Canadian Public Relations Society (Manitoba)

Canadian Public Relations Society (Manitoba)

March 10, 2010 09:00 ET

The Forks Makes Winnipeg's Winter Sexy, Wins Manitoba Communicator of the Year Award

Clare MacKay honoured for communications strategy and amazing results

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2010) -

Editors Note: There are four photos included with this Press Release.

How do you make a Winnipeg winter sexy? Just ask the communications team at The Forks North Portage Partnership, which is being recognized for its outstanding work promoting the Arctic Glacier Winter Park and the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail. The Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society is pleased to announce that Clare MacKay, Manager of Marketing and Communications for The Forks, will receive the Manitoba Communicator of the Year Award later this month.

MacKay led a team that helped The Forks stake its claim to having the longest skating rink in the world, which helped to increase national attention, drive attendance and generate new revenue. The result is that door counts at The Forks Market for January and February now rival July and August, which has led some to wonder which one is actually the peak tourist season. The Forks also collaborated with Festival du Voyageur and the newly created Saison Voyageur, all of whom work together to promote and market winter activities.

"MacKay and her team did a magnificent job of turning an aging asset into a gleaming showcase for the city," said Adam Dooley, past president of CPRS Manitoba and chair of the award organizing committee. "Their work is a perfect example of how well conceived public relations strategies can have a major impact on an organization and an entire city."

Award sponsor Marketwire – one of North America's leading newswire and media distribution companies - will present the honour at a gala luncheon on March 24 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

MacKay was chosen by a panel of senior CPRS Manitoba members for her success in executing a comprehensive communications strategy using multiple tactics, all the while keeping the messaging simple and easy to deliver. Her team's efforts to promote the winter park and river trail resulted in record winter crowds and revenue for The Forks… and gave Winnipeggers a reason to say winter is the best time to visit the city.

The Forks used a host of tactics to reach their goals including media relations, social media, advertising and special events. One of the highlights was the warming hut design competition, which drew a field of internationally regarded architects and designers (and even one rogue local one).

"The people at The Forks North Portage have shown how a little ingenuity can turn a good idea into a great one," said Gail Granger, chair of the judging committee. "They've turned Winnipeg's winters into a marketing strength – something many said could not be done. And in doing so, they captured the imagination of the entire community and the nation."

MacKay was among a distinguished field of nominees for the third annual award, which CPRS Manitoba established to honour those who have demonstrated excellence in public communications.

For ticket information, go to and click on the Communicator of the Year icon.

To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

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