MANITOULIN—After much deliberation, Wikwemikong Tourism and The Manitoulin Expositor have decided to cancel the 2023 edition of the Manitoulin Ice Showdown.
Wikwemikong Tourism founded the event in 2008 as the Wikwemikong Ice Fishing Derby which has since evolved to the Manitoulin Ice Showdown following a partnership with The Expositor in 2018. 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 a much-needed investment into the local economy.
Event organizers were hopeful to bring back the premier event in 2023 but post-COVID operational challenges have made it difficult to commit the resources needed to host a major two-day event.
“The showdown takes a tremendous amount of time planning, organizing and soliciting sponsorship and with the organizational challenges that we have faced as a result of the pandemic, we just could not commit the time to offer the same caliber of event,” says Wikwemikong Tourism Manager Luke Wassegijig.
Wikwemikong Tourism is a leader in authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in Ontario serving visitors from across the globe. In 2022, the company saw record volume from visiting cruise ships, motor coaches and fully independent travellers to Manitoulin Island, surpassing pre-COVID numbers. Its parent organization, Wikwemikong Development Commission, is Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territories’ economic development arm.
The Manitoulin Expositor is one of Manitoulin’s leading champions of tourism. Publishers of This is Manitoulin magazine, which sees tens of thousands of the popular lure book distributed to homes and tourist centres across the province, The Expositor is also webmaster to ExploreManitoulin.com and former host of The Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic, the foremost salmon derby in all of Northern Ontario.
The partners are looking forward to welcoming everyone back for the 2024 Manitoulin Ice Showdown in a very big way with even more lucrative cash and prizes. Make sure to stay up to date by visiting their socials @fishmanitoulin and @wikytours.