Travel Alberta

Southwest Service & Tourism Awards Winners Announced

Chinook Country Tourist Association celebrated the Southwest Service & Tourism awards last night. The purpose of the awards is to honour those in the service and tourism industry whose efforts help make Southwest Alberta a great place not only to visit, but to live.  

The Southwest Awards recognize outstanding customer experiences in the region as well as outstanding businesses that enhance the awareness of southwest Alberta as a destination. There were eighteen categories to celebrate these accomplishments. The categories ranged from Restaurant of the Year and Event of the Year to individuals who excel in customer service such as retail, attractions and adventure tourism. Visit the Best of the Southwest Awards website to see a full listing of all the nominees. The winners of the Southwest Service & Tourism Awards are listed below.

  • Outstanding In Accommodation Service – Jim Swanton, Paradise Canyon 
  • Outstanding In Adventure Tourism – Randy & Ginny Donahue, Sierra West Cabins & Ranch Vacations 
  • Outstanding Attractions Service – Colin Weir, Alberta Birds of Prey Centre 
  • Outstanding Events & Conferences – Chris Meilleur, Southern Alberta Food & Beverage Expo 
  • Outstanding Food & Beverage Service – Fenny Harpell, Taber Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre 
  • Outstanding Retail Service – Carol Robbins, Welch’s Chocolate Shop 
  • Outstanding Health & Wellness Service – Steve Mundell, Alpenland Ski & Sports 
  • Outstanding Home & Trade Service – Ken Menzies, KB Heating & Air Conditioning 
  • Outstanding In Media – Brooksie, Country 95 
  • Outstanding in Sports & Recreation – Linda Soenen, Park Lake Paintball 
  • Tourism Champion – Downtown Lethbridge BRZ 
  • Outstanding Travel & Transportation – Holly McLean, Red Arrow 
  • Visitor Information Services – Pat Ness, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump 
  • Volunteer Champion – Kinsmen Club of Coaldale 
  • Accommodation of the Year – Country Encounters Hospitality Inc.
  • Festival/Event of the Year – Love & Records
  • Municipality of the Year – Town of Nanton
  • Restaurant of the Year – Wieners of Waterton 
We are so proud of all the nominees and winners! Without their hard work and effort tourism in Southwest Alberta would not be as vibrant as it is. “Although you may not recognize it, let me assure you that not only are the services of these hard workers essential to the livelihood of our growing population but the fashion in which they deliver them is unrivalled through the rest of Canada. Your friendly demeanour, your tendency to take the time to listen to customers and your welcoming Southern Alberta way are hallmarks to this important industry,” says Chinook Country Tourist Association Board President Richard Chevrier. 

Chinook Country Tourist Association Visitor Information Centre assists over 20,000 visitors each year, providing a variety of information from maps of the area, to relocation information to where to eat or sightsee. Tourism is the world’s fourth fastest growing industry, generating $80 billion per year in Canada alone. Across Canada over 600,000 people are employed in tourism. Jaci Zalesak, Director of Client Relations at Chinook Country Tourist Association says, “Southwest Alberta has approximately 1,000 tourism related businesses and employs about 6,000 people in the industry. The region has an abundance of events and unique attractions including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourism influences people when they are considering relocating to a new community or starting a new business. We are proud to take the steps to honour the people and businesses that make tourism in our region successful and Southwest Alberta such a great place to live and visit.”  

The Southwest Awards will be an annual event. Next year’s nominations will open in April 2015. 

About Chinook Country Tourist Association

Chinook Country Tourist Association is a Destination Marketing Organization located on the corner of Mayor Magrath Drive and Scenic Drive South in Lethbridge, AB. The non-profit organization markets Lethbridge and Southwest Alberta as a tourist destination, representing stakeholders in the region through services such as website presence, print publications, visitor information services, and an online reservation system.   

Contact Information 
Jaci Zalesak – Director, Client Relations 
Chinook Country Tourist Association 403-329-6777 ext. 4 
403-394-4145 cell
Chinook Country Tourist Association