Thrive Tours, an Indigenous tourism and nature-based education business, is a top-four finalist for the prestigious CANIE Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award and as a finalist for the Indigenous Tourism Award by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).
The awards honour entrepreneurs from equity-deserving communities who have excelled in areas like innovation, sustainability, social impact, community leadership, and business achievement, says a news release. Winners will receive a $10,000 business grant, a national storytelling campaign, a business promotions video, and celebration at the CANIE Awards National Event on Oct. 26.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario is considered to be the voice of tourism in the province. The winner for TIAO's Indigenous Tourism Award will be announced at the 2023 Ontario Tourism Summit, to be held in Mississauga Oct. 24-25.
Led by co-owners Brad Robinson and Amanda Cora, Thrive Tours is "redefining what Indigenous tourism can be on Turtle Island," the release stated. Thrive specializes in canoeing and kayaking tours and certifications. The company's headquarters are situated in the community of Rankin of Batchewana First Nation, adjacent to Sault Ste. Marie.
"Being a finalist for both the CANIE and TIAO awards is an immense honour, reflecting our team's unwavering dedication to the spirit, history, and values of our ancestors. We see this as an opportunity to both respect and celebrate their legacy," said Robinson.
Thrive Tours serves as a beacon in sustainable tourism, enriching experiences with profound narratives of Indigenous culture, tradition, and history, the release said.