André Léger of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) presented the award to The Wee Ones on behalf of the Miramichi Region Tourism Association (MRTA) at a general meeting of the group on Monday February 23rd.
Speaking in both official languages, ten-year-old Ryley Allison expressed thanks on behalf of The Wee Ones.
“To be acknowledged by leaders in tourism such as yourselves is especially important to us and Francis,” she said.
The Wee Ones received this recognition for their dedication in promoting multicultural pride, honouring the many cultures that define Miramichi. The three sisters created the character of Francis the Fish to celebrate the founding people of Miramichi including Aboriginal, French, Irish, Scottish and English cultures. Having promoted Francis on T-shirts and placemats, the girls are now busy designing collectable cultural heritage dolls.
“The Wee Ones feel it is very important for all of us to promote our heritage. The better we understand who we are, the better we can realise our full potential of what we can become in the tourism industry,” Ryley said. “With so many strong cultures in the Miramichi we have a lot too offer to tourists and by promoting each other we become a stronger region. This is why this award is so special to my sisters and myself.”
Terry Matchett, President of the Miramichi Region Tourism Association, outlined a number of activities they have been involved in since starting their business last year.
“Of late there have been articles written about the girls in Urban Mozaik, an international multicultural magazine and Canscene, an online publication covering Canada’s multicultural scene,” Matchett said.
“It is a great honour to accept this award. Francis, Sydney, Hailey, and I love you very much and appreciate your support,” Ryley said. “Thank you very much.”
The wee ones website is www.theweeones.com