Chatham-Kent has been nominated for two awards at the upcoming Southern Ontario Tourism Conference.
Shannon Prince, the former curator of the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum is a finalist for Ontario Southwest's Luminary of the Year award.
Prince said she was shocked to be nominated for the award. "It was just really humbling," she said.
The Luminary award is meant to honour a person who exemplifies passion, dedication, and commitment to the tourism industry.
Prince said that a love of Chatham-Kent and being the curator at the museum is the catalyst of her work in tourism. "It was just so amazing when people would come and you could talk about what we do have here... They were stunned by the fact that we had three incredible Underground Railroad sites and the people who were here that left an impact on our community," she explained. "To be able to really emphasize that we're not just a small, little community; we're a very rich community that has a lot of culture and heritage that has really shaped Canadian History," she continued.
Prince recently retired from her post at the museum and is excited that her nomination will allow her to return to the tourism conference one more time. "It's a workshop, networking opportunity to see what other regions are doing and to make partnerships," she said, adding that it's all about fresh ideas and support.
She added that, especially from the museum's perspective, Chatham-Kent has seen a boom in tourism in recent years.
The Dresden Night Market is a finalist for the Sustainability Trailblazer of the Year award for their reusable cup program.
That award is aligned with the United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and recognizes those who embrace sustainable tourism initiatives.
"We are extremely proud of both Shannon Prince and the hardworking team behind the Dresden Night Market," said Shannon Paiva, the Supervisor of Tourism Development at Chatham-Kent Economic Development and Tourism Services. "To see both as finalists in their respective categories reinforces the significance tourism represents in Chatham-Kent, and it's wonderful to see that their accomplishments are being recognized," she added.
The winners will be announced on March 5.
More information can be found here.