MANITOULIN—After much thought, and in the interest in the health and safety of our anglers, Wikwemikong Tourism and The Manitoulin Expositor have decided to cancel the 2021 edition of the Manitoulin Ice Showdown.
Wikwemikong Tourism started in the event 2008 which has now evolved into the Manitoulin Ice Showdown following a partnership with The Expositor in 2018 with the intentions to increase shoulder season tourism, visitor spending and to promote winter angling opportunities on Manitoulin Island. Event partners have been closely monitoring the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the continued uncertainty of the virus and financial risks associated with hosting the event, the decision was made to cancel for 2021. Organizers understand the importance of community investment from both municipal and First Nation partners and must maintain those relationships to safely host this major event.
“This was not an easy decision, especially coming off our best year, but we know that in the interest of community safety we must do our part to keep Manitoulin Island safe,” states Wikwemikong Tourism Manager Luke Wassegijig.
The Manitoulin Ice Showdown was the last major event hosted on Manitoulin Island in 2020 before the rise of COVID-19. The event brought in record breaking numbers with over 700 anglers coming from across the province and injecting much-needed returns into the local economy. The Manitoulin Ice Showdown is now solidified as one of Northern Ontario’s premier destination ice fishing tournaments.
Event organizers look forward to celebrating the 2022 Manitoulin Ice Showdown in a big way with even more lucrative cash and prizes. Although the Manitoulin Ice Showdown 2021 is cancelled, organizers have not ruled out the possibility of hosting a virtual “fish from home” event this winter to shake off the winter blues. Stay tuned as more details become available in the coming months. Be safe and fish on!