Several tourism awards were handed out in Regina Thursday night with a few Indigenous organizations honoured for their contributions.

The Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala is the province’s largest gathering of tourism operators, representatives and stakeholders. During the event, 12 organizations were honoured in 12 different categories.

More than 300 gathered to pay tribute to the award recipients for their exceptional work and leadership in 2017.

“Tonight’s gala shines a spotlight on Saskatchewan’s vibrant tourism sector and the remarkable hospitality and experiences that delight visitors to our province,” Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Gene Makowsky said in a media release.

The Tourism Employer of the Year Award went to the Saskatchewan Indian and Gaming Authority.

SIGA has been the recipient of many tourism awards in the past including Business of the Year honours in 2013. The Indigenous-owned organization was nominated for that same award this year, but lost out to the Grassroots Restaurant Group, owner of several high-end restaurants in Saskatoon.

Chris Standing of Wanuskewin Heritage Park was handed the Employee of the Year award for his work with the cultural centre. Wanuskewin is also no stranger to tourism awards as they won the National Aboriginal Tourism Cultural Award in 2016.

The Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award, sponsored by Wanuskewin, was given to the Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association.

Other awards saw the Ness Creek Music Festival and YXE-Eats win for Marquee and Community Event of the Year.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders won a marketing award, while the FIBA 3 x 3 World Tour took home the Rookie of the Year Award.