MILLBROOK - Danielle Sawada couldn't hide her excitement upon receiving a tourism award on Friday.
The Belmont resident is owner of Thrown Together Pottery, located on King Street in Truro. She was one of eight people who were recognized by the Central Nova Tourist Association in Millbrook yesterday during the 33rd annual awards gathering.
"I'm really excited. It's nice to be recognized and I do a lot for tourism and the town to bring awareness," said Sawada shortly after receiving her award at the Glooscap Annex.
Thrown Together Pottery is a store and working studio with a gallery that offers pottery, local art and gifts, including jewellery, bandsaw boxes, original woodwork, turned pens, key chains, corkscrews and more. Demonstrations, lessons and workshops are also done on site.
"I'm the only potter who teaches (community lessons) between Halifax and Cape Breton. I've had people come from Cape Breton specifically so they could take a pottery lesson."
Sawada said having regular awards banquets serves another purpose.
"We need to focus on each other. We need to shop and learn locally and (tourism) is not just about food and restaurants," Sawada said.
She added there are always unique ideas to share at gatherings such as yesterday's.
"When you have someone unique, like an artisan, in your community, signage (promoting them) would bring people into the community," she offered.
The other local tourism award recipient was Truro's Greg MacArthur. He received the ambassador award 2012 for his efforts to promote Truro as well as his volunteerism in recreation and cultural events. MacArthur was a co-chairman of the Central Nova Civic Centre Committee (now the Rath EastLink Community Centre), Truro Communities in Bloom, United Way and Victoria Park outdoor pool construction committees, to name a few.
"I really do appreciate it. Promoting this area is key," said MacArthur. "We are a destination. I'm very excited and proud. It's nice to know people appreciate you."
Joyce Mingo, executive director of the Central Nova Tourist Association, said the gathering, which has spanned more than three decades, continues to be relevant.
"It's important for operators to network, to provide education in the industry and tools to succeed and it's good when peers recognize other peers," said Mingo.
The following are recipients of the Central Nova Tourist Association awards that were handed out in Millbrook on Friday:
Gift Shop Award - Danielle Sawada, Truro
Ambassador Award - Greg MacArthur, Truro
Attraction Award - NovaShores Adventures, Advocate Harbour
Accommodation Award - Shangri-la Cottages, Burntcoat Head
Food & Beverage Award - Avondale Sky Winery, Pictou County
Festival & Events Award - Pugwash HarbourFest, Pugwash
SuperHost Award - Carrie Goodwin, Parrsboro
President's Award - Tom Young, Parrsboro