FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 29, 2023
Attractions Ontario 2023 Tourism Awards
On Thursday, May 25, 2023, Attractions Ontario hosted its 40th Annual General Meeting at NEB’s Fun World in Oshawa. The event provided an opportunity to recognize industry leaders during a presentation of Tourism Awards.
We would like to extend our congratulations and present the winners.
Tourism Champion of the Year was awarded to:
Josee Rainville, Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf
|Honouring our Lifetime Achievement Award winner Josee Rainville, Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf
L-R: Chair Lynnette Bain, CEO Attractions Ontario Troy Young, Marcel Rainville on behalf of Josee Rainville, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Dave Smith
|Residing in Sudbury with her family, Josee Rainville was an innovator, an artist and loving wife to Marcel and Mother to her four children, her passion. In 1995, after a family vacation, where they played Mini Golf, Josee saw the need for a mini golf in Northern Ontario; her constraints: it had to be unique, fun for ALL ages, and hard to copy. The family landed on the theme of dinosaurs. Today you can find massive structures on the course, all of which Marcel would create from hand.
Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf first opened in 1997. It had nine holes and three steel skeleton dinosaurs. By the year 1999 it expanded to a 27-hole mini golf course. Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf became a member of Attractions Ontario. In 2000 after the loss of her son, Josee would build another 18 holes dedicated to Steven. Over the years Josee hosted many mini golf events to help the Cancer Society & other charities.
In 2003, the Tourism Federation of Ontario honored Josee with the inaugural Tourism Innovation Award, nominated by Attractions Ontario and presented by the Minister of Tourism. Josee regarded this award above all others she received, bar none.
Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf is now a 63-hole course, of which 18 holes are Pool Put, whereby the game is played with a pool cue on tables (another of Josee’s inventions). The World’s largest Steel Skeleton Dragon, 22 feet long by 18 feet high, also resides on-site.
Josee passed in 2022; her passion will live on with Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf bringing fun to all ages for years to come.
The Colonel Don Dailley Lifetime Achievement Award was given to:
Adrienne Carter, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association
Honouring our Tourism Champion of the Year Winner – Adrienne Carter
L-R: Chair Lynnette Bain, CEO Attractions Ontario Troy Young, Jacqueline Rula on behalf of Adrienne Carter, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Dave Smith
|In the business of Tourism Development for the past decade, Adrienne Carter is a dedicated professional who excels at building partnerships and facilitating large scale collaborative projects to elevate destination development initiatives in Southern Ontario. As an Anthropologist, she has a deep cultural acuity and easily works with all levels of Government, attractions management, individuals and private businesses.
From the Glenbow Museum to the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association, Adrienne’s expertise lies in Museum Studies, Project Management, Cultural Planning, Grant Writing and Destination Marketing.
Now the president of the Three Sisters Cultural Centre, a new Cultural Hub initiative she built in St. Jacobs with her sisters, Adrienne is excelling at destination development and not-for-profit management.
One of the first women to become a member of the Kitchener Conestogo Rotary Club she is now in Australia at this year’s Rotary President’s retreat so accepting her award on her behalf is her sister Jax Rula; Artistic Director of the Three Sisters Cultural Centre.
“We are honoured and pleased to present the 2023 Tourism Awards to Josee Rainville and Adrienne Carter. Both Josee and Adrienne have had a tremendous impact on the Ontario Tourism industry; on behalf of all of us at Attractions Ontario, Thank You.” says Troy Young, CEO of Attractions Ontario.