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March 5, 2015
For immediate release
Canadian Potato Museum chosen winner of Premier’s Award for Tourism
Tourism and Culture
One of the Island’s most successful community-run museums took home the 2015 Premier’s Award for Tourism at last night’s Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island Award Gala at Red Shores, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan.
“In 2014 the Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary had the best season in its history with over 10,000 visits to the facility,” said Premier MacLauchlan. “The board and staff have done a tremendous job attracting visitors by making sound investments to improve the facility and by developing fun and interesting programming. It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with a strong product, wise investments, and a staff and board dedicated to creating a memorable experience for visitors. They are truly deserving of this honour.”
The museum was founded in 1993 by a community-based board of directors. It was added to the site of O’Leary Community Museum which had been in place since 1967.
Since that time the museum has grown, re-branded and expanded programming to better help Islanders and visitors alike learn about potatoes, how they’re grown, how they’re harvested, how they’re used, and about the people and communities at the centre of the potato industry in Canada.
Aside from the many exhibits, the museum houses a gift shop and a restaurant that specializes in potato dishes.
The Museum also plays host to a very popular annual Fall Flavours event called “Toes, Taps and Taters,” where world famous chefs devise special creations that centre on the potato.
“As MLA for the area, I’ve had a birds-eye view of the museum’s development over the last 20 years and it’s come a long way since its humble beginnings,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson. “Now, The Canadian Potato Museum is simply one of the best tourism attractions in West Prince. Other businesses in the area benefit from the additional traffic the museum creates. And, most importantly, it tells the story of the humble potato, the single most important commodity produced on the Island.”
To learn more about The Canadian Potato Museum visit www.peipotatomuseum.com.
Tourism is a vital industry in Prince Edward Island that provides over 7,000 full time equivalent jobs for Islanders. It accounts for approximately $400 million in economic activity each year and seven percent of GDP, the highest percentage of any Canadian province.