It was a successful night at the 2019 Central Manitoba Tourism Awards gala in Morden.

Board Chair Vern May says many communities all across the region were well represented.

"We had 27 nominations across 9 award categories, so it really shows the broad scope of what's happening in Central Manitoba," says May. "With that type of room, you have the volunteers and the organizations that are driving these events and attractions. You really had all the community champions in one place and that energy is infectious."

May says he has learned that sometimes, you aren't appreciated in your own hometown and that it's good to hear from those who are outside your community.

"It really reinforces that what we're doing is something special that's recognized at a higher level," says May. "Maybe it helps to give a little more push when they get back to their hometown to say hey, out there in the world, people recognize we're doing really great stuff."

Here is the full list of winners:

Award of Distinction - Individual: Jow Wiwchar (Morden)
Also nominated -
Bruce Tascona (R.M. of Louise)

Award of Distinction - Business/Organization: Gallery in the Park (Altona)
Also nominated -
Harvest Moon Society (Clearwater)
Portage Exhibition (Portage la Prairie)
Prairie Foods (Plum Coulee)
Syl's Drive In (Carman)

Tourism Volunteer of the Year - Rick Klippenstein (Morden)
Also nominated -
Wally Cobb (Manitou)
Dorothy Derksen (Plum Coulee)
Jackie Johnson (Clearwater)
Dave Oshust (Portage la Prairie)

Event of the Year - Budget Over $5,000: Carman Country Fair
Also nominated -
Honey Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival (Manitou)
Prairie Hill Motocross (Pilot Mound)
Manitoba Air Show (Southport)

Event of the Year - Budget Under $5,000: Raptor Festival (La Riviere)
Also nominated -
Kinsmen Belgian Bowling Tournament (Treherne)
Legends Car Club 40th Anniversary Event (Altona)

Marketing Excellence - Whoop & Hollar Folk Fest (Portage la Prairie)
Also nominated -
Stardust Drive-In (Morden)

Aspiring Youth Award: Oscar May (Portage la Prairie)
Also nominated -
Jay Siemens - Altona

Innovation Award - Mound Wildlife (Pilot Mound)
Also nominated -
Altona Hotel
Bella’s Castle (Morden)
Fort la Reine Museum (Portage la Prairie)

Partnership Award: Run for the Hills Marathon (Treherne)
Also nominated -
Portage the Prairies Dirt Dash