The Overcast was in fine company today at the 24th annual tourism awards. We took home the “Discovery Award,” which is presented annually to any organization or individual that has found an innovative way of promoting the city to the province and the world. Previous winners include Overcast distributor, Quidi Vidi Plantation.
“It’s a great validation to garner recognition for our continued efforts in celebrating and discussing the entrepreneurs, artists, and cultural issues that make this city the place it is,” says Overcast founder Chad Pelley.
“To put our paper in the context of a tourism award, someone recently joked ‘you can’t Google anything about St. John’s anymore without Overcast articles coming up,’ and they’re right. It’s a fact that anyone who travels these days tends to Google the city they’re travelling to, and because they often find themselves on our website, I get a lot of emails from tourists asking where the best restaurants are, the best hiking trails, or B&Bs. It’s extra work to answer them, sure, but a privilege to be an ambassador for the province. If only for personal gain: I want people eating at places like Mallard Cottage or Chinched Bistro or The Club, so these restaurants thrive and stay open for us locals too!”
He also cited having been a point of contact for many TV shows, international magazines, and travel writers — from Vice Magazine to the Food Network — that are looking for the places they should be eating, the bands they should be promoting, or even the off-beat day trips they should be doing. “The paper was created to make sure everyone in town knows about the things that make our city what it is — from our internationally heralded authors, to our groundbreaking scientific research at MUN, to the fact every chef in the country wishes they were Jeremy Charles. Sharing our culture with the world, not just the city, is even better. I know tourism is a billion dollar business here now. I’m very excited at the thought of helping that money flow into the right pockets here every summer. Be it the best festivals, downtown retail outlets, bands, restaurants, books&bookstores, or art galleries …”
Six other awards were presented today.
- The Legend Award for outstanding enhancements to the tourism industry was presented to Dale Gilbert Jarvis.
- Event of the Year was presented to the Mummers Festival.
- The Signal Award, for outstanding contribution to the cruise industry, went to Bob McCarthy.
- The St. John’s Taxi Industry received the Victoria Wagon Award.
- New in 2015, the Sport Tourism Award was presented to the Ice Caps Hockey Club, with Danny Williams accepting the plaque.
- Destination St. John’s presented its annual Award of Distinction to OCEANS’14 for Convention of the Year.