNQ Standard 9700-253. This target is part of the greening process begun last year by the organisation.
About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information, visit www.tourisme-montréal.org.
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