Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is being celebrated for a reconciliation-themed festival held last fall in Sault Ste. Marie.
Festivals and Events Ontario gave two awards to ITO for the inaugural Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation, which was held Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2022, in partnership with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, a teaching and research centre of excellence in Anishinaabe education.
The 2022 Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation was a two-day, family-oriented showcase of Indigenous arts, culture and heritage, with educational opportunities surrounding Indigenous history and reconciliation efforts.
According to ITO, 4,250 people attended the event. Its success means the event will return for a second year in 2023.
For its efforts, ITO received the Impact Award, which was newly established for 2023. It recognizes a festival or event that embodies the best ideas to advance cultural diversity and inclusion at events, or empowering marginalized demographics to participate, or increases the social impact of events within your community, region or the Province of Ontario, or being a leader in regards to truth and reconciliation in the Indigenous community.
The event was also named Best New Festival.
ITO received the recognition during the 2023 conference of Festivals and Events Ontario, which was held March 6-8 in Niagara Falls.