Celebrating Tourism Excellence in Headwaters

The Orangeville Town Hall Opera House was filled with tourism and community leaders on the evening of Tuesday, January 16th for the annual Headwaters Tourism Awards. The building was still abuzz after a full day of learning at the first provincial Rural Tourism Symposium that brought together rural tourism organizations and business from across Ontario, as well as federal and provincial tourism leaders, to raise the profile of rural tourism in the provincial and federal framework.

The Headwaters Tourism Awards, an annual evening of celebration, honoured those tourism businesses and individuals who, during 2017, exemplified excellence.

The entire slate of nominees from 2017 represented the exceptional calibre of tourism offerings in the Headwaters region and showcase the best of rural tourism service and hospitality. The judging panel commented that selecting a winner in each category was extremely challenging, and that clearly the businesses are helping to position the Headwaters area as a top rural tourism destination.

The winners of the 2018 Headwaters Tourism Awards are:

Best ARTS & HERITAGE Visitor Experience
(sponsored by the Town of Orangeville)
Dragonfly Arts on Broadway

Best FRESH & LOCAL Visitor Experience
(sponsored by the Town of Erin)
Snowberry Botanicals

Best FUN & FESTIVE Visitor Experience (tie)
Caribfest (Soulyve)
Mud Hero Toronto North, Caledon

Best NATURE & LEISURE Visitor Experience
Seven Bridges Run (Orangeville Lions Club)

Best HORSE & COUNTRY Visitor Experience
(sponsored by the Town of Shelburne)
Grand River RAM Rodeo

Best SEE, SHOP & STAY Visitor Experience (tie)
(sponsored by BDO Canada LLP)
Millcroft Inn & Spa
Wicked Shortbread

Best NEW Tourism Business
(sponsored by Humber College)
Alabaster Acres

Tourism INNOVATOR of the Year
(sponsored by County of Dufferin)
Credit Valley Conservation (Island Lake Amphitheatre)

(sponsored by the Dufferin Board of Trade)
Lavender Blue Catering

Tourism CHAMPION of the Year
(sponsored by Shelburne Home Hardware Building Centre)
Philip DeWar (Soulyve)

2018 Headwaters Tourism Awards [photo gallery]


The Orangeville Town Hall Opera House was the perfect venue for the event, and the staff at Theatre Orangeville were gracious in their hospitality and customer service, ensuring that all logistics went off flawlessly. The evening began with a casual cocktail reception, sponsored by Gourmandissimo Catering + Fine Food (Caledon East), with libations provided by GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co., Pommies Cider Co., and Spirit Tree Estate Cidery.  The reception was an opportunity for our regional tourism businesses to network among themselves and connect with the delegates to the day’s Rural Tourism Symposium.  From the laughter and camaraderie, it was clear that everyone was having a fabulous time.

The 2018 Headwaters Tourism Awards were presented in partnership with Shelburne Home Hardware Building Centre. Shelburne Home Hardware Building Centre is locally owned and operated by Bill Gillam (2017 Dufferin County Business Citizen of the Year), and is a shining example of community philanthropy, local business development and exceptional customer service, and truly embodies all that it means to be “Where Ontario Gets Real”.