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New award celebrates best of Richmond's tourism experience

The Richmond EPIC Tourism Awards celebrates people, places, experiences and attractions that make the city welcoming.

Four businesses, people and experiences were celebrated for their contribution to Richmond's tourism at the inaugural Richmond EPIC Tourism Awards on Wednesday.

The awards celebrate and recognize all that makes Richmond a great place to visit, and application was open to all tourism businesses in Richmond.

The four categories are named after Tourism Richmond's four "EPIC" values ⁠— excellence, passion, integrity and collaboration, and the winners are as follows:

Excellence Award for Innovation – Richmond Olympic Experience

Staff at the Richmond Olympic Oval made the most of its closure during the COVID-19 pandemic to "introduce a bold new design, and create new exhibits" in the very first Olympic museum in North America. The new additions aim to highlight both Canada’s cultural and athletic achievements on the world stage.

Passion Award for Individual Achievement – Nutcha Phanthoupheng of Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine

Phanthoupheng is celebrated for her "significant contribution" to Steveston's profile as a culinary destination. The first-time chef and restauranteur, and former nurse and cancer researcher, opened Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine on Steveston’s waterfront in 2021, and she has been championing local produce and supporting the local community ever since.

Integrity Award for Community Impact – Lansdowne Centre

Lansdowne Centre is recognized for its extended catalogue of community events. Just within the past year, it has put on dozens of community events such as planting fresh produce for more than 1,000 people on a low income. The mall also offers free weekly gardening workshops, morning Tai Chi and Yuan Jyi exercise classes six days a week, and hosts fundraisers, local art exhibitions and jobs fairs.

Collaboration Award for Collaborative Project or Initiative – Grand Prix of Art

The annual Grand Prix is organized by Mark Glavina of Phoenix Art Workshop in collaboration with the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. This year's event saw 115 artists placed in 35 locations across Steveston in a race against time to draw, sketch or paint the landscape in half a day. Artworks from the event generated $10,000 for local artists after being displayed, judged, and sold in the Seine Net loft at Britannia Shipyards.

“It’s fantastic to be able to celebrate what makes Richmond such a compelling place to visit,” said Tourism Richmond CEO Nancy Small.

“Tourism Richmond is delighted to be able to meet with our partners in the tourism and hospitality industry, and to recognize the amazing people and businesses with our new EPIC tourism awards.”